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Fossil Dad: From the frontline of the new reality

In the new reality, the routine becomes monumental. Remember shopping at Costco? Now it’s a long wait around the building with shopping carts to keep social distance. Last week I was accused of cutting in line. So now every time I shop, I ask someone to take a photo of me with my cart. I try to smile. The photos will tell stories to my grandchildren someday. 
Taso Lagos is program director for Hellenic studies in the Jackson School of International Studies at the University of Washington. Photo credit: Patrick Luhrs.

Mill Creek resident Taso Lagos blogs about what it’s like being a middle-aged new parent in Mill Creek. 

Back when the virus just started its popular worldwide tour, I was driving home with my daughter after her preschool.  I took a right at the 128th Street exit only to suddenly be hit with the sight of a few naked women (private parts and all!) parading for Women’s Rights on the sidewalk. In overcoats, socks, shoes but nothing else. Luckily my daughter slept, saving me from an awkward discussion. “Daddy, why are those women naked?”

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In the new reality, the routine becomes monumental. Remember shopping at Costco? Now it’s a long wait around the building with shopping carts to keep social distance. Last week I was accused of cutting in line. So now every time I shop, I ask someone to take a photo of me with my cart. I try to smile. The photos will tell stories to my grandchildren someday. 

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Italy sends us medical supplies. China just gave 18 tons of supplies to Greece. Before America Became Great Again, we supplied to the rest of the world in times of need. Growing up in Greece I remember eating surplus American cheese. It was delicious. Now it’s the opposite. How do you say “cheese” in Chinese?

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On my daily constitutional, I see more people doing the same. The streets used to be crowded with cars and sidewalks empty; now the opposite. This will not last forever, but I can breathe fresh air, even hear my breath as I walk. Maybe this will slow down climate change. If so, we only have the virus to thank.

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We now lead the world in infections. Should we gloat about this? This is a time for American Firstism to kick in. Greatest Leader of All Time, are you listening? 

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Speaking of GLOAT, he basks in stupendously high approval ratings, deservedly so. America will return to work in a couple of weeks, he commands. And like every other promise, he’ll keep it. How do you say “leadership” in Chinese?

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With everyone in their houses, what do crooks rob?  Empty restaurants?! What do you do with stolen cutlery?  And can robbers file for unemployment claims?

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Strange to read the feds had a chance to produce desperately needed ventilators to aid in medical efforts for victims, but they got cold feet. Sell the china and the cutlery in the White House and cut off Speaker Pelosi’s dress budget if you have to, but let’s get this deal done!

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We are already in a recession, some economists claim. I wonder what gave them that idea? All construction shut. Empty streets. No airplanes flying above. Even homeless folks have disappeared. When was the last time you heard Starbucks shutting stores? Must’ve been a tough decision to make.

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One part of our economy not in recession is religion. Without it we’d be in severe depression. I find myself praying more often. I can only watch reruns of Robin Williams so many times before I want the real thing. And religion does offer solace in these hard times. It’s a cold universe otherwise.

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Before the world flipped, my priest was a check-out clerk at Costco. Let’s call him St. Peter. He had a Bible Study every Friday morning at 6:00 am. “What’s the good word of the day?” I’d ask St. Peter as he rang up my items. And he’d tell me about the Bible discussion that morning. Not exactly a substitute for church service, but for me a salve in a hectic world. No wonder Costco stock has done so well these past few years. How do you say “Bible Study” in Chinese?

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