Six Feet Apart

4 Apr

When I was growing up in Dallas, I learned a time-honored sentence
that described disdain and contempt: “I wouldn’t touch that with a 10
foot pole!”  I applied it to liver and onions and mincemeat pies.
Today the pole has been cut down to 6 feet.  “I wouldn’t come within
6 feet of him/her.”

And for good reason.  “Social distancing” used to be “keep your distance”
but now there is an urgency to distancing oneself from casual contact with
this deadly virus that people carry unknowingly.  Today my wife and I are
going to visit two friends who need some information on “streaming,” another
term that is a child of our era.  I don’t remember my parents ever asking our
neighbor: “How’s your streaming?”  If they had, the reply would have been, “Mind
your own business!”

When we arrive at their home, we will be ushered to the backyard patio
and to chairs that are spaced precisely 6 feet apart.  No hugs, no handshakes,
no elbow taps, only symbolic gestures that don’t feel nearly as good as the real
thing.  We’ll talk about the basics of streaming, me on my laptop and my friend
on his, and given the depth of our knowledge, we’ll probably end up with an
article written in Greek about what to feed your pet Yak.  Not a lot one can do
effectively at 6 feet apart.

But for all my grousing about social distancing, I am so grateful to the scientists,
researchers, health care providers, first-responders, and anyone else who has
placed the health and welfare of human kind above their own personal safety.
If you’re looking for a hero today, don’t go to Hollywood or to a professional
sports league.  Think about the EMT down the street in the fire house, or the
Emergency Room nurse, or the guy who drives thirty miles to deliver paper
towels and toilet paper to a homeless shelter.  Plenty of heroes to choose from.
Figure out a way today to express your appreciation for one of them, and take
time to thank God for their courage and willingness to step to the front of the line.

If we happen to see each other today at the grocery store, let’s agree to wave with a gloved hand, smile at each other, even though we won’t see it behind the
masks, and abide by the “6 foot rule” which I will determine with the
6 foot stick I carry everywhere I go.

Be at peace today.  It’s a lot better than the alternative.

One Response to “Six Feet Apart”

  1. gz April 4, 2020 at 12:59 pm #

    6 feet apart or 6 feet under.

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