Hey Dad, May I Go to a Covid Party?

I made a promise to myself as a child that I would always remember what it was like to think and feel as a child, because I could observe that my interactions with my parents involved a lot of explaining.  Will Smith started on his path to fame with his rap “Parents Just Don’t Understand”, but I had that thought probably around the time that Will Smith was born.  I was an only child, so my parents had me outnumbered.  I watched the news with them in the evening, and “Firing Line” came on right before football games on Sunday, so I always watched that with dad.  

These shows loaded my mind with lots of information, and allowed me to develop weighty opinions about all sorts of matters beyond the normal scope of a first grader.  I gave equal credence to Buckley as I did to any of his many guest opponents.  I also found Buckley to be quite amusing from the way he spoke, to the lava lamp face of his, which undulated and morphed from one expression to another, unlike any…human I had observed before.  So, I was just as likely to take a Buckley position as a young child as I was to the correct one…in my parry with the parents.  Maybe 75% of the time, my arguments just returned concerned looks and silence from my parents.  (I think they suffered from the bystander effect). So, as I registered their looks of concern and confusion, I thought to myself, I need to remember what this way of thinking feels like so that when I am presented with it decades in the future, I wont have the confused concern that I see on my parents faces now.

The funny thing about being a kid is that it is like a hobby.  All the kid things are fascinating to the kid, but they gradually fall away.  They are replaced with other things that adults think about and enjoy, until you barely remember or recognize how it felt to think the way you did when you’d receive a post card (a post card?  WHAT?) on your birthday for a free scoop of ice cream, and walk across town to get it.  I’ve lost it.  I can’t mentally grasp what it felt like to have that motivation.  Maybe there have been too many birthdays.  These days, I can’t imagine letting my kid walk across town to get a scoop of ice cream.

So, I’ve lost my 8 year old mind.  Life comes at you fast.  By this year, I have come to realize that I have lost 30 as well.  Sadly, that realization came from reading about a young man, 30 years of age, who went to a “Covid party”.  (A Covid party?  WHAT?).  This poor guy, when he checked into the hospital, he told the nurses, “I think I made a mistake.”  The point of the party was to defy the warnings because they believed that it was a “hoax”.  Who says that?  Anyway, I can’t imagine a 30 year old mind, wanting to go and test a dangerous virus…just to be right.  I’ve been to parties, I had beers, I have walked across town for a free scoop of ice cream.  All of those had their appeal, but going to a party to risk getting a disease, just to say you did it?  

My parents used to give me a concerned look when I tried to take Buckley’s position.  The idea of a Covid party though…we’d have had words.

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