Anyone who celebrates a birthday between Sept. 1 and Sept. 7 is acutely aware that every six years, their special day is also a national holiday. Labor Day is always scheduled for the first Monday in September. So, the date it falls on changes annually. We who claim the 7th are proud to share our day with the nation. To be honest, given everything else that’s happened this year, I had to double and triple check to make sure we weren’t getting gypped. You never know what’s going to happen in 2020.

I believe I speak for all my fellow celebrants that what we’d like most for our birthdays this year is a safe and effective vaccine for the Wuhan Wahoo. Or, at the very least, an entire restaurant to ourselves where we could go with family and have a nice meal served by waitpersons in hazmat suits without having to worry about picking up the dreaded virus. (Actually, just being able to go out ANYWHERE without fear and a mask would be acceptable.)

One of the most unpleasant aspects of the virus is that pretty much the entire world has too much time on its collective hands. There’s nothing new on episodic TV, live sports are still at a minimum, all the jigsaw puzzles you got for Christmases past have been done twice, the family is sick and tired of Game Night Every Night, and even that stack of unread books that has accumulated over the years is rapidly dwindling.

So, what are we to do? Glad you asked. The answer, for more than a few humans it seems, is to create and amplify a conspiracy theory or two or speculate on cures. One of my favorites of the former is that the COVID-19 vaccine, whenever it comes out, will contain a microchip. Sounds quite sci-fi-y to me, but apparently the nano-chips would allow people to be controlled. I’m not sure by whom, although I would venture a guess that the federal government enters into the picture at some point in time. But that’s just a wild conjecture on my part. I know the government really doesn’t want to dominate our lives, right?

Here’s an interesting supposition I found in my extensive research: Vodka makes a great hand sanitizer. This claim probably hasn’t been scientifically proven, but if Russia doesn’t have a lot of COVID cases, it might be something to look into. Although Russians, I believe, aren’t generally known to want to pour vodka on themselves other than onto their tongues. However, if you’re going to try this method of cleanliness, I don’t think I’d waste money on the Stolichnaya. Just stick to the bargain brands.

Eating garlic, some say, may keep the virus at bay. Hey, why not? It works on vampires, doesn’t it? And if was effective, even if we collectively ate copious amounts of the pungent vegetable, we’d all have a certain odor about us but we wouldn’t care because we could go to the movies and concerts and ball games again. As a tangent to that possibility, certain party people confined to their own homes apparently decided cocaine also protects against COVID-19. Alas, for white nose aficionados everywhere, there doesn’t appear to be any truth to the proposition. Holding your breath for 10 seconds has also been posited as a possible preventative. And that could be key, because you could ward off rumors the new 5G towers are really the cause of the coronavirus.

And the list goes on. COVID-19 was made in a lab. Disney created it to align with its new Disney+ streaming service so everyone would watch it in their quarantined homes. The virus arrived from space. And little Greta Thunberg, you know, the young environmental activist — she invented it to keep people from traveling, thereby reducing emissions and improving the environment. Uh-huh.

One standard conspiracy theory is that the Chinese government planned the whole thing to take over the world, specifically the United States. One problem I have with that is, has anybody actually looked at what’s going on here? Who in their right minds would want to share in the junk we’ve got going on right now?

Coronavirus conspiracists I think should wait their turn. We still have people working on the Kennedy assassination and whether the moon landings actually took place in the Arizona desert. And what about those aliens that reside in Roswell, New Mexico? Get in line, COVID-19.

In the meantime, enjoy the upcoming holiday. Sit a spell. Take your shoes off. We’ve all labored enough this year to have earned a day off.

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Bill Lewis is a freelance writer in Marietta. See more of his work at www.wordsmith-at-large.com.

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