Coronavirus Has Nothing on Retirement

By John C. Krieg

PROMPT—During Covid-19 ...

This Thing is Getting Serious

In all seriousness, I know this is a

legitimate National Emergency

And I must do what I can to protect

my family, and myself from it


But there are some things that smack of panic

Hoarding, runs on toilet paper, and sanitizer(s)

And some things that smack of despicable greed

Price gouging, and offering fake testing products


This is like The Book of Revelation

In real time, and in Technicolor

Great good, and great evil are on high display

I’m praying that good will triumph in the end


But Coronavirus has nothing on retirement

For nobody knows where I am

Or what I have been doing

Or if I’m dead or alive


A six-foot safety radius?

Try the circumference of the globe

Social distancing?

Try 5 acres removed from my closest neighbor


Containment zones

Mine starts at my property line

Chillout? I’m like a block of ice

Get a grip? I’ve never lost it


We’re always stocked up on food, anyway

Have e-mail, and satellite T.V.

Bank and pay bills over the internet

Have well water, and 500 gallons of propane


So as long as the electricity stays on

Our lives go on as usual

We are the lucky ones, I know, and I

Feel remorse for my less fortunate brethren


And my grandchildren living at home

With the school closed, they are

going to go bonkers with boredom, and

Demand attention keeping me from my writing


Circle the wagons

Us versus them

Pray that some Americans

don’t turn on other Americans


“We are all in this together,” is the

current rallying cry, but I wonder why

It took this pandemic for the nation

to actually believe it


CFS: Caronavirus Fatigue Syndrome

It’s coming, if it isn’t here already

People will let down their guard

Paying for that with their lives


I’m paying for my retirement with my life

My golden years are taking years off my life

I blame myself first, and the system second

The truth being that when you retire – you’re forgotten


In retirement, many are under

Self-inflicted house arrest

Spending as little as possible

And never going anywhere


So retirees are at least a leg up

On the rest of the country

In knowing how to deal with

Isolation and loneliness


Coronavirus has nothing on retirement

Except the speed at which suffers will die

A sad truth, for death is death, but now

We may not get to choose our time


A Few Days Later

It’s Saint Patrick’s Day!

And nobody’s throwing a party

It’s raining again in Southern Cali

So I watch the news that’s saying:


Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!

Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!

Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!

Coronavirus! Coronavirus!! Coronavirus!!!


Say; have you heard about the Coronavirus?


This thing is like the grayscale

On Game of Thrones

Where’s John Brady when you need him?

To research our salvation in a dusty old tomb


And even the Mad King

Seems to finally get it

He can’t laugh and lie

His way out of this one


He’s no longer mocking all of us with:


The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!

The sky is falling! The sky is falling!! The sky is falling!!!


Hey Mr. President: The sky is falling!


Dr. Edward O. Wilson tried to warn us humans

That as the apex species, we weren’t so special, because

All those little creepy crawleys at the bottom of the pyramid

Were looking up at us, and plotting our demise


And Now a Constructive Suggestion

Build the necessary facilities to house

the poor, the sick, the huddled masses

Wasn’t that the point of the Statue of Liberty?

After the plague, use them to house the CCC


Bring back the CCC!

Hasn’t this thing taught us the need for preparation?

Let the youth have an alternative to national service

That doesn’t require toting a gun or killing someone


With a standing peaceful army on our own soil

We won’t get caught with our pants down again

Those creepy crawleys aren’t going to give up, and the

New normal is to assume that pandemics are normal


Examining the Arc of a Lifetime

This thing is like a giant meteor

Heading straight at geezers

With preexisting conditions that most

Gave to themselves


Those with Type II diabetes (me)

And COPD (she)

We have never seen anything like this in our lifetimes

Or we would have paid closer attention to our health


That’s the worst of retirement

You have the time to ponder

The things you should have done

Not that it makes a bit of difference now


Coronavirus has nothing on retirement

Except the speed at which suffers will die

A sad truth, for death is death, but now

We may not get to choose our time

John C. Krieg is a retired landscape architect and land planner who formerly practiced in Arizona, California, and Nevada. He is also retired as an International Society of Arboriculture (ISA) certified arborist and currently holds seven active categories of California state contracting licenses, including the highest category of Class A General Engineering. He has written a college textbook entitled Desert Landscape Architecture (1999, CRC Press).

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