All this down time has given rise for all kinds of perspective and opinions from a new breed: The COVID crazies.
-Wear a mask. It’s a law. Somewhere.
-Don’t wear a mask. It’ll lead to breathing problems.
-Shelter in place. You need sunshine to annihilate the virus.
-Wash your hands. Eat toast with a fork.
-Don’t touch your face. Pop a pimple.
-Social distancing. Give hugs to everyone. Make them big meaningful hugs.
-Don’t forget to eat plenty of fiber. Hey, where’s all the toilet paper?
-There’s a food shortage. Let’s go to Giorgio’s and get BOGO pizzas.
-Don’t travel to China. Is there a ban on Chinese food? Even Moo Goo Gai Pan?
-Let’s go out to eat. I don’t want to sit near anyone.
-I want to go somewhere. Gee, I wish you would.
-How about I help you shave that awful beard? How sharp is that razor?
-If school doesn’t start back in August, I’ll see if Delta is really ready when I am. Don’t let the door hit you in the bottom when you leave for Hartsfield.
-Meatloaf again? We’re all out of Kraft Mac and Cheese.
-Who are the Braves playing tonight? Yes, the Indians in the 1995 World Series.
And on it goes.
Welcome to what I hope is not the new normal.
• • •
Here’s a random thought that I have shared with no one. Conspiracy theorists: get ready to be blown away.
Within a day or so of America going on vacation from normal life, all car manufacturers announced deals of 0% financing for 84 months. There were cute little taglines like “We’re all in this together,” or some other nonsense.
I am astute enough to know ad campaigns take a while. I’d love to be enlightened as to how were those slick professional ads written, filmed and distributed so quickly unless insiders knew about COVID-19 and what was behind Door No. 3.
I have yet to hear this theory floated about. The way it looks to me: The fix was in. It defies any sensible logic that those commercials had already been shot and printed materials distributed.
The car industry bigwigs knew this was coming.
• • •
Ethan Hankins, a first-round draft choice of the Cleveland Indians is living out a lifelong dream. At least he was. He helped Forsyth Central High School reach the state playoffs in each of his four years at the school.
These days he’s doing, in his words, “nothing.” Well, not really nothing. It’s more like finding creative ways to waste time. But how many Netflix shows can you watch?
Hankins has a million-dollar right arm. He’s been playing baseball before he could tie his shoes. Ethan pitched (and won) all over the globe, representing the United States in elite amateur events.
The Indians are in daily contact with their million-dollar investment, wanting to know how he’s feeling. There is a website that helps with a training regimen. So, he toils and trains in anonymity, waiting for that opportunity to once again, step onto a stage that will allow him to shine.
Once there was widespread fear that everyone could get sick, the Indians got everyone out of the Arizona training facility as fast as possible.
As far as starting up again, the future, at least for this year, is murky. The players are getting paid until May 31. After that, who knows?
When you have an arm that can throw a baseball 100 mph, you don’t just don’t play catch with friends one day, then go get paid to play the next.
After investing six months, working hard and dedicating himself to playing at a higher level, Hankins, as it stands now, is a casualty of the virus.
“I was ready to ball out this year.”
Here in Cumming, we were ready to watch you.
• • •
You haven’t heard of Oscar Molina. He lives in New Jersey and is a co-worker. He has constantly talked of his area being the epicenter. There’s not a lot happening in the Northeast. Stores are closed. Theaters dark. Streets deserted.
Oscar has plenty of vacation time. But where’s he going to go? We were commiserating and he imparted a spot-on parallel: “Remember when you used to put something on layaway? You’d show your friend the object your mom had put a dollar towards? You’d brag: ‘That’s mine.’”
“All your vacation time is on layaway.”
Oscar nailed that one.
Mike Tasos’ column is published every other weekend. Say a prayer that the virus doesn’t kill a young man’s baseball dreams as well. Comments can be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org. He is also on Facebook.