Thinking Out Loud
Living in times of the coronavirus
Capital City Today
By: S.L. Frisbie, IV for Polk News-Sun
When I first heard the word “quarantine” around the middle of March, my reaction was similar to when I heard the word “assassination” on Nov. 22, 1963.
Presidents are no longer assassinated, I told myself. Lincoln, Garfield, and McKinley. Every kid who passed ninth grade social studies knew the names of the only three United States presidents who had been assassinated, and it was implicit that with those three murders, “assassination” had been retired from our lexicon.
“Quarantine” was sort of like that. We knew that in the history of the nation, there had been infrequent occasions when medical science could not control a pandemic (another word retired from everyday usage) but we knew that medical science had made quarantines a thing of the past.
My next thought was that I had to be sure to tell my grandchildren about this unreal development during their grandparents’ lives. Then I realized that three of my six grandchildren are teenagers, and can keep the memories alive for their younger siblings and cousins.
So share with me a few reflections on how this “life as we never thought it would be” has unfolded.
(S. L. Frisbie is retired, both from journalism and from the Florida National Guard. A month or so before his Guard retirement in 1995, he went through a shot line, getting immunized against most of the diseases known to mankind. The last station was a flu shot, the only one that was optional. He told the doctor in charge that he would pass on the flu shot “because I have a reaction to them.” “Colonel,” the doc said, “if you get the flu, you’ll wish you had gotten the reaction.” “Okay,” he replied, “hit me one more time.” That year, every member of his family and every member of his newspaper staff except for him came down with the flu. From that year to this, he has gotten a flu shot every year.)
Reprinted with permission from Polk News-Sun