I’ve been watching too much TV and reading too many spy books. As a result of media overload, I had a vivid nightmare last night. In the dream, we were sitting at the kitchen table enjoying a holiday meal with my family. My grandson starts the following conversation:
RJ – “Zadie, what was your favorite MRE (meals ready to eat) when you were growing up?”
Zadie – “When I was young, we didn’t have MREs!”
RJ – “If you didn’t have MREs, then what did you eat?”
Zadie – “We ate food. My mother always gave me my own 1 pound Porterhouse steak.”
RJ – “What’s a Porterhouse steak?”
Zadie – “Prior to Covid, we ate meat. The butcher would kill a cow and cut it into portion called steaks, roasts, hamburger, etc. Then we would cook it. It was phenomenal.”
RJ – “Why can’t we have steaks? What happened to the cows and butchers?”
Zadie – “It’s a long story. The Covid virus killed hundreds of thousands of people. People thought Covid was a joke, so they ignored it. As the virus spread, it mutated and attacked other species. Your Bubbie and I practiced “shelter in place” rules and mostly withdrew from society. Because we took it seriously, we are all alive today to enjoy this holiday meal with you. We’ve grown to love the MREs almost as much as steak.”
Bubbie – “Riley, it’s time to ask your 4 questions. Did you memorize them?”
RJ – “Do I have to? OK. Why is this night different from all other nights? Why do we mask and glove on all other nights but tonight we shed our masks and feast on cooked food rather than MREs? Why didn’t everybody listen to the scientist and shelter in place? What’s a grocery store?”
Zadie – “Well, RJ, those aren’t quite the questions I expected but I’ll answer them. First, a grocery store was a wonderful place where you could walk around and pick up all kinds of wonderful foods; meats, vegetables, fruits, fish, chicken, and many more things. They were relatively cheap, so you filled a cart full of goodies and took them home to eat them. Zadie was 100 pounds fatter during those years.”
RJ- “What does fat mean?”
Zadie – “That’s a topic for a later discussion. What’s truly important is teaching you why people didn’t listen to the government and authorities. During the first Covid Pandemic, the internet and journalists filled everyone with fear, rumors and conjectures. The governments of the world put everyone in isolation, and it worked for a while. When things looked better, the people, bored and broken by being isolated, rebelled and the government caved to their wishes. Isolation rules were lifted and, eventually, the virus came back with a vengeance.”
RJ – “Would things have been different had we stayed in isolation longer?”
Zadie – “I think so. Look at us, we’re the healthiest people around. By the way, Bubbie bought you guys new masks. They’re N100 with all the latest tech built in. They even function as cell phones so you don’t have to touch anything. I almost forgot to ask. Are your new body gloves comfortable?
So, is it a nightmare or a glimpse into the future? As for Renee and me, we will continue to keep a distance between us and the rest of the world. We’ll mask, wash our hands frequently and wait for the vaccine.
Have you seen the price of MREs? They are skyrocketing! I suspect others have had similar nightmares. As America opens for business, let’s not forget to be cautious and never underestimate Covid’s fury!