Country Folks Will Survive

By Beth Watkins

If you are reading this then congratulations, you are a 2020 survivor! The road ahead is still a little on the scary side. In fact, I wish someone would figure out how to turn the light back on at the end of the tunnel. The official mascot of 2020 was the racoon; always wears a mask, compulsively washes hands and if you rearrange the letters it spells corona.

It’s hard to predict, plan or look forward to the new year ahead. One thing is for sure, twenty years from now this country will be run by people who were homeschooled by day drinkers. I’ve seen the post “It may take a village to raise a child, but it will take a vineyard to homeschool one. In fact, I saw a woman scraping the “My Kid is a Terrific Student” sticker off the back of her minivan, I guess homeschooling isn’t going so well for her. Maybe when school does reopen parents will have a new appreciation for their children’s teachers.

Where did 2020 take a wrong turn? A bat snack in China rocked our world. In January there were seven coronavirus cases reported in the US, February twenty four cases, March one hundred, eighty eight thousand, seven hundred and twenty four cases were reported. That was when the line was drawn and the country shut down. We ran out of toilet paper, and hand sanitizer. Joe Exotic aka The Tiger King, was our largest source of entertainment. I don’t think it’s official yet but we all know; Carol Baskins killed her husband, whacked him and fed him to the tigers. Face masks became mandatory and political. Hypochondriacs have stopped stressing over their brain tumors, they are now convinced their Oklahoma allergies have morphed into covid and will surely die before this is over. Essentials went to work everyday. While non-essentials remained at home to work remotely, where pants were optional. The rest of the day they were trapped inside their homes, where they began planning renovations.  Your local lumber, hardware, appliance and gardening store became the only store in town where it was ok to gather, unofficially.

Common sense is treading new waters: People are outside in the fresh air walking down the street, wearing face masks. People driving alone in their cars are wearing face masks. People are wearing face masks on their chins. If I am in a tight group of people I will respectively wear my mask, out of courtesy. But I can’t handle wearing the mask for very long, I tend to hold my breath then I get light headed, that triggers anxiety, that triggers an instant headache, because of some other issues I have, so I go out of my way to avoid places where I have to wear a mask. My life is altered out of respect for others not out of fear

I am not making light of the pandemic. It’s seriously bad news to a lot of people. So is the flu. Maybe through it all we as a society will have developed a better sense of personal hygiene. Pre 2020 I really had to talk myself through buffets and arm myself with hand sanitizer at the table, but this year my favorite chinese food buffet supplies disposable gloves for trips to the food bar. I seriously was very impressed with the idea! But as I headed for the dessert bar, I spotted a guy wearing his gloves while gnawing on some chicken wings. I think he missed the point. Some restaurants require customers to wear a mask to enter the building, but upon arrival at your seat, it’s ok to remove your mask. Once you get to your table the invisible shield that surrounds each table is activated and you are safe to enjoy your meal and friendly conversation.  

No doubt 2020 was the most painful year of our lifetime. It seemed to touch every aspect of life as we know it. Fresh on my mind was how it affected some families holiday’s. It was suggested to limit gatherings to ten people. Funerals were allowed to host a group of thirty. I know some families spent the holidays having a funeral for their pet turkey, refreshments were provided. Bar’s must close at 11:00pm. Does the virus get stronger around midnight? Another thing that has me scratching my head are the three suggestions from the CDC for safe holiday family gatherings: 1) Avoid singing and shouting 2) Keep music levels down 3) Limit alcohol. Let’s decipher these points. Singing and shouting might put extra saliva into the air, saliva is a carrier for any type of virus, alright, I can buy that. Keep music levels down, well this is a stretch but maybe they are concerned with the song “Sweet Caroline” spilling into the air. We all know that touching hands, reaching out, touching me, touching you could spread the virus. Limit alcohol, honestly all kinds of communicable diseases have been spread where alcohol is poured freely, so we will count that one as a legit good idea, too!

 But seriously folks, let’s all have a little faith, and not live in fear. We were not created to live in fear but to live a full life. Let’s all raise a toast to a new year, where love knows no limits, where freedom is appreciated, where grace and mercy reign and world peace has been achieved. Let’s not look back at 2020, let’s keep our eyes looking forward and pray our country remains the greatest place to live. Here at the end of this dirt road, we will always be Christ following, gun toting, flag waving, country music listening, hardworking, essential country folks!