Opinion

Dispatches From Isolation Vol 4

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Posted: Apr 09, 2020 12:01 AM
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Townhall.com.
Dispatches From Isolation Vol 4

Source: AP Photo/Mark Lennihan

This is the fourth in a series of columns of random thoughts written in the spirit of being stuck inside and the things that occupy the mind in times of quarantine.

Yearning for normalcy

If this had happened when I was young and single, there is no way I wouldn’t have violated stay at home orders. It would’ve been stupid, but who isn’t stupid when they’re young?

I lived alone, I lived near bars and people I knew, people my own age; there would have been phone calls, meet-ups, and drinking. 

I don’t know how people who live alone, especially young people, can do this for much longer. 

Since my mother passed away, my dad lives alone. But he has five kids bothering him on the phone regularly. I’ve sent him gloves, DVDs (my parents refused to get the Internet, even when I offered to pay for it), and steaks with sides so he didn’t have to go out for food (which he has a deep-freeze and cupboards full of). Aside from drives to the dump (he lives in a very rural area), he’s content to do yard work and relax. He’s also turning 79 this year, so it’s not like he’s a ball of hormones and energy ready for a fight.

The average 25-year-old who lives alone has to be bouncing off the walls. People can play video games for hours, but it’s been weeks. Something horrible will happen, sooner or later, if some semblance of normalcy isn’t restored. Not handshakes and bro-hugs, but something. 

Most people don’t want to be the first one in the pool, but there’s always someone willing to cannonball into the deep end while the rest of us stick a toe in to see how cold it is. If people aren’t allowed to dip that toe in soon, a whole bunch of people will cannonball. They’ll do it without caring if there’s even water in the pool. 

Our new masters

One thing you can’t help but notice is how everyone, literally everyone on our TVs insisting we must stay home, businesses must stay closed, that we must not go to work, is working and receiving full pay. On top of it, most of them were pretty wealthy to begin with. That means, from the standpoint of being able to take care of themselves, the shutdown is costing them nothing. 

Sure, Dr. Deborah Birx talked the other day about not being able to see her grandchildren, but it’s hard to care when she’s at the podium telling people they shouldn’t even go to the grocery store unless they absolutely have to. 

Our elected representatives are largely older and wealthy; their houses are paid off and their income is set and steady. There are no financial repercussions for them insisting everyone else become unemployed. 

Meanwhile, the numbers aren’t adding up. Don’t get me wrong, lower death totals are great news, but the doomsday predictions weren’t anywhere near correct in the first place. 

These decision-makers set the stage for one of two things: either their geniuses or morons. There really won’t be a difference between the two.

If they’re geniuses, they saved countless lives. If they’re morons, they can still claim to have saved countless lives. There will be no way to prove either option. It’ll have to be a matter of faith. 

But without them feeling any of the financial pain inflicted on the country “for our own good,” it’s unlikely that they care. 

I’m not saying Dr. Anthony Fauci or Dr. Birx don’t care. I’m saying I don’t think they’re aware. I don’t remember either of them ever talking about the economic impact of the shutdown. They must know it’s happening. The President talks about it in front of them all the time, but they aren’t feeling it. No one in the White House is feeling it. No one in Congress is feeling it. No one in state governments is feeling it. They go to work everyday, or work from home everyday, and their checks show up as scheduled. They might field some phone calls from concerned citizens worried about being able to take care of themselves as their employers go under, but ultimately we’re just an abstract, a set of data entered into a model that has proven really bad at predicting anything remotely close to the reality of that day.

I’m not calling for government employees to see their checks stop. That’s symbolic garbage. I’m calling for lifting the foot of government off the neck of the economy, even just a little, to allow those willing to get back to work. The “light at the end of the tunnel” is only helpful if you’re moving towards it. Knowing it’s there as you’re choked into unconsciousness doesn’t help anyone.

Tiger King

After seeing people talking about it on social media for a while now, I surrendered and started watching this Netflix show. OK, I tried to watch this Netflix show. 

I figured it had to be something special, and I’d better watch it before what I saw online ruined whatever “surprise” it held. I got through most (I think) of the first episode. 

It’s a bunch of people with bad hair obsessing over wild animals. I love wild animals as much as anyone, but I also love taking a shower and brushing my teeth. I’ve never thought of those things as mutually exclusive. 

Maybe it gets better? Lord knows I’ll have the time, so I will give it another chance, but it’s more “laughing at someone else falling down the stairs” than it is interesting. At least so far.

Bribery and potty training

For all you parents of young kids out there trying to potty train them in the midst of a lockdown, bribery works. Well, it works for a while. 

The thing about trying to bribe a kid is you have to pay out when they comply. 

Some strategically purchased toys offered as incentives, as well as an M&M or two, worked for a few days as our two-year-old used the potty for the first time last Friday and the following two days. Then it’s been nothing. Trying, sure, I guess, but nothing. 

Lockdown limits our ability to promise anything tangible and two-year-olds only understand the tangible. The latest PJ Masks figure she completely understands, but where do you get those quickly? Helping her pay for college is less appealing to her than a toy, especially since Democrats will make it all “free” by the time she’s ready to go…perhaps literally too.

Stay sane to stay safe.

Derek Hunter is the host of a free daily podcast (subscribe!), host of a daily radio show on WCBM in Maryland, and author of the book, Outrage, INC., which exposes how liberals use fear and hatred to manipulate the masses. Follow him on Twitter at @DerekAHunter