Seasoning Seniors for the Second Wave

As a kid, my mom taught me how to season food.

Standing in the kitchen, I watched and I learned.

My mother added salts or herbs or spices to the red meat, to the yellow poultry or to the white fish:

a sprinkle of salt;

a dash of paprika;

or a pinch of pepper.

As I nibbled on raw ground beef, I’d ask, “Mom, how do you know how much seasoning to shake on to the food?

“Well, I as a young girl, I learned how to cook by watching your grandma.”

“Mom, you were a good student. You know just the right amount of seasoning to enhance the flavor without over doing it.”

Mom smiled.

As an adult, I learned that nature seasons people just like Mom seasoned the flounder.

Nature or nature’s agents season our bodies with viral droplets:

a splattering of cough;

a spray of sneeze;

or a touch of doorknob.

As an adult, I learned that during the Revolutionary War, when the colonists talked about “seasoning,” they meant how their bodies had hardened to infectious diseases.

Diseases like malaria, yellow fever, dengue fever or smallpox.

Diseases that ravaged the 13 colonies as well as the rest of the world.

Colonists that were infected (most of them) and survived (not that many of them) were “seasoned.”

Today as our army of health-care providers have commenced fighting the second wave of infection in the coronavirus wars.

Combatants and noncombatants try to dodge the seasoned musket balls aimed at our lungs.

Fighting a pandemic in which the enemy uses biological warfare to kill—mainly the old—and weaken the rest of our herd.

But the elderly are unfit to be on the front lines.

With their lack of antibodies and weakened bodies, they cannot survive in the trenches until an immunization armistice.

They remain isolated in their dwellings, silently seeking solace through prayer.

In devout petitions to the Almighty they pray:

“Please inoculate us from helplessness, innocence, naivetĂ© and stupidity so we do not make the mistakes of the past.

On our knees, we chant, ‘We are here for you. We show our gratitude to you for the blessings you granted our flock.

Thanks for the bestowing us with strength, intelligence and love.

Today we ask for your forgiveness for our past transgressions.

For today we are in need and only ask one small favor.

Please during this pandemic protect our elderly and our weak who are most-at-risk.

Praise be thy name.

Amen.”

But the elderly know that prayers are not always speedily granted.

And they know that with time 70% of the population will get infected.

And they know that with a 70% infectious rate herd immunity kicks in.

But time has never been an ally of the elderly.

And the elderly hate and fear being compared to a group of animals.

A comparison that rings a bell.

Something to do with sheep.

Something to do with sheep being led to the slaughter.

And the elderly fear being slaughtered by a few droplets of seasoning.

 

About the Author
South Florida's Jewish short-story writer, speaker, film producer and retired attorney. He has authored, "A Hebraic Obsession", "The Hanukkah Bunny" and "The Greatest Gift." He produced an award-winning short film entitled, "The Stairs". Movie can be viewed on my TOI blog. Mort is a correspondent for the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel Jewish Journal.
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