Coping with Covid-19
The PubScout counts his blessings and reminisces about the good old days before the pandemic.
Full disclosure here, folks — and I trust the authorities of the local constabulary will not be hunting me down as an unrepentant bio-terrorist.
Generally speaking, this pandemic — and the governmental responses to it (some of which are weird, quite honestly) — has not materially impacted my life.
I still eat daily, shower weekly (now, with no guests to see), drink a good beer daily and watch Ozark, Tiger King and an unbelievable show called The Whites of West Virginia, or some such thing. All three of these shows are proof that the lives of some others are far more screwed up than yours, even with this pandemic, and that’s a consolation.
Oh, I’m following some of the guidelines — at least the ones that make sense, anyway. Like keeping a safe distance from others, coughing into my elbow crotch and disinfecting my hands after contact with public surfaces like gas pumps, groceries on the shelf and any recently released criminals.
I’m healthy, the missus is healthy and our children, dispersed across the Eastern Seaboard, are all healthy — including the ones from New Jersey, where the Governor recently — and bizarrely — dressed up as the Easter Bunny and HOPPED into one of his hourly updates. That his wife was seated next to him dressed in a bunny outfit (NOT the Playboy kind) only added to the surrealness of the scene. But that’s Jersey today.
I also get out on my motorcycle EVERY day that this beautiful southeastern Brunswick County weather permits. I wear a helmet, but no mask, as I’m confident no virus can catch me at 60 mph. My teeth, however, have screened an occasional winged Carolina insect from invading my pharynx.
I miss the camaraderie of interacting directly with friends, but as I said, my life has not been materially impacted in a negative way. Except for one.
One of life’s great joys for this biker geezer has been to throw 100 miles or so on my Iron Horse, then find a nice, cool Wilmington, Hampstead, Surf City, Leland, Southport or Myrtle Beach pub in which to order a lunch, enjoy a couple of good beers and chat with the local proprietors. I’m not called The PubScout for nothing.
But that libation/victual respite also allowed me to rest this aging body from the rigors of the road, which in turn, allowed me to throw another 50 to 100 miles on the odometer on the way home. (Which may account for why that instrument has 109,000 miles on it after just 10 years.)
Without that break, the old body starts to suggest that maybe 100 to 125 miles is all I should accrue on any given day. It’s still wind therapy, of course, and very much needed in these strange times. So, I return home after a “knees-in-the-breeze” session to enjoy my beer in the comfort and safety of my home.
It’s good, of course, but it’s not the same as sitting at a bar in a cool, dark pub like the Pub at Southport while chatting up the barman or bar gal who draws my draft. Or sitting in a brewpub like Skytown with those gleaming mash tuns full of liquid gold. Or sampling a variety of deliciousness in a beer emporium like POUR Taproom in Wilmington.
No. This pandemic has certainly and sadly impacted the lives of others — many in a far more negative way than it has impacted me and mine. For that I am thankful, and for those who have suffered, either with the disease or by losing someone because of it, I raise a pint in heartfelt sympathy.
But I can’t wait to raise those pints in places outside my home again and soon.
Because I miss my favorite hot dogs at Speedy Weenie in Shallotte, too.