Do we need more drama in 2020?

Nope, I’m good, thank you.

At the onset of COVID-19, formerly known as the coronavirus, formerly known as “That Flu Thing,” we said, “Boy, those Chinese have a real problem over there.” Pretty soon it was, “Uh, oh, my trip to Italy doesn’t look so good,” and then, “No baseball? What the &#%$* is going on here??!!”

I have a great admiration for those nerds in school that wore the plaid shirts, pocket protectors, and geeky glasses, who went on to become the scientists, chemists and doctors who will save our fannies on this COVID-19 mess.

The pandemic also brought to light the fantastic job nurses, techs and other hospital staff do each day. They are truly deserving of our admiration and respect. Instead of going into what you already know, courtesy of the nightly media broadcasts of doom and gloom.

Let’s switch gears and look at … the upside?

First, masks. Who knew masks would be a thing? Designer masks? Of course. I can’t wait for the Oscars when Giuliana Rancic, covering the Red Carpet, asks, “Who did your mask?”

I hope they suggest that we all don lab coats so we can wear the mask, gloves and coats. We’ll all look like Doctor Kildare. (If you don’t know who that is, stop reading.)

Mask envy. Those looks you get at the grocery store when you strap on your disposable mask and have to stand six feet from the lady with the multi-colored, multi-designed custom mask she got online a week ago. Don’t think I didn’t notice the snobby look.

I have to be honest about the six-foot-distance thing. I like it. It eliminates the personal-space problem some people have. Some still do have it — the guy in your face, talking about whatever non-interesting topic he’s going off on. Now, instead of stretching your spine backwards to avoid it, you simply say “Six feet, pal.”

Elbow greeting? Jury is still out on that.

I will say that food delivery has picked it up a notch. Even those restaurants who once shunned delivery now embrace it and, happily, improved it. Thanks to food-delivery services, you have access to a $20 meal that now costs $45, but they bring it to you. Win, win. No need to change out of your sweats.

We need to prepare for the future. Depending on who you ask, in nine months I’m predicting an increase in babies, rehab and divorce. I’ve done numbers one and three, so…

What did we learn? I think we’ll all take hygiene and caution more seriously even after we overcome COVID-19. You cannot help but see how this could have severe — as in world-ending — effects if we don’t continue the work to prevent it, or the next one.

Growing up in the 1960s, we were taught the end of the world would be by nuclear devastation, but soon realized we’d survive it if we could just get under our school desks. Realistically, a pandemic a hundred times worse than COVID-19 is scary stuff and conceivably has the ability to wipe us out, desk or no desk, if we don’t do those little things each day.

That said, we need to remember that there are those who are using the pandemic for personal and illegal gain, so let’s not let our guard down. According to a USA Today article, the FTC reported that so far in 2020, COVID-19-related fraud has reached the $13 million mark.

Here are some of the scams that have surfaced during the COVID-19 pandemic:

  1. The sale of blood and (gross!) saliva from survivors to bolster your body against COVID-19. It’s a hoax. Don’t fall for it.
  2. Promising expedited stimulus checks. Don’t fall for the claim and don’t respond to unsolicited emails or calls from the IRS regarding the checks and tax. The IRS won’t call you or email you out of the blue to request your Social-Security number or other personal info. Don’t open these emails and don’t click on links associated with them.
  3. Fake checks. The tipoff is the requirement that you pay a small fee in order to cash the check, or that the sender will purposefully send a check for more than the intended amount, with instructions to deposit the check and then send the additional balance to a separate account.

Remember that being politely skeptical is a good quality, so scrutinize those emails. Also, remember that we will get past this mess, so wash your hands, clean your personal areas and, when you’re not feeling well, wear your Gucci mask.

And, for all you nerds out there, keep nerding. We need you.


Steve Rose

Steve Rose is a retired police captain and a contributing writer to Atlanta Senior Life.