Don’t worry about us old people. Sure, we tip over a lot–you would too if you had one foot in the grave. But check this, Junior. We’re going to sail right through your little virus dealie. Because we got Life Skills. We got Lore. We got Laudanum. We’ll be fine.

Shoot, we been training for this forever. We’re supposed to start looking at children as little disease vectors? Way ahead of you. And we know exactly how far apart six feet is. It’s coffin depth. It’s the gap you keep from the person in front of you at the ATM. It’s the distance between Rob and Laura Petrie’s beds. It’s the length of a proper dog leash. You young people with the retractable beagles are the ones getting confused.

Six feet is weird anyway. Supposedly that recommendation comes from the idea that it is the distance an infectious droplet can travel when coughed out. Well ain’t that precious. Doesn’t anybody smoke anymore? We had an old man down the street from us growing up who could launch a loogie ten yards into a headwind. He’d get started hacking and you’d think someone had tied tin cans to his bumper. Speaking of bumpers he had a hell of a tailwind too. Mr. Frank was a deeply frightening man, to a little kid. We kept our germs well away from him. He had to get sick all by himself using nothing but Viceroys but that’s the kind of can-do initiative people used to have, before we had to have fancy imported viruses.

What else? Wash our hands all day long? Oh fine, but there’s a limit. Our tissues are thinner. You start soaping off too many layers and you’re getting into a damaged-packaging situation. And then we’re supposed to stop touching our faces? What’s left to touch that we can still reach without bending over?

Old Person Amusing Himself

Besides I only touch my nose ten or twelve times an hour, just to get the crusty bits on the outside. I don’t do any actual excavation unless there’s no one else around, so that’s safe. And I hardly ever have to go in past the first knuckle. What I really do a lot of is stick my finger on my eyeball. I do that because I wore hard contact lenses for forty years and completely lost the revulsion factor. Sticking your finger on your actual eyeball is the best way of getting those stray eyelashes out. Of course, you have to lick it first. Anyway, I haven’t seen anything specific about not sticking your licked finger on your eyeball. I’m fine. Also, I’ve made extra sure I wipe my nose thoroughly on my sleeve and my hands thoroughly on my doorknobs. The doorknobs are metal and viruses slide right off.

You want contagious, you should try measles. One kid could easily measle up a whole class of fourth-graders. But we measled in rolling shifts for efficiency. That way we could still maintain dodge-ball teams all winter, which was an important lesson in survival skills, especially for your smaller and squishier children.

I’m in fine shape. I spent a good portion of my life learning how to amuse myself. I can hole up here in the house for months. And thanks to our lack of weatherstripping, we can get a pizza slid right under the front door without losing a mushroom.

But we’ve got another ace in the hole: nobody visits old people. We only have hard candies and our breath is bad.