Above: There are reasons to keep hanging on! Photo by Alex Azabache on Unsplash

Life goes on. That is what we keep saying to ourselves. But I think we are all getting a little sideways these days.

COVID-19 wasn’t in the bag, yet we started acting as if it never existed. Crowds on July 4 completely ignored the distancing advice and, yes, they were kids, meaning the under-25 crowd — you know, the ones who will live forever.

They had to close the beaches again to keep the knuckleheads from congregating there. The information is out there, although I too am getting a bit tired of ABC-TV anchor David Muir’s over-the-top “Doom and Gloom Report of the Day.” (Another thing, David: sit back in the chair and do something about your 12th grade haircut! Am I too critical?)

Who thought we would get to this point when we are quite sure we are losing our collective noodles and becoming those weird uncles who used to show up uninvited at reunions?

“Hey Uncle Steve, what have you been up to?”

“Oh, nothing much. Quarantine and all, sitting around eating Tater Tots with Elvis.”

I, however, choose to think of this as an opportunity to be that guy: the unfiltered one who creates awkward moments with abrasive responses to simple questions; the guy who absolutely and unlimitedly will offer up his advice and then use the quarantine as an excuse.

It’s great! It worked so well that the guy who called me saying he’s been trying to reach me about my car’s extended warranty actually hung up on me!

I thought I would miss baseball more than I actually do. They canceled the minor-league season. I loved watching the minors. As far as the majors? Not interested. They whine too much and why pay all that money to see millionaires play?

What about all the social unrest? That’s a story for another day, but a piece of advice from me when I’m in uniform. Stop flipping me off!

It doesn’t hurt my feelings — in fact, it’s soothing. I have thick skin and been married twice. There is nothing you can say that has not been thrown at me dozens of times before.

And, while we’re on the topic, what in the world do you think will come of the talk of “defunding” police that has become so popular? You will feel the effects and you’re not going to like it. What do you think happens when they cut money from the police budget? Services are affected. Non-emergency calls just sit there, waiting for the next available officer, already backed up seven calls.

Any police call can turn dangerous, so the plan to send social workers on calls involving mental issues is a design to get someone killed. Any cop will tell you “normal” calls easily become violent. Believe me, it’s not the answer to the problem.

Still, I would like to wake up one day thinking the world isn’t slowly circling the drain.

I would like to hear national news that actually makes sense, decisions made on facts, not political agendas, and problems objectively addressed rather than sticking a Band-Aid on them hoping for another day for the problems to magically disappear.

And so, here we are, marching through the forest of the unknown, wearing our designer masks and wondering if those who do not are too vain or too lazy to consider it a small step to helping us stay alive. It isn’t too much to ask.

Still, with all that’s going on, we have a unique ability to adapt to the conditions, and that’s how we beat this coronavirus. Don’t jump from the bridge just yet because there’s a lot to live for — unless the cable goes out.

Then, you’d better make room for me.

Steve Rose

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