A Conservative Estimate
by Dereama Sherrill
Well howdy, y'all!
Allow me to express how pleased I am to join this nascent enterprise. I look forward to watching it grow like the line waiting for hair color when we're finally released from our pandemic purgatory. So let's get the unpleasantness out of the way:
I'm a conservative. That's right, I said it. But before the death threats start coming in, I hasten to add the following: I'm a very nice person. I'm pleasant and friendly. I have friends, even liberal friends. People like me.
Contrary to popular belief, I am not the spawn of Satan; a deplorable; or a racist/sexist/bigot/homophobe. I do not own a Nazi flag, a Confederate flag, a copy of Mein Kampf, a Klan hood or a gun - and I do not live in a trailer park, unless that's what you like to call Green Hills.
I like Starbucks coffee (French Roast, if you please;) Quentin Tarantino, Mel Brooks and Monty Python movies; Jeni's ice cream, old-school country music and Downton Abbey. I'm not a NASCAR fan, and not even that big on SEC football. But yes, I DO believe Carole Baskin murdered her husband and fed his lying carcass to the tigers.
I also like the Constitution, low taxes, a strong economy with plentiful jobs, a strong military, and freedom. I respect those who disagree with me, and do not care to get into a fist-fight over a difference of opinion - although I don't mind the occasional squirt-gun altercation or pie-fight. (If y'all haven't tried the Honeycrisp Apple lattice-crust pie at Kroger, go on - treat yourself.) Believe it or not, there are more than a few other Nashvillians who are just like me, although not nearly as cool and trendy.
Alrighty then - now that we've got that settled - how about this quarantine, huh?
Thankfully, my way of life has hardly been affected. I have a home office, so I've been able to continue working, which has kept me from wishing I had a third-floor window and a parachute. However, I'm very concerned for all those who need - but are unable - to work, and the small businesses that may never recover. I mourn the loss of life, especially after witnessing a good friend who contracted Covid-19 have a pretty rough time (and is thankfully now recovering.) I empathize with both sides of the "open/don't open" debate; while my livelihood hasn't been impacted, I'm an at-risk senior citizen who has gone two rounds with the Big C and come out the other side. I've got skin in the game.
I worry for the health of the country's economy, especially all the job losses, yet I get why so many are fearful to venture out, with an evil force lurking that attacks victims with no consistent rhyme or reason. However, I am in favor of the gradual easing of restrictions, as long as adequate precautions are implemented. Maybe it's just me, but I don't think someone should be arrested for walking outside alone with nobody else around; be prohibited from buying seeds and garden supplies; or banned from traveling to their vacation home, via government fiat. That sort of thing dings my freedom score-card. And unless I've missed something, no one or no business is going to be forced to open or emerge from hiding unless and until they're ready to do so.
The most frustrating thing for me is that there's no manual or handbook for something like this. I don't believe anyone is to blame, other than whatever happened in The Far East that set off this medical firecracker. Our leaders - national, state and local - are having to play this by ear, and we have no choice but to comply. The models have been all over the place. The more data that's generated, the more the graph lines look like a two-year-old playing with a Sharpie.
I'm often asked what I miss most about our previous existence. I feel like the old woman in Titanic who says, "It's been 84 years ..." I miss going to the gym in the afternoons. Right now, my muscle tone is the consistency of pudding. And due to my age - according to the re-opening guidelines - I'm going to be quarantined for the rest of my life. I'm hoping the Green Hills YMCA will set up some kind of quarantine ward for us old farts, with a couple of treadmills, a weight machine, and a timed spray of Lysol wafting from the ceiling.
Well, I've droned on and inflicted more than enough drivel on you, gentle readers. (I've always liked the phrase "gentle readers." But not to worry, I won't go all Charlotte Bronte on you.) Y'all hang tough, be of exceptional cheer, and we'll come out the other side.
Oh, and Jeffrey Epstein didn't kill himself.
Long considered Nashville's "Left Brained Accountant To Right Brained People," conservative humorist Dereama Sherrill considers Tennessee whiskey, Georgia pecans and Kroger Honeycrisp Apple Pie to be among the finer things in life. Dereama lives for writers-in-the-round, David Baldacci novels and long road trips in her beautifully appointed Mercedes S550, originally owned by the artist formerly known as Alan Jackson. She has requested that her ashes be surreptitiously spread across the Biltmore Estate Rose Garden - but not anytime soon - there are too many scoops of Original Vanilla ice cream left to share and enjoy.