Most of the time, Goldie, our five-year old Catahoula mix puppy, is pleasant to walk with. Except for today. Every possible distraction was more interesting to her than what we were to do there, that is get some exercise and go retrieve the mail and obviously bring it back home. Not today. One time we were just innocently walking by a parked car and Goldie breaks into a barking fit, along with pulling and tugging on the leash. Catahoula’s are powerful dogs and trying to dissuade her from her unseen prey required most all of my age-diminished strength to pull her away.
In fact, this happened several times: first with a squirrel, then with a child on a scooter, and a motorcycle, which drives her crazy. So, instead of a pleasant walk to get some much-needed exercise in these days of self-quarantining due to the COVID19 virus, it was a struggle to control my dog’s appetites and desires.
Then it hit me. That’s exactly what’s happening to the general population as we seek to navigate the dangerous waters of this coronavirus landscape we all now inhabit. The world is awash in equal parts facts and misinformation. It seems the government was totally taken by surprise, even though scientists have warned since the last pandemic that something like this was coming and would not only be around for a while, it would come back with increased severity, until we figure out a vaccine that will cure it.
I have great hope that we will find a cure, but our leaders in Washington aren’t helping. It seems President Trump, and to a lesser degree, Vice President Pence seem to change their tune almost daily. They seem finally to be taking this threat seriously.
And I can say it hasn’t come soon enough. The more TV news I watch, the more news magazines I read, the more I talk with people who all have a different piece of information or dire prediction, the more I’m feeling my head will explode.
So, the only solution, although I know it’s a decision Goldie won’t appreciate, is to just stay inside and wait the darn thing out. Some say it will be eight weeks. Some say it will be until the end of March. But really, the truth is, no one knows. And I know I can’t keep Goldie all cooped up just because I want to keep my arms in my sockets and my head on my shoulders. Just when you’re out and about, please keep an eye out for a dog and a guy who’s being pulled every which way.
Mark W. Stoub, who lives in Kyle, is an award winning author two novels: “Blood Under the Altar,” and “The Fifth Trumpet: Fire in the Blood”