With COVID, our adult children are becoming our parents

Many of the Old Men of the Mountain are hanging around the house and going out only as necessary. Groceries and doctors seem to be the major outings, and the grocery bit gets some help at times.

Even the doctors’ appointments (depending on the problem) can be done by phone, and with Zoom becoming so popular maybe soon it will be almost like being in the examining room. Still, for the OFs, they claim there is nothing like being there, and there have been times that the OFs have reported the doctor has found something that the appointment was not for.

One OF described that, at one of his doctor visits, the doctor was listening to his heart from the back and, when he pulled his shirt back down, the doctor said there was something on his back that should be looked at right away. The doctor then made an appointment for the OF from the office with a dermatologist.

The OF kept that appointment and found it was skin cancer caught in the nick of time. The dermatologist also found another blemish that was cancerous, plus two pre-cancer spots on the top of the OF’s bald head, which the doctor said, when he first looked at him, “Before we even start, we better take care of those right away,” and he did. This could not be done over the phone.

Another OF chimed in on this conversation with what happened to him. This OF said he went to his dentist with an awful toothache, or so he thought. When the dentist came in and looked in his mouth, the OF said the dentist told him, “You don’t need me, you are in the wrong place; you have a sinus problem, go see your regular doctor.”

“This is another example,” the first OF commented, “On how can this be done over the phone?”

“Of course,” the other OF retorted, “how can a dentist do anything over the phone? He would require one heck of a long set of arms and hose on that drill.”


A virus question

In a recent phone conversation with an OMOTM, this OF asked this scribe a question that the scribe had no answer to, and he wondered himself what the answer would be. This particular OF has his groceries delivered and the OF was wondering if this scribe knew how long the virus lives on the packing and bags the groceries are in.

If he left then in the breezeway for four or five hours before going out to get them, is the virus still active? This scribe has no clue; never even thought of it. In this heat, the perishables would have perished by then.

This scribe knows he has seen a chart somewhere that told how long the virus is active on different surfaces but now can’t remember where he saw it. The scribe should have immediately cut it out and added it to the collection on the refrigerator door. The wife said I should have told the OF to Google it.



This scribe bumped into an OF filling up gas cans at Stewart’s, while the scribe was filling up his van and both did the same thing. The scribe thought this was very unusual. The OF and the scribe both sprayed the octane buttons and the nozzle with Lysol before touching them to indicate gas octane, credit card numbers etc. That was something.


Travel scuttled

This pandemic/virus — whatever you want to call it — has changed so many plans. Two OMOTM mentioned over the phone that generally during the summer they take off for summer vacations — one to the beach, and the other to Lake Michigan. Neither one is going anyplace because right now New York is one of the safest states.

“But you can go to Maine,” the scribe offered. The OF said they go to relatives in Texas. OOOPS.


Role reversal

The pandemic and subsequent quarantine have also brought to attention the one thing that parents usually dread. Our adult children are becoming our parents.

The wife of this scribe h as been taken to her doctor appointments by a daughter and she introduces this daughter as her “mother.” Another friend calls her daughter “The Warden.” Still another friend tells us that her daughter likes to tell her when and where she should go and even if she should go out.

The OFs have noticed this kid-bit going on even before the current virus situation took hold. How often the OFs remember telling their kids when they were teenagers what they were going to do, and where they could and couldn’t go.

Now these kids are doing the same to us. One OF mentioned that he can’t ever remember telling his parents what they could and couldn’t do. Then, one other OF said, “That is because your parents couldn’t do much (physically) and you did it for them.”

Life without sports! Not much on TV. This scribe would like to report a young lady sitting on his couch yesterday. Apparently she’s my wife. She seems nice.