Everybody (Still) Has Cooties

During prehistoric times when I was a kid, there were no video games or interwebs; so we had to find creative ways to amuse ourselves. Often, games of tag were morphed into various forms. One such form was to tag someone as “it” and proclaim loudly that the person had cooties. “Aaaaggghhh!!! Kenny’s got cooties!!! Run!!!” And we would scatter like wild little animals to avoid becoming “it.”

There was a more serious (and even repulsive) meaning back in those days, as many adults of the time referred to head lice as cooties. However, it would seem that the childish notions eventually won out, as evidenced by the arrival of The Game of Cootie; which involved constructing a cootie from parts that were garnered via the rolling of a die. These days, to say that someone or some thing has cooties is a way of expressing a dislike or perhaps even disgust toward that person or thing.

Now here we are in the midst of a pandemic. People all over the globe are getting killed by this deadly virus called COVID-19. By now we’ve all heard the guidelines to prevent contracting and spreading the virus. Here in Michigan, our Governor drew sharp criticism for issuing executive orders to prevent a bad situation from becoming worse. Her willingness to make tough decisions based on scientific evidence has paid off: the rate of new disease cases has fallen dramatically. Things are looking better, and slowly but surely the state is opening back up.

My wife and I tuned our brains into all the precautions very early for two simple reasons: 1) she has a preexisting lung illness and 2) we are in the “high risk” age group (over 65). We still wear a mask when we go to the store; and diligently wash or sanitize our hands and other objects when we’ve been outside our home. We’re also very selective as to which other humans we allow into our home. If we are not completely confident that they are following the guidelines; we make sure we minimize contact or at the very least we maintain social distance.

My Beautiful Girlfriend (a.k.a. my wife) and our Beautiful Daughter are both nurses. They know how to stay safe; which means they know what’s OK and what’s not OK. It has only been recently that we were able to visit with our grandchildren. And even more recently, hugging was finally allowed (no smooches!!). We have a list of “safe people” which includes our son, daughter, son in law, grandchildren, and a very small number of friends.

Since the opening up of various businesses, etc. we have noticed an increased number of people who don’t wear masks. There are also gatherings that are taking place; some of which are not being very mindful of social distancing. While we’d love to join the fun and have everything return to normal; we are holding back and remaining cautious. My Beautiful Girlfriend has often referred to me as her “social butterfly.” I’m the one who welcomes new friends and new social situations. But this COVID-19 stuff is serious business. It would likely kill my Lovely Bride. Therefore, until we each get a proven vaccine; we’ll continue to assume that everyone still has cooties.

Hope all of you are well; and hope you stay safe. This is not a game!

Well OK, these videos are about games…