Coronavirus Clarity

Many of you may be confused about the procedures to follow during the coronavirus pandemic.  Thankfully, FOAF (friend of a friend) has mercifully given us the clear, official coronavirus guidelines.

Follow. Them. Exactly.

Coronavirus clarity2


  1. Basically, you can’t leave the house for any reason, but if you have to, then you can.
  2. Masks are useless. But they will protect you. They can save you, no they can’t. They’re useless, but wear one anyway. Now they’re mandatory. Maybe. Or maybe not.
  3. Stores are closed, except for the ones that are open.
  4. You should not go to the hospital unless you have to go there. Stay out of the ER at all costs unless you’re having a medical emergency. Then it’s okay.
  5. This virus is deadly but still not too scary, except that sometimes it actually leads to a global disaster. Stay calm.
  6. There is no shortage of groceries in the supermarket, but there are many things missing when you go there in the evening, but not in the morning. Sometimes.
  7. The virus has no effect on children except those it has affected or will affect.
  8. Animals are not affected, but there is still a cat that tested positive in Belgium in February when no one had been tested yet, and a tiger – and one really deadly but also possibly fictional but very sick bat.
  9. You will have many symptoms when you are sick, but you can also get sick without symptoms, have symptoms without being sick, or be contagious without having symptoms.
  10. In order not to get sick, you have to eat well and exercise, but also never go out to the grocery store so eat shelf stable processed crap and stay inside your four walls but also stay healthy.
  11. It’s better to get some fresh air, but you may be arrested if you’re getting fresh air the wrong way and most importantly, don’t go to a park because the fresh air there is deadly.
  12. Under no circumstances should you go to retirement homes, but if you have to take care of the elderly and bring them food and medication then fine. Just wear gloves. The same ones. All day.
  13. You can get restaurant food delivered to the house, which may have been prepared by people who didn’t wear masks or gloves. But you have to leave your groceries outside for 3 hours to be decontaminated by the fresh air that also may have virus particles floating around in it. Or you can wipe your groceries with Lysol. But not the food because that will make you sick. No, it’s totally unnecessary to wipe the groceries. Even though the virus can stay on cardboard for 24 hours. Also, you can’t get the virus from eating food with contagions on it. But you can get it by putting it in your mouth. Wait. What?
  14. Taxi drivers are immune to the virus apparently since you can still take a taxi ride with a random taxi driver. Just don’t take the taxi to your mom’s house because you know. Stay away from your mom.
  15. You can walk around with a friend if you stay six feet apart but don’t visit with your family if they don’t live under the same roof as you. Even if you’ve all been locked inside for two months already. You may still have the virus and just not know it yet. You’ll find out. Wait another week. Wasn’t that already a week? Might be the next one. Keep waiting.
  16. You are safe if you maintain the appropriate social distance, but you can’t go out with friends or strangers at the safe social distance. Social distancing means you shouldn’t leave your house and don’t be social, except you may go to the liquor store but don’t socialize there while you’re being socially distant.
  17. The virus remains active on different surfaces for two hours, no, four, no, six, no, we didn’t say hours, maybe days? But it takes a damp environment. Oh no, not necessarily.
  18. The virus stays in the air – well no, or yes, maybe, especially in a closed room, in one hour a sick person can infect ten, so if it falls, all our children were already infected at school before it was closed. But remember, if you stay at the recommended social distance, however, in certain circumstances you should maintain a greater distance, which, studies show, the virus can travel further, maybe.
  19. If you have symptoms, call to book a diagnostic test. We will hear your symptoms on the phone and if you are eligible for a test, you don’t need the test. Assume you have it and quarantine for two weeks. If you don’t have symptoms, you are ineligible for the test. Quarantine for two weeks or better yet until we lift restrictions, which may be in a week, a month or six months. Also, whoever wants a test can get a test.
  20. Wash your hands. There are no statistics whatever about whether this matters but you might as well.
  21. We count the number of deaths but we don’t know how many people are infected as we have only tested so far those who were “almost dead” to find out if that’s what they will die of.
  22. The virus will only disappear if we achieve collective/herd immunity… but stay inside until the virus disappears because we have no immunity.

Any questions?

The Minot Misery

; Novellas of Broken Romance.

[With thanks and apologies to Carrie Rubin.  Carrie, please don’t wish a plague on me.  Read more here about Carrie Rubin’s new novel The Seneca Scourge.]


Chicken feed.  People always laughed when Ben Johnson told them he worked for chicken feed.  That’s what he did: deliver chicken, hog and cattle feed to farmers and ranchers on over a thousand miles of land in the Plains States, mainly the Dakotas.  Yeah, it brought a smile to their faces when he told them but, right now, Ben’s face wore a grimace of pain.  He was focused on getting back to Minot, his home, as quickly as his truck and this damned case of the trots would let him.  What the hell had he eaten to give him something this god-awful?  He squirmed uneasily in his seat as his belly and guts rebelled for the umpteenth time.  He could not get to Minot’s Walter E. Feckle Emergency Clinic soon enough.

The Walter E. Feckle Emergency Clinic sat unobtrusively in a one story building off Second Avenue in downtown Minot, next to the “Why Not Minot?” billboard erected by some civic-minded citizens a few years back.  Walter E. Feckle, a successful plains farmer had, many years ago, used his fortune to create the small clinic that bore his name and had funded positions for its small staff of doctors, including one for blood relatives, like his great-grand daughter, Dr. Beverly Baudot.

Beverly Baudot was the spitting image of Reese Witherspoon in Legally Blonde, except not as smart.  The good graces of family connections had gotten her a position at the clinic after a number of less than stellar performances at more recognized centers elsewhere.  Beverly tried to make up in enthusiasm what she lacked in professional knowledge.  Fortunately the clinic was also staffed by other physicians whose skill and professionalism attempted to cover any discrepancies caused by Beverly’s presence.  The head of staff was the handsome but aloof Dr. Brad Zilfer, a Christian Slater look-alike, who Beverly admired and lusted after.

It was the handsome Dr. Zilfer who walked in on Beverly and her patient, Ben Johnson, as Beverly, wanting to impress Dr. Zilfer, explained the results of her tests.  Ben Johnson wore an expression of both concern and pain on his face as his listened to Beverly’s prognosis.

“Yes, it says here on page 178 that all such occurrences should be treated with some antibiotics as well as …”

Dr. Zilfer interrupted with incredulity: “Page 178 of WHAT?!  Are you using a novel to treat this patient?!”

Beverly, startled, responded: “Why, yes, they come in quite handy and this one, The Seneca Scourge by Carrie Rubin, is very well researched and written.”

Dr. Zilfer’s eyes grew large like a two ripe melons.  “You realize that it is a book of fiction and, however well written, cannot be used to diagnose a patient.”

Beverly retorted “But its medical topics, especially with regards to pathogens, are as good a job of medical research as you can find.  Besides, it’s so much more interesting than a boring medical journal.”

“Dr. Baudot,” Brad became formal in his indignation, “we are physicians, not fiction readers.  We can’t have our patients believing that we get all our information from dime store novels.”

“But I told you, it’s NOT a dime store novel.  It’s a well-written and well-structured book that explains exactly how a pandemic occurs.”

“Pandemic!”  Dr. Zilfer nearly jumped out of his uniform, “We are dealing with a bad case of diarrhea, not a pandemic!  Do you realize what alarms you could raise if you start spreading the word that we have a pandemic on our hands?  We had enough trouble last month when you misdiagnosed that case of measles and we had half the town thinking that we had a breakout of cholera.”

Beverly sighed.  This was probably not the best moment to tell Dr. Zilfer about her reliance on Diseases for Dummies.  She could have prevented her mistake if only The Seneca Scourge had been in print a month earlier.  She hoped Carrie Rubin would be starting her next book soon.


Read more here about Carrie Rubin’s new novel The Seneca Scourge.]