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Coronavirus: We can weather this storm

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There are a lot of you out there who could use some levity.

The events of the last week or so have whipped this country into a frenzy not seen in a very long time. Some folks believe it will blow over in a few weeks and others think it’s the apocalypse.

I certainly don’t think it is the apocalypse, but I am actually taking it seriously. I do believe that we will see things return to something close to what we are used to very shortly. There are a lot of inconveniences — minor for some, life-altering for others. We need to do everything we can as a people to look out for each and every one.

I have talked in this column many times about our “instant society” and how a lot of people have forgotten simplicity and traded it for convenience. I know that sounds contradictory, so let me explain.

Sometimes, simplicity is not convenient. My wife and I were in the supermarket looking at the bread aisle and noticed there was no sliced bread. We bought a few of those rolled French loaves from the cooler section — you know, the ones in the cardboard tubes that make a big popping sound when you crack them open. You put them on a cookie sheet and in a short while, you have bread.

This is not rocket science, but it seemingly is lost on the average consumer who absolutely has to use a judo chop to get the last loaf of Wonder Bread.

Most homes have the makings for a lot of things already in them. What they don’t have is someone willing to take the time to make them. Decades ago, we did not have these conveniences. We did not go hungry.

Today, I heard where a major bank was closing branches for a month. This is not a catastrophe. What this simply means is person-to-person interaction is being stopped for a short while. You can use an ATM or bank online. All this means is you can’t go into the branch, make small talk and get a stale green lollipop.

Your money is fine. Your money is safe. This is not cause for you to go to the branch, as someone was reported as doing, and try to withdraw $400,000 from a teller. That, friends, is ridiculous.

I have read that people who did not want anything to do with guns are now frantically buying them, thinking that something dire is going to happen. I am a gun owner and have been for many years. I do not and have never thought that some sort of global conflict was coming and I would be fighting in the streets. What scares me is someone who has purchased their first and only firearm out of panic shooting someone because they took the last roll of Charmin from the Piggly Wiggly.

I don’t have much to say this week. I go to work and I come home. I did this before they had suggested we utilize “social distance.” I use social distance all the time and have for years. I like being at home and don’t like being out with a lot of people. It works for me and might just work for you.

Folks, don’t panic. Calm down. As a teacher I once knew said, “Slow your roll.”

Read books. Spend time with your family. When we are back to normal, help those who were dealt a bad hand with their jobs during the slowdown.

If you go to church, pray. If you aren’t particularly religious, do whatever it is that you do to weather storms.

There is strength in numbers and we are not alone. We’ve got this.

Joe Weaver, a native of Baltimore, is a husband, father, pawnbroker and gun collector. From his home in New Bern, he writes on the lighter side of family life.