Social Distancing

keep-calm-and-stay-away-from-me-that-means-youI wonder how it would work, should we in the U.S. have to go into a state of universal quarantine. It’s almost impossible to imagine … but I’m sure Italians couldn’t imagine it either, and yet there they are.

I’m as socially distant as it gets: working (such as it is) from home, disinclined to venture out except on rare occasions … but I get out plenty, by choice or not. I don’t know how I can possibly avoid exposure to COVID-19, no matter how hard I try to avoid other people. Donna has a busy and active social life. Polly works at Amazon. I share a house with them, and that’s just for starters. Exposure seems inevitable.

So. Not saying I’m not going to worry about it. Aware of the threat, sensible precautions, no plane trips, no cruises, no rock concerts, etc. But there’s one social petri dish Donna and I won’t be able to stiff-arm much longer:

ARIZONA: Licenses expire on the 65th birthday, and until then drivers only need new photos every 12 years — making Arizona unique in how long a license can last. Starting at 65, drivers must renew every five years, with a vision test each time. At age 70, renewal can no longer be done by mail.

No way around it: both our licenses expire this year. Since we’re in our 70s and require vision tests, there’s no option but to physically go to the DMV. They say you can make an appointment, but a friend just renewed hers by appointment and said they kept her waiting in the crowded lobby 45 minutes anyway.

We socialized by choice last night, enjoying dinner at a great local restaurant with old Air Force friends we haven’t seen in 40 years. Hands shaken, hugs exchanged, lots of talking and catching up with one another. None of us were coughing or sneezing, and the restaurant staff seemed healthy. Normal good times, easy to forget the pandemic for a couple of hours. And that’s how it is for 99% of us, at least right now.


Former Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords endorsed Joe Biden a few hours ago. Gabby took congressional action on my behalf ten years ago and has been one of my personal heroes ever since. The hour I spent pulled to the side of the road in January 2011, listening to the local NPR station reporting on the mass shooting which had just taken place a few miles away, is as imprinted on my soul as JFK’s assassination, the Challenger explosion, the morning of 9/11. I just signed up to work for her husband, Mark Kelly, in his campaign for the U.S. Senate and the seat temporarily held by Martha McSally. So when Gabby says Joe, I say how high.

Did I ever mention Gabby was an avid motorcyclist? Turns out Mark Kelly is too. My kind of people … enough said.

© 2020, Paul Woodford. All rights reserved.

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3 thoughts on “Social Distancing

  • Never seen an illness move so far and so fast in such a short space of time. Makes me wonder if it was genetically created and escaped by accident or design.

  • It was great to see you guys and catch up after all these years, I honestly never gave COVID-19 a thought that night or yesterday at PASM. Am I an ostrich with my head in the sand or a souciant bon vivant, “Que sera, sera”?

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