I don’t anticipate much humor in what I’m writing today. But, who knows? Sometimes I surprise myself. Maybe I’ll surprise myself right now and end the suspense.

A few smiles for the times we’re living in that I stole off the web:

1) “Due to the quarantine… I’ll only be telling inside jokes.”

2) “I’ll tell you a coronavirus joke now, but you’ll have to wait two weeks to see if you got it.”

3) “What do you tell yourself when you wake up late for work and realize you have a fever? Self, I so late.”

4) “Finland just closed its borders. You know what that means. No one will be crossing the finish line.”

5 “I ran out of toilet paper and had to start using old newspapers. Times are rough.”

6) Why do they call it the novel Coronavirus? It’s a long story…”

So… What’s been on my mind? Confusion has been on my mind. Life is getting weirder and weirder. I hear a phrase publicized and repeated over and over: “We’re all in this together.”

It’s true in a way. We all have to deal with the restrictions that our governmental agencies have put into place. They’re the same restrictions and guidelines for everyone. But, people are treating them differently.

Some believe that the restrictions and recommendations are legitimate and should be followed. And others, a rising number, it would seem, think that it’s time to “reclaim their freedom.” Some of these folks are hoisting up “Don’t Tread on Me” flags and defying governmental orders.

You’ve seen these “rebels” on television. Social distancing? Boloney! Full speed ahead with life. Some business owners have pushed the limits and are opening completely back to normal despite threats from government.

Various people in my own circle of friends and family have various viewpoints on how life should be lived right now. I’ve been in a couple of situations where I’ve looked like the odd, paranoid, wacky, old guy because I didn’t join in with hand shaking and up close and personal conversation. I guess the reason I don’t join in yet with that is because I’m an odd, paranoid, wacky, old guy.

I don’t know exactly what’s right or wrong in how we should be approaching the COVID-19 problem. Events continue to be cancelled as time goes on, including my 50-year high school reunion in Richfield. The plan now is to have a 50+1 reunion next year. Some of us have taken a “solemn pledge” on Facebook to do our utmost to stay alive until July 2021.

There are people who believe that the corona virus has originated in some sort of conspiracy situation. Some say that it’s not real. I don’t know. Maybe I’ll adopt one of the many theories and end my confusion.

The internet is rampant with conspiracy theories. One says that Bill Gates is involved. Some say that he wants to vaccinate the world’s population and implant digital microchips.

Another theory is that COVID-19 was created as a biological weapon. Then there’s the one that purports that 5G cell phone networks spread the disease. That seems really “out there” to me. Even so, there have been people attempt to set fire to cellphone towers because of it. There are lots of theories out there.

The whole situation is driving me bats. And, of course, bats may play into the COVID-19 story. According to the National Park Service, there are 1,300 species of bats around the world. A similar virus to COVID-19 has been found in Horseshoe Bats in China, but the true origin of the virus is still unknown according to the NPS website. None of the 47 species of bats in the national park system has been found to carry a similar virus.

What I’m hoping for right now, I guess, is that we cut each other some slack. I hope that we can be patient with each other’s theories. We need to try to respect each other’s way of dealing with life right now. Let’s be civil in a civilized society.

Speaking of being civilized, I’m reminded of Ira Byock, a physician, who has written books about quality of life and “dying well.” He related the following little story about the late Margaret Mead, who was famous when I was in college.

“Years ago, anthropologist Margaret Mead was asked by a student what she considered to be the first sign of civilization in a culture. The student expected Mead to talk about fishhooks or clay pots or grinding stones.

But no. Mead said that the first sign of civilization in an ancient culture was a femur (thighbone) that had been broken and then healed. Mead explained that in the animal kingdom, if you break your leg, you die. You cannot run from danger, get to the river for a drink or hunt for food. You are meat for prowling beasts. No animal survives a broken leg long enough for the bone to heal.

A broken femur that has healed is evidence that someone has taken time to stay with the one who fell, has bound up the wound, has carried the person to safety and has tended the person through recovery. Helping someone else through difficulty is where civilization starts, Mead said. “We are at our best when we serve others. Be civilized.”

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