The coronavirus has now become quite serious, and I do not mean to take it lightly. In fact, I have been warning it will have severe consequences for some time. I have also been beating the drum to limit social gatherings and social contact. Official rules say we should practice social distancing of 6 feet. Dr. Carlos del Rio, one of the country’s foremost infectious disease experts out of Emory University, says 6 feet is the distance people should put between themselves because the disease is primarily spread by droplets from sneezing, coughing or spitting when you talk. Droplets can’t travel more than 5 feet, so 6 is safe.

This information reminds me not to socialize with Mike Tyson during this outbreak.

Del Rio further says he likes to refer to the act as “physical distancing,” rather than social distancing. I don’t know what it should be called, but my senior year in high school a similar 6-foot rule was implemented. They called it high school track. We’d take off at the sound of the gun, and within about 20 seconds I would be at least 6 feet away from everyone else. I think I would have enjoyed the view much better if I were running girl’s track, but boys track left a little bit to be desired.

Baltimore’s mayor has the most unique approach to avoiding the spread of the virus, as he asked all the folks who are shooting people to please refrain from doing so during the outbreak because it is using up hospital beds that could be needed by corona victims, maybe even the shooter’ grandmother. No I am not making this up as he actually said, “We cannot clog up our hospitals, and their beds, with people that are being shot senselessly (as opposed, I guess, to those who are sensibly being shot) because we are going to need those beds for people who might be infected with coronavirus and it could be your mother, your grandmother or a relative.”

I am sure this will slow down the shootings as hitmen will say, “Let’s wait a few weeks before we knock off Lefty and Slim Shady. You know Granny may need that bed space.”

I always appreciate someone who thinks outside the box.

One good thing may come from the virus. People have quit shaking hands. Shaking hands is a pandemic’s best friend. I’m not sure when it started. Some say you shook hands so the other guy would know you did not have a sword in your hand. It is always nice to know your friend or guest does not intend to kill you. Maybe this started in Baltimore, I’m not sure, but it is time to end it. Not because I think it is so harmful in spreading disease, but rather because I don’t know how to shake hands anymore anyway.

Once upon a time, you just extended your hand and the other person extended theirs and you firmly pumped once or twice. But, you must not extend to a female as you must wait for her to offer her hand, or do you do that anymore since women’s lib and all that? I don’t know. Worse yet, and I know somebody, somewhere will accuse me of some sort of racial injustice for saying this, but I have no idea how to shake half my male black friends’ hands. They may shake traditional, or maybe grab hands, pull back locking fingers on the way out, or some type of down-low maneuver, maybe a pull close and chest bump. I just don’t know.

It’s like trying to give the Masonic Lodge secret shake, but I’m not sure which lodge I’m shaking to on any given day. I think it may be based upon social setting as a low shake may be good at the convenience store but not so good at Grandpa Joe’s funeral. I just know I am clueless and they know I am clueless, like watching Bernie Sanders at a black church try to move with the choir. Clueless.

So if we get rid of the handshake, I can quit worrying about how, and when, and how long I need to shake. I can just wave or say what’s up. Our health will be better, and I’ll be able to hide my cluelessness better.

To sum up: Stay 6 feet apart and don’t shoot your enemy until we get past all this please.

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