Keep Calm and Stay on the Covid Course


I didn’t intend for the mashed potatoes to land in her mouth. 

But it was eleventh grade, we were joking around, and she – my best friend to this day – had landed a comic punch. Unwilling to let her have the last word, I scooped up the mashed potatoes that were already on the cafeteria table when we sat down to lunch. 

I threw the potatoes, my target the empty table over my friend’s left shoulder.  

I wasn’t exactly Babe Ruth pointing to center field because those potatoes landed square in her mouth. 

Now, trade out every “mashed potato” in that story for “coronavirus.” Kind of makes you sweat, doesn’t it? 

In the early days of the pandemic, we were all sweating. Then ennui set in. But everything is closing again, hospitals are filling up, and testing centers are overrun. It’s understandable to feel a little of that April panic. 

Fortunately, Jonathan Lai of The Philadelphia Inquirer shared some thoughts on navigating that panic.  

Lai suggests we start by finding what keeps us calm. For me it’s Jason Statham’s taut and constantly bare torso in The Meg. But you have to go with the torso that works for you. 

Next, Lai says we should remember the measures emphasized since the beginning of the pandemic. Wear a mask. Socially distance. Avoid gatherings. Wash your hands. Don’t touch your face. 

New data on the virus can be confusing, especially if it contradicts what we thought we knew. But this is the nature of science.

Man spent six million years thinking he’d been Earth’s only inhabitant. Dinosaur bones changed that thought. Had humanity been wrong up to that point? No. We just didn’t have all the information. 

The coronavirus is our twenty-first century dinosaur bone – we’re still learning about it. Information will change.

Reputable sites, like the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the National Institutes of Health, or the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health can keep you reliably up to date. 

You’ll also sound really smart on your Zoom Christmas when you start quoting Harvard scientists.  

Or your family will wish they could throw cold, old mashed potatoes at you. 

At least you’ll be in good company. 

Lai’s article can be found here

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