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DEATH 2020

by Perry Lake


     Hi, I'm Death. Nice to meet you.

     Oh. You don't want to shake hands. Well, in this day and age, that's understandable. Who knows what you might catch.

     Yes, it's a crazy time. Busy, busy, busy. I'm surprised I have this little break in my schedule. But I need time to catch my breath, too, you know. Well, figuratively speaking. It's not like I actually breathe.

     Are you nervous? No reason to be. It's just me. Yes, we haven't really met before, not formally, but I've been around you lots of times. Like when that pickup jackknifed in front of you in that big storm, last December. Or twenty years before, when that tire popped off that big rig and could have went through your windshield. And remember when that quack doctor convinced you to have that “minor surgery” and you ended up in the hospital for five days, pissing blood? Yeah, I peeked in on you a couple times then.

     Oh. Remember the night your Dad fell asleep at the wheel on the way back from Reno? Everyone but you was asleep too. I thought I had the whole vehicle, all five of you, except you just had to pipe up and get him back on the road.

     Heck, what about the big fire? The whole city went up in flames and I collected eighty-six that day. Not bad, hmm? You could have been eighty-seven, but you finally realized it was time to evacuate.

     So now it's 2020 and you're sheltering in place and social distancing and hoping you don't get the SARS-CoV 2 bug. That brings a smile to my face—OK, OK, I always have a smile, but you know what I mean.

     Yes, Covid-19 has been keeping me busy. I really don't have much time to talk with you. I just wanted to let you know, this particular SARS, and the Covid-19 it causes, it's not that great. Sure, it's highly contagious, there's no immunity, and no one's come up with a vaccine yet, but it's not going to kill everyone. Even if everyone on Earth catches it, it would only kill like four hundred million people. A nice haul, and nothing for me to be ashamed of, but that still leaves seven billion of you buggers.

     Nope, SARS-Cov 2 is good, but it won't kill everyone on Earth. You'll have to wait a bit longer for that bug to evolve. Like, I don't know, ten years? Fifteen? Less, if some research lab puts a little more work into it, this time around.  Or maybe some scientist at CERN will try to win the Nobel Prize for creating the biggest black hole yet.

     Oh wow, look at the time. I really have to get going. It's not just Covid-19 out there keeping me busy. In fact, you might want to watch out for those forklifts when you go back to work. I know you had a couple close calls, but it's not just toes you could lose, if you get my drift. And for crying out loud, get some exercise and lay off the peanut butter. Green vegetables are not going to kill you.

     OK, I got to go now. Busy times. High five!

     Ah, come on. No high five?

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