The Thinker: Rich Galen


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Mullings by Rich Galen ®
An American Cyber-Column By Rich Galen
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I'm Sailin' Right Behind

Rich Galen

Monday March 30, 2020

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  • I need to get this off my chest.

  • You know my story. 73 years old. Heart disease. Diminished kidney function. Had bronchitis last Fall.

  • If I get COVID-19, I am in the highest risk cohort.

  • So, I'm trying very hard not to get it. I've been out of the house three times in the last four weeks - all to go grocery shopping. When I was out I went early to try and go when it was not likely to be crowded. I paid attention to where others were. Wiped down my basked (there were plenty of wipes at the front door, but I brought my own just in case). I wore a mask and gloves. Wiped the buttons where you put in your number. Didn't chat nearly as much with the checker as I have over the two decades I've shopped there.

  • And, I got out of the store as quickly as possible.

  • When I got home, my wife met me at the door to the garage, armed with bleach wipes. She took every item out of its bag, wiped it down, and put it into a long-held paper bag. I undressed and left my jeans, shirt, and jacket in the garage and changed into fresh clothes I had stashed there before I left.

  • I am taking this very seriously and you should, too.

  • I was texting with friends about all this over the weekend and the three that are local, at one time or another, have each offered to shop for us.

  • Yesterday, I thanked them all again and I got to thinking about what I believe is the best lyric in the history of pop music. It occurs in the third verse of Simon & Garfunkle's "Bridge over Troubled Water."

  • All around the U.S. younger people are offering to help seniors. My local American Legion Post sent out a call for retired "officers, non-coms, and soldiers" with any medical experience to volunteer to help out active duty and active reserve personnel.

  • We know about truck drivers delivering food and supplies to stores where staff are restocking empty shelves. Police, Fire Fighters, EMTs and all the other first responders are responding.

  • And, of course, the medical heroes there are no words.

  • Not everyone has the intellect and/or training to be a Dr. Anthony Fauci. He, in his New York accent, calmly contradicts Donald Trump almost on a daily basis by speaking as a scientist, not as a politician.

  • Either because of that, or in spite of that, he has gained the trust and esteem of a nation.

  • But, everyone can do something for someone else.

  • If you're over 60 years old, shopping for your friends is probably not the best idea, but if you are younger and bored, reaching out to pick up a few things for a neighbor might well brighten both of your days.

  • Yesterday a younger friend who lives nearby rang our doorbell. She stepped back as I opened the door and said she just needed to get out of the house for a walk and thought she'd check in.

  • I Tweeted that, other than my wife and grocery store people, she was the first person I'd spoken to face-to-face in three weeks.

  • Here's something we all can do. Go through your Contacts and look for people who you know live alone.

  • Send them a note. Or a text. Or call them.

  • If they're older maybe they need some milk or eggs and don't want to be a bother. Maybe they're frightened to risk their life for a six-pack of Coca Cola.

  • Maybe, they just want to hear a friendly voice; a voice that doesn't come out of the TV and doesn't require them to make a political calculation.

  • I'm not at all sure how well I would be doing if it were not for the Mullings Director of Standards & Practices and Missy the Cat.

  • The lyric?
    Oh, If you need a friend;
    I'm sailin' right behind.

  • We all have a friend who needs a friend.

  • Sail right behind.

  • On the Secret Decoder Ring page today: Dr. Anthony Fauci's bio and a link to a live performance of Simon & Garfunkle singing "Bridge over Troubled Water."

    The Mullfoto is some comic relief via our cat.

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