How to do the wrong thing right

Who, last year, could have possibly guessed that we’d be back here, yet again — March Madness, Round 2: The Gleaning! Nevertheless, I hope everyone — despite our powerless bout with Antarctica a few weeks back, and the St. Paddy’s Day parade being canceled (again!) this year — are all warmly enjoying this wearin’-of-the-green month, for March 20 not only just happens to be the very first day of spring, it’s also The International Day of Happiness! How very apropos, too, because — yes, my mischievous leprechauns — the vaccines are here … at last!

Oh, roll me over in a bed of clover and cue a double rainbow! I don’t know who’s happier, me or the lone bumblebee buzzing about my miraculously salvaged lemon trees, now bursting into aromatic bloom (the lone survivors on my otherwise formerly Edenic, now desolately dead balcony). Welcome springtime; welcome 2021! So glad you made it!

Certainly the outbreak’s worst days are now behind us, albeit, the United States’ daily death rate remains resolutely moored at 1,500 (still exceeding last summer’s peak). With nary a single Republican vote, Biden just passed perhaps the single grandest piece of legislation since FDR’s New Deal. People’s individual $1,400 stimulus checks have already begun arriving! (One ponders if our congressional Republicans’ constituents plan to return theirs?) A sighing Nancy Pelosi, of her fellow “statesmen” across the aisle, drolly deadpanned, “Vote no and take the dough.”

All partisan pissing contests aside, let’s remember what that old cliché so provenly assuages: “A rising tide lifts all flotilla.” Hence, with the zephyr winds of a 70 percent public approval rating for his unprecedented $1.9 trillion COVID booster shot at Biden’s back, he’s now requiring all states to offer vaccinations to every adult by May 1. The anticipation of a “normal” life’s return by this summer is practically palpable.

One can almost taste the mask-free Fourth of July fireworks bursting in air! What an astonishing four-leaf clover’s find, indeed, is our new president’s stimulus package. His first televised address to the nation “centered on the thought that our divided nation did, finally, come together in a common cause — vaccines as the road to normalcy. From this, a glimmer of unity springs forth, as a still divided country seeks solace in millions of tiny jabs in the arm.” The two dates Biden gambles his best on are May 1, “when all adults in the United States will be eligible to receive a vaccine,” and July 4, “when American life might seem a little like it once was.”

How zestfully refreshing it is to be led by a president who actually relishes optimism over obfuscation! Wow!

Let’s just get all Easter Parade right to it, shall we?

Dear Howard: Man, I’m one lucky dude; I’ve had my shots already, both of ‘em! So just what are the rules nowadays for goin’ out in public, once vaccinated, especially when hangin’ around friends who aren’t
— Peter Cottontail

Dear Dick Powderpuff: Well, gurl, aren’t your bunny-trail droppings just glowing every hue of the rainbow! Unfortunately though, here’s the gray truth: Things really haven’t changed too radically much yet. CDC Director Dr. Rochelle Walensky recommends those fully vaccinated “to continue wearing well-fitted masks, avoid large gatherings and physically distance themselves from others when out in public.” (Yeah, I know—in other words, the same old, same old.)

Keep in mind, too, that a person isn’t considered “fully vaccinated” until two weeks after receiving his/her second dose of vaccine. And it’s still just March, with only about 9 percent of the U.S. population fully vaccinated so far. But, hey, look at where we all were only one year ago today. Our progress has been outright supersonic.

So, regarding all of your as yet unvaccinated friends, just ask them to be patient a little longer; their turn’s a coming; Or maybe tell them just dash into the CVS at midnight for some, oh, leftover St. Patrick’s Day discounted paraphernalia … who knows? They might just get lucky!

Dear Howard: Only the other day, after the governor said it was OK to take off our masks and return back to 100 percent normalcy, did I finally step outside my front door again, following a solid 11 months of not leaving my house even once. By the end of 2020, most all my friends had fallen away, one by one, until the only conversation I’d have was with either my dog or the Tom Thumb delivery guy. Howard, this was how I spent all of 2020: Just me and my dog (and my toys no one tells his mama about) bonding here in my little studio.I’m wondering, is this to be just the new norm? Broke, butt-plugged and boyfriend-less?
— Kacie Bann

Dear K.C. and The Sunshine Band: Well, talk about the unavoidable — whaddya know? Here I am again, back as usual to gaping buttholes — what a shocker! Listen, Sunshine, on the subject of seeking connections here in our new world order (and putting aside the idiotically reckless decision of Gov. Abbott), finding your way back from loneliness ain’t gonna be easy, especially if you’re only now emerging into this new spring sunshine after a full year of hermetically-sealed solitude. To quote Jean, a dear friend of mine from Alabama who forever radiated a childlike, all’s-well spirit of wondrous magnanimity: “Honeeeeeey! We’re all on the Titanic together. I hope you’ve got a raft!”

I’d love also to believe that by this summer’s Fourth of July celebrations, all the flotsam/jetsam reminders of “Rona’s” yearlong visit from hell will, like our former Oracle L’Orange himself, simply fade away into unlamented desuetude — the viral equivalency to, say, kale, quinoa or cronuts—in comic hindsight, merely laughable, undigestible piffle.

And on this tangent of gastroenterology, lest I forget, for any of you out there who are 40 or older, if you’ve not yet previously enjoyed the pleasure of a colonoscopy, then it’s high time you schedule one—NOW! March, after all, is National Colorectal Awareness Month. Colorectal cancer is the second leading cause of cancer death in the United States for men and women combined and yet the easiest to prevent. A simple colonoscopy every 10 years, trust me, will provide you blessed peace-of-mind:

That said, I’ll step down now from my soapbox. Y’all have a hippity-hoppity/bluebonnet-brimming happy Easter, everyone . . . chins up, guys, it’s almost over!

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