Dan Patterson

I am frightened. I’m not the only scared senior citizen. Our situation changes with each media update. Who and what do we believe?

I recently read that 38% of our citizens are somewhat worried about the plague. While 44% are very concerned and 18% were not distressed at all. We are facing a formidable foe.

Abraham Lincoln was one of my favorite presidents.

A long time ago, he once repeated three oft-spoken words, “divided we fall.” That brief statement was rendered under somewhat different circumstances.

 However, in the light of current events, Old Abe was correct. I fear that greed, along with selfishness, will abide with us for an unknown stretch of time. Sadly, these self-serving deeds will continue to grow.

Late last week, Miss Ann and I went to one of our local grocery stores to replenish our pantry. The scene was almost surreal and ghostly-appearing. The display shelves were nearly naked.

For some reason, many usually rational folks practice a knee-jerk reaction to our pandemic.

We see people hoarding items such as toilet tissue, paper towels, disinfectant, hand sanitizers, bread, eggs and more.

And the list is from Big Sandy to infinity. This form of every man for himself is bad for us and our nation.

I am speaking to myself. By manifesting this type of behavior, I deprive others who have the same needs, but have no convenient means to shop for medicine, pharmaceutical supplies and cleaning supplies, not to even mention food.

I equate these people with the same crowd who would run over women, children, elderly, weak or crippled in order to grab a seat in a lifeboat.

The forlorn-looking shelves found everywhere could provide a lead-in scene from an episode of Rod Sterling’s long-running TV series, “The Twilight Zone’.”

How many people remember Charlton Heston in the movie, “The Omega Man”? He portrayed Dr. Robert Neville — no relation to Aaron Neville.

Heston tried an experimental vaccine and he was the only normal survivor of a massive war and global disease.

The only other survivors were 200 deformed, nocturnal, homicidal maniacs. They blamed science and technology for their condition.

Henceforth, they viewed Heston as the last bastion of society and desired to kill him. The last scene of big Charlton is almost immortal.

Now for some positive writing. I truly believe that the good folks of Henry County are the best on God’s earth.

Miss Ann and I have received numerous calls. She also handles the text transmissions from folks who are just checking on us.

Tennessee is the volunteer state. People are simply offering their assistance in any shape, form or fashion.

These are but a few examples of the best of the best in good old Henry County. If we simply practice the Golden Rule (Matt. 7:12) and earnestly pray as a people and as a nation, this, too, shall pass.


DAN PATTERSON, who’s retired from the Paris Parks and Recreation Department, grew up near the state line and now lives in Paris. He can be reached by email at jdanpat@yahoo.com.

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