Woman making cookies at home

Shelbie Luce, 19, puts a sheet of sugar cookies into the oven as she bakes at her home Wednesday, Sept. 26, 2018, in Lehi. 

Though there are dozens of articles from as many angles in the media each day — the subject of COVID-19 is irresistible.

When the telephone rang in the middle of the night last night, I answered with a shrinking heart. Both Jeff’s and my mothers are in assisted living facilities. Our children are scattered over the country and we have a close-knit neighborhood.

It turned out that my mother had taken a spill in her bathroom and hurt her arm. It won’t need anything more than first aid, thank heavens.

But this incident is one more thing in what is creating a Twilight Zone-like sensation in us. The grocery store wasn’t crowded, though they were completely out of toilet paper and some other goods. I picked up three dozen eggs, my usual quantity, since they keep well. The checkout clerk said that there was a limit of two per customer. I realized that the store’s rationing is the reason there were any eggs to buy in the first place. I felt like a heel for wanting to buy more.

When our older kids were babies, we used cloth diapers. We were poor and disposable diapers were so unreliable that we never considered them. We wiped our babies’ bums with a washcloth and then washed the cloth. As far as I know, that technology still exists and will work well, even on adult bums if we run out of toilet paper.

Growing up, my family didn’t have much extra money. Mom made cookies or other treats from scratch. There are dozens of different types of cookie recipes. You’ll be astonished to find that most foods made from scratch taste far better than store-bought. We also have the benefit of the internet and can find recipes that use the ingredients we have. My favorite site is allrecipes.com because it’s free, easy to use and doesn’t have tons of obnoxious spam that comes with signing up.

Several of our neighbors have posted on social media that if there is anyone in need, they have plenty to share. The problem is sharing, however! As I have looked at the math, COVID-19 is spreading at an exponential rate and will continue at that rate unless people isolate themselves completely.

The reason that this version of the common cold is so alarming is that it is incredibly contagious. The little spikes on the surface of the virus are what gives it its name “corona,” meaning “crown.” The spikes are like Velcro hooks that attach themselves to the lining of the sinus, throat or eye. Once hooked in, they multiply fast and even spread by speaking or breathing. But it takes a long time for there to be enough of them to cause an immune response, if it ever does. Infected people can be both a virus factory and distribution system for weeks before they ever suspect they might be infected.

Here in America, we’re used to freedom. In many countries of the world, citizens would feel like they won the lottery if they could do and have what we do. We go wherever we want, whenever we want. We speak to whomever we want and we are used to buying a huge range of goods at will. Yet apparently this virus has no honor. It uses our freedom to promote itself.

The best way to defeat our common enemy, the coronavirus, is for each of us to use our freedom to choose to stay home. Our government has the ability to force us to stay home, but we don’t want to go there. We are still free to choose to each be part of the solution. Keep the kids home. Make do with whatever you have in your cupboards. Use good sanitation times ten. Assume that you and everyone in your family are already carriers.

Let us show our love of country, love of freedom, and love for fellow citizens by becoming part of the solution. The government can monitor the spread of the disease, but they have no control over the disease itself. They cannot protect us. Older folks should stay home and keep the grandkids and neighborhood friends away. Together, we can use our freedom to outwit this deadly enemy,

Only in America, God bless it!