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  • Writer's pictureEric Knabel

Thoughts From 6 Feet Away: The Quarantined

Random thoughts, inspired by my mother on this Mother’s Day:

If you get arrested and sent to jail, use your phone call to order pizza. You’re going to be there for a while.

You are not any better than anyone else, but don’t take anybody’s crap either.

40 isn’t old, if you’re a tree.

Opinions are like assholes – everyone’s got one.

Don’t teach a pig to sing. It’s a waste of your time, and it annoys the pig. (Every time I see someone arguing about politics, all I hear is squealing)

Other Random Thoughts:

Inevitably, they will make a documentary about what’s happening now. No matter when that happens, we will shake our heads in disbelief as actors re-enact scenes from this awkward time. And somewhere, a narrator will say in dulcet tones, “Little did they realize what they were about to find out…”

Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering. Line from the Phantom Menace? No, an explanation of your social media feed.

If the Dalai Lama were someone on my Facebook, his posts would look something like, “We must have compassion for all living beings. Except for the Pope – I hate that asshole.”

I was doing just fine in this whole social distancing thing until Little Richard died. Even though I’m a huge Elvis guy, he was the King of rock and roll to me.

And speaking of Little Richard, do you think Prince is up in heaven saying, “I finally got me a guy for the keyboards.”

Without this pandemic, I’d have never learned what “death diving” or “dodge juggling” was.

Why do we need a 12-part documentary to announce that Michael Jordan was good at basketball?

We now have certain nights of the week dedicated to certain foods. I’m becoming my grandparents.

I didn’t expect to get so upset by my daughter’s teachers having to say goodbye to her over video.

Can you imagine how much money Disney is losing right now? I mean, I’m sure they have money in the bank, but damn…

I now watch videos of concerts and sporting events and feel like I’m watching an alien society.

This is my weekly shout-out to China for all the help they’ve provided the world during this difficult time. In related news, I’m still taking suggestions on what font I should use for sarcastic statements.

I continue to be amazed by how easy it is for me to waste time, even when an overwhelming majority of my distractions have been taken away. Your move, God.

At this point, a computer virus that takes out our cell phones would finish us off.

You walk a slippery slope when your actions suggest you don’t think people can make their own decisions.

People who couldn’t dose ibuprofen without my advice six months ago are now telling people how to behave in the current global situation. At this rate of growth, I may be obsolete by Christmas.

If I’ve been successful in my career, it’s because I gained a lifetime of good karma by treating nurses with the respect they deserve. Happy belated Nurses Week.

If you want something out of your life, don’t store it in the garage. Someone will find it and force you to deal with it again.

With all the advancements in technology, it really is amazing how board games have survived.

There are few things more exciting than reading a book authored by someone you know.

White people – stop doing white people things. I’m tired of answering for your crap.


As I’ve watched social media for the past few weeks (What else is there to do? Watch the news?), I’ve noticed that there are a few types of people that show up. We have all been some of these at one point, but at the end of the day, it’s all in fun.

The Mindless Warrior

This person touts their physical invincibility, making such bold statements as “If I got it, I would survive it – what’s the big deal?” This is usually the person that comes to work with a fever and coughs in your general direction like they’re preparing for a cherry pit-spitting contest. Why is everyone in the office sick during cold and flu season? It’s likely the Mindless Warrior in your department. They are easy to spot in the pandemic by their mask-free faces, or the fact that they’re accompanied in public by all five of their children. Their posts on Facebook tend to gripe about how they can’t go out to eat. You might also see pictures posted of their “quarantine party” from last weekend, with so many people in the picture it makes you itch – kinda like when someone says the word ‘scabies.’

The Endless Worrier

For this person, the virus lurks around every corner, ready to jump out at them and suck out their soul. They picture the epidemic like that sickly green fog in “The Ten Commandments.” You might be able to lump the mainstream media in this category – to them, no one has ever recovered from COVID-19, unless they’re famous like Tom Hanks. The Worrier speaks in terms of “when” they get the disease, not “if.” No amount of reassurance will ease their minds – they talk about how nothing works, whether it be masks, medicines, or social distancing. To be fair, some of them have underlying conditions and should legitimately be concerned, but a good number are not at risk. This group is why I advocate making Prozac an aerosol and spray it over society with crop dusters. They will be seen on Facebook posting the daily death toll in their area, safely hidden in their fort made out of toilet paper.

The Microphone of God

These folks are easy to spot. The virus is a judgment from God, according to some. To others, it is God taking away all our “false gods” (sports, movies, etc.). Then there are some who see this as Satan getting people out of churches. This can even progress to religion at the highest level, somehow making “COVID” into the Number of the Beast. Some avoid taking precautions as an act of faith, and they will be protected as long as they believe. Social media posts tend to be verses from the Book of Revelation.

The Fact Finder

You want a randomized, double-blind clinical trial? This is your person. In many ways, very similar to The Microphone of God, with science being their deity. It doesn’t need to make sense, as long as the data supports it. They will analyze trends, look up data on a daily (sometimes hourly) basis. They have already calculated which events will need to be canceled, based on the latest mathematical models. It is the fruit from their table that feeds the Endless Worrier. Their social media is full of links to studies that no one reads.

The Conspiracy Theorist

Ahh, where would we be without these folks? The virus is a biological weapon created by China. This is a plot by big pharma to ply us with yet another vaccine. The government is using the hype to control our society and create a communist state. One word: Plandemic (I still need to dig into that to tease out all the nuances, but what I’ve seen certainly reads like a conspiracy theory). There isn’t much to say here that hasn’t been covered elsewhere. Their social media tends to have a lot of YouTube videos of brave souls speaking up.

The Desperate Recluse

This crap has to end. Now. The roots are showing, and there is no acrylic to cover the fact that they’ve chewed their fingernails down the to cuticle. For the male of the species, they will get a tattoo of SpongeBob Squarepants on their butt if it means getting some ink. These people are wholly unaccustomed to dealing with their spouse or children for prolonged periods of time, and it shows. May take an AR-15 to a protest – these folks mean business. They will be the reason you can’t get a haircut until Christmas. Their social media is filled with complaints about spouses, cartoons depicting frazzled women, or the video of that old woman hiding in the closet, looking like something out of the Blair Witch Project.

The Political Strategist

You know people who see the Virgin Mary on toast? These people see Donald Trump or Nancy Pelosi in everything. Whatever is going on, it’s most certainly the Democrats/Republicans fault. Health care debates quickly devolve into the blame game of politics, like a Yankees/Red Sox game. It’s much more important to argue about whose fault it is than stick together to solve a problem. Look for the Republican’s social media to talk about Trump, while the Democrat’s social media will, well, talk about Trump.

The Wisdom Spreader

This is the person to bring to the apocalypse with you. They have chosen the path of self-improvement or expounded on the wisdom they already possess. They have have made their own surgical masks, they have learned how to craft a working laptop with a crochet needle and yarn, or they have provided an infinite number of answers for the question, “What’s for dinner?” Their social media is littered with food porn or videos where someone has made a facemask out of a can of creamed corn or a hive of bees.

The Introvert

What pandemic? They literally look the same as they did six months ago, and they don’t understand why everyone is struggling with this


For all the mothers out there, have a wonderful Mother’s Day. Continue to be strong in these times of uncertainty, and I hope you enjoyed a moment to escape. I’m sure we’ll have something else to discuss one day. As always, be excellent to each other, and…

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