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STELLPFLUG COLUMN: Remedial Living 101

STELLPFLUG COLUMN: Remedial Living 101

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The repairman called it a scamdemic and I dumped a word salad on him that would have impressed even the proverbial sailor.

My sister repeated the story of one person who was tested nine times and counted as nine cases and I straightened her out. An acquaintance I was on the phone with one day asked me about hospitals getting paid more for COVID-19 cases and that deaths from other causes were being reported as COVID-19 and I went through the roof.

When I regained composure, I assured her that she wasn’t to worry. People were indeed still dying of pancreatic cancer and suicide and heart attacks and car accidents and they were not being reported as COVID-19 so the hospitals could collect a tip.

That didn’t stop people from posting things on Facebook as ludicrous as, “Have you noticed since COVID-19 no one is dying of natural causes anymore?” No, I hadn’t noticed. I was too busy washing my hands and Zooming my grandchildren, who I couldn’t be with.

I did enjoy seeing the post that put it in the easiest terms to understand. “There are two reasons COVID-19 spreads: 1. The density of the population. 2. The density of the population.”

The refusal to believe the seriousness of this global virus scourging the planet continues to baffle me. At first, I was amused by the denial and the lack of trust. I too didn’t want it to be true. I wanted it to be over by Easter, Memorial Day, Fourth of July. I wanted to go to weddings and have family gatherings so I was hopeful and optimistic, but not delusional and contrary.

Now I am beside myself with frustration and sadness. Frustration with the amount of ignorance and carelessness displayed; and sad about the closing of schools, the businesses suffering, and the families devastated by loss. Now I am weary from arguing the value of masks, the need for social distancing, the urging of friends and neighbors to remain diligent through the holidays.

Politics got in the way. Discussions of personal freedoms clouded the issues. A spoiled populous used to doing what they want, when they want, with whom they want had no experience with working as a unit for the common good, delaying even the most obvious of cautionary behaviors. What part of overflowing hospitals don’t they understand?

For those who are now saying they didn’t know, I might ask what you’ve been smoking or what hole you’ve been living in. For those who just knew it would be over Nov. 3, might I remind you that this is a global pandemic and the entirety of the planet and its catastrophes are not all about an election in the United States.

Moving forward, and I pray that we will indeed be moving forward, and through this time of quarantine and isolation, I know that we will come out on the other side a better and stronger people. We will learn from this and build on it should another situation arise that requires unity and common sense.

There are a lot of short courses that last a year and award a certificate of completion or some sort of degree. We can look at this as a short course on Preventive Protocol and Cooperative Interaction. It includes health and hygiene. The syllabus also has units in home cooking, tutoring, and creative safe entertaining. It goes without saying that there are leadership skills involved and some public speaking and letter writing, and learning Zoom was a prerequisite.

Some of us haven’t done well the first two quarters. Passing grades are required to get out of this level of hell, I mean this course. Doing our homework, reading the required information and behaving on the playground, are all evaluated and included in the final grade.

The best part of it is, we can do it as a group. The group can work together, copy, and help each other along. Come on, everyone, we’ve got this. Please Please, I don’t want to fail and have to repeat this next year.

Kay Stellpflug is an educator and trainer in interpersonal and professional communications. She works and lives in Beaver Dam and can be reached at

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