Yearning for a different kind of virus

Opinion: Columns

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By John Hubbuch

WARNING: What follows are the individual, non-expert thoughts of a 71-year-old male living in Oak Park, Illinois. Although I am pretty egotistical, I do not presume to tell anyone about anything. It is written, Sunday, April 5.

I do appreciate the concern that everyone has for old people like me during these troubled times. But trust me I have thought about death quite a bit as I have gotten older. I get it. I am more vulnerable to COVID-19, but then I am more vulnerable to heart disease, Alzheimer's, the flu, falling down the steps, etc., ad nauseum. Old people always are dying.

Don't feel sorry for me. I'm retired. I don't have kids living in my house. I do spend a lot of time in my basement watching TV, reading and listening to music. But then I did that before. I have discovered Don Julio tequila. It is excellent when paired with The Eagles.

I went with Marsha during senior hours to the River Forest Jewel. Big mistake. The place was jammed — with old people and those trying to game the system. Next time I'm going to encourage Marsha to grocery shop during non-senior hours.

Most afternoons we drive to a Kane or DuPage County Forest Preserve and walk around for an hour. Not bad. 

With no traffic you can get there in 30 minutes. Last Sunday we just drove up Michigan Avenue and down Lakeshore Drive. Piece of cake. As a kid the Sunday drive was a big deal. Just like it is now.

I have stopped watching the hysterical, anecdotal-driven TV news and internet. I get it: thousands of Illinoisans and hundreds of thousands of Americans are going to die; we should stay in our house; doctors and nurses have it tough; Trump is an idiot; things will get worse, then better; and poor New York is screwed. I do check the CDC and Illinois, Cook County and Oak Park websites from time to time. They are the source of all the data, which is then processed by the bias machines of choice. 

I don't think I'll wear a mask because: 

(1) I don't have the virus, 

(2) I stay 6 feet away, and 

(3) I'll look like a dork. 

I suppose if everybody is wearing them, I may have to, but if I do, I'm wearing a Guy Fawkes or Joker mask.

I do feel bad for single people without kids, parents or siblings in the area. It makes me more thankful for Marsha. Most of the time.

The worst part is I miss my grandkids. They are oblivious to these times, and are infected with the virus of optimism, love and happiness. This particular virus can be communicated by photos and FaceTime, and for that I am grateful. However, all studies show the best way to contract this virus is by contact: hugging and lap-sitting. I'll eventually be able to reduce social distance to zero inches. 

Can't wait to get it. 

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