When I was kid growing up in northern Wisconsin, mom had a special way of admonishing me when I was up to no good.
And that was quite often.
"Don't call people nincompoops. It's not nice, and you'll catch pneumonia," she said sternly.
"Don't touch the furnace, you'll catch pneumonia."
"Don't tease the kitty, you'll catch pneumonia."
Seemed like I couldn't move without catching pneumonia.
Had I been a child during the pandemic, mom's SOP would have been slightly different.
"Stay in the house or you'll catch COVID."
"Don't throw your mask at people, you'll catch COVID."
"Don't put your mask on the kitty, you'll catch COVID, and so will she."
I did catch COVID — in early January. It was a mild case and to answer a question I'm sure many victims get, I DON'T KNOW WHO THE HELL GAVE IT TO ME.
Fortunately, this too passed. I had a runny nose and felt tired for several days. No big deal. The scariest and most annoying symptom was not being able to taste or smell food for about a week.
My good friends prepared what looked like delicious meals and delivered the food via my doorstep to me for several days. Too bad I couldn't taste it. They are great cooks. I'm useless in the kitchen. In fact, I probably caught COVID from eating my own culinary creations.
But Jan. 13 was a great day. I bit into an apple at about 10 a.m. and lo and behold, I could taste the juicy orb. Life is good.
Within the next several hours, I celebrated COVID recovery by gormandizing. I raided the kitchen cabinet and munched on every snack within eyesight. But I resisted temptation from popping open a beer. Still felt a little weak, and I didn't want to catch pneumonia. Mom taught me well.
Three days later, I went to a walk-in clinic, feeling much better and hoping a COVID test would be negative. The clinic staff, saying they were following the CDC guidelines, wouldn't test me. As best I could interpret their explanation, I could still test positive even though it had been 13 days since I had my first symptoms. On the bright side, the COVID antibodies in my system gave me some immunity.
So, the clinic staff said, I could end solitary confinement. Olly, olly, oxen free. There is a god! That evening his name was Bacchus. I had a couple of beers to celebrate and prepared to resume some normalcy in my life, such as walking with friends in a park and going to a grocery store to buy things that I could taste again.
On the down side, I've been advised not to get vaccinated for at least three months. That's because my COVID cooties, antibodies or whatever they are protecting me could interfere with the vaccine's effectiveness.
Oh, in case you want to know, I've decided against hiring a private investigator to help determine WHO THE HELL GAVE ME COVID or WHERE THE HELL DID I GET IT FROM. Because even if the PI cracks the case, I can't afford to hire an attorney to sue the person who gave it to me. And I bet many people won't confess to being virus spreaders. The nerve of them.
Of course, I'll continue to strive to practice social distancing and wear a mask wherever I'm at, except in front of my television.
That's because I get angry and throw my snot-filled masks at politicians on TV who rail against mask-wearing policies or call them unconstitutional. Not to worry, I wash or trash my masks after I throw them.
It's my house and my masks. I also reserve the right to call politicians who rail on television about mask policies SELFISH, INCURABLE NINCOMPOOPS.
That will learn 'em.