Happily ever after...humph. It only exists in fairytales. No magic wands. No snapping your fingers to clean anything, and no talking to animals that can talk back. Oh and definitely no fairy godmothers. (I wish!) 

I thought about that after I placed a mask over my face and forced my hands into some gloves like I was in a zombie apocalypse movie. You know,  because even though the whole office had been fumigated, in the corner of my mind there was still a thought that that one freak germ could still be lurking somewhere in the crevices of a keyboard. I’ve only ever worn gloves to do yard work, and color my hair. 

Most everyone knows that we have been dealing with COVID cases here in the newspaper office. For those of us left to run this office, it has been quite a task. We social distance, wear our masks and run around like lost chickens trying to figure out our co-worker’s jobs while we too have our own daily items to worry about.  You think it won’t happen to you. And you think those masks and gloves are a load of crock. I’ve sat here in my desk for the last two weeks in complete dumfounded chaos building the classifieds and trying to help decipher sports, all the while trying to keep up our salespeople and their ads.  I’ve sat here wishing I had the spell that Merlin used to help Arthur clean the kitchen in The Sword and the Stone. And often maybe thought that Cinderella’s fairy godmother would pop out of my computer screen and grant me one wish. 

But this ain’t no fairytale. It’s real life. And real life took our office by storm. 

From experience, I can tell you to be prepared. Use those masks and gloves and wash your hands every moment you remember to do so. If you feel sick stay at home! Get tested. Trust me, if you don’t want huge cotton swabs shoved up your nostrils to touch your brain, its still a good idea to keep six feet away from people, and wear that darn mask. I’d rather eat a poison apple, or prick my finger on spindle. As I couldn’t find a place to get tested where I live, I went to a local chain pharmacy that has the testing available. The kicker to that test is you have to shove the swab up your own nose. Not too bad, but still doesn’t feel that great. (All negative by the way!)  It may seem bogus to you, but to me, it’s been a real life nightmare. I’ve sat in my living room watching the news and thought that COVID wouldn’t be something I’d have to deal with. And I am sure that if I was thinking that, then other people were too. I’ve still worn a mask and I’ve always washed my hands.  But now I’ve been dealing with it., not sick myself, but seeing others become ill.   We must continue to follow CDC guidelines, as a community, as a county as a state.  There’s no Harry Potter wand or magic fairy dust that can keep you from contracting any deadly virus. Don’t keep your head in the sand.

That carriage will still be a pumpkin after midnight, and those COVID tests will just keep piling up, while your happily ever after drifts farther and farther away. 

Ben Marmolejo-Najera is the graphic designer for The Henderson News. His email is © 2020, Henderson Newspapers Inc.

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