I have a lot I want to pass along and a limited space to do it. Makes me wish I had some sort of newspaper columnist shorthand I could use at times like this.
Like, I could print every fifth word and everyone could pick up what I am trying to say. And I do mean, “trying.” See, the printed word —my printed word (especially in this column) is never read the way I would say it.
Okay, wasting space here.
Let me introduce myself: My name is Ken Leinart. I’m a newspaperman. I have numerous people I love and who love me back. I love baseball. I have a quirky sense of humor and I believe Pearl Jam is the best rock and roll band. EVER.
And I am one of those “at risk” people. I have a heart condition, have had heart surgery, and if COVID-19 comes knocking on my door, I’m pretty sure it will kill me.
I’ll be a fatality, a number on a graph or chart, a stat — but not a cool stat like a baseball box score.
I’ll be like ... Dead.
Some people will remember me, some won’t. It doesn’t really matter.
All because I didn’t buy enough toilet paper. I have hand sanitizer out the wazoo — if you consider two bottles “Out the wazoo.”
But not enough toilet paper to make a coronavirus resistant fort. Color me dumb.
I do, however, have this guy. He sits in my window at work and he guides and protects me. He tells me to wash my hands — a lot. To use hand sanitizer when I can’t wash my hands (he prefers I wash my hands). And to not lick people on the face as a greeting.
He tells me to stop touching my face.
I tell him he should try it.
Wait, that sounded odd.
He should try to stop touching HIS face.
He says I should practice “social distancing,” which I’m pretty sure means no more hanging around on the corner with Guido and the gang.
And I was just learning how to snap my fingers and toss bottle caps against the curb.
He tells me to stay away from sick people. I wish I could tell all of my friends to do that. But I have friends who are health care professionals and emergency workers, first responders and law enforcement and I will not tell them how to do their jobs, like they won’t tell me how to do mine.
So I tell them to be safe.
Plead with them to be safe.
Excuse my French, but I very much take this COVID-19 disease thing pretty freaking seriously (and you know I want to say something other than “freaking”).
I’m not bowing to it. Life is too fun. Life is too precious.
So I don’t have time for conspiracy theories, political who-dun-its, political blame games, and/or bullcrap in general.
Please, please, please, look out for yourself, and look out for those who don’t have this guy sitting in their office window.
It doesn’t matter who’s president, who flubbed what, who is over-reacting, or who is under-reacting.
The bottom line is, we are Americans.
And by God, we look after everyone and we look out for each other. Otherwise we’d only be kidding ourselves that we are the greatest nation on Earth.
Not everyone has a Batman in their window to guide them and protect them, so let’s pull together and help those people out.