Living in a ‘stay at home’ world

By BEVERLY JOHNSON,

Hello Star Herald,

You asked for reports on how people are spending time in the “changed world” of Stay At Home.  Since I’m in the older age bracket about which one Facebook poster wrote, “the virus is rapidly killing ALL of them off,” I’ve undertaken a voluntary and strict stay at home with two exceptions. 

One exception is that I’ve been taking a weekly foray out into the infected world at a time when everyone else is in bed to buy a Star-Herald from the office rack. This involves wearing gloves and swabbing down the coin slot with Clorox wipes for double safety, and then letting the paper purify itself in the trunk of my car for a day or two before I read it.  The only thing truly timely in the print Star Herald is the coupons anyway, since I have an online account for timeliness. I’ve been letting the paper purify because the New England Journal of Medicine reported that the virus thrives on cardboard surfaces for as much as two days. I figured the Star Herald might be just as tasty to the virus even more than cardboard, especially if it loves colorful sports pictures. 

Secondly, I've been taking a joy ride on the pot hole riddled streets of Kosciusko to the post office, again long after hours, so I can retrieve my mail, also wearing gloves, and subjecting the mail to a day or two of purification in my car trunk before reading it. This foray allows me to sing a praiseworthy hymn to the new State lottery, because long before it sends a single dollar to our impoverished education system it will fix all our potholes and infrastructure as first priority.  Minds may be a terrible thing to waste, but so are car axles!

Oh, but I almost forgot a third exception, for my fan club readers at Kosciusko Water and Light, I also have poked my bill payment (swabbed down with alcohol for your safety) into the overnight slot, so I’ve missed seeing you this month.

As was announced, the Attala library is closed, but I managed to get a copy of Madeleine Albright’s Fascism: A Warning before it closed.  The 4,987 Attala citizens who voted for Trump in the last election would probably see no contemporary relevance in reading this book, but that’s fine as many people loved Mussolini as well. Mussolini is historically famous for getting the trains in Italy to run on time, just as Trump will be historically famous for delivering an overly ample supply of direly needed medical masks and Covid-19 virus test kits to health care workers on time.

Locked in, I’ve also tried some adventurous cooking.  I spent one afternoon trying to make an enormous can of Veg-All taste like something other than an enormous can of Veg-All. It finally worked by stirring in that secret ingredient in all Southern casseroles,  a can of Campbell soup, along with Panko bread crumbs, a few tablespoons of minced garlic, diced onion, and jack cheese. I also tried making bread with two year old flour and probably dead yeast, but in isolation you work with what you’ve got.  It helps to reflect meanwhile on all those old food stuffs people in “The Walking Dead” are still eating after 10 years!  The bread results required a special implement to enjoy [See accompanying picture]. Hacked up though and toasted it went well as croutons with “Clean Out The Refrigerator Social Isolation Soup.” Let me stop on the recipes though, as the Star Herald has an able columnist for that, as long as you have a hefty supply of white sugar hoarded at home, stocked along with your Charmin or whatever one-ply brand which even panic buyers shunned until it was the only choice.

Beverly E. Johnson

Kosciusko, MS