Kickass, the doorstop dog, joins the keeper in lamenting the NASCAR attributes that now prevail on the highways, resulting in such tragedies as the recent four-fatality collision on Interstate 39 near Lodi. Coronavirus death may lurk everywhere, but it is not so obvious as the threat posed by millions of vehicles racing in opposite directions while separated by inches and being operated by distracted, disoriented and dumb drivers.
The US traffic death toll for 2019 was 38,120, which, of course breaks down to more than 100 people each day getting up in the morning and having no idea they will be dead by nightfall. Coronavirus, at its current death toll of 140,000, at least offers a warning that if you do stupid things—like go to a concert or a political rally or live where political expediency and stupidity reign, you might get sick and die. No such cautionary message is present when you get behind the wheel of the family vehicle and head for grandma’s house.
The keeper and Phyllis have pretty much recovered from the broken ribs and other physical damage suffered in a head-on collision several months ago, but their brains have been permanently conditioned to watch more carefully for narcissistic drivers who think they are cocooned in NASCAR racers and the green flag is out.
Kickass, never a car-chasing dog, reminds the keeper and his ilk that in addition to the threat of the coronavirus, there is yet another damn good reason to stay home.