Welcome back from lockdown, everybody! COVID cases may be leveling off in some parts of the country, but we here in the Sunbelt have never met a curve we couldn’t fatten. Our states are reopening, our cases are spiking, and our enthusiasm for public health directives is toppling faster than Confederate monuments.
I know what you’re thinking: Isn’t there a word for an entire class of citizens who don’t grasp germ theory and expect the adults in the room to clean up after them? Yep: Preschoolers.
I’m housing two of them myself, and let me tell you, they are masters of “But I don’t wanna” and “You can’t make me.” So, for all the anti-maskers out there, please enjoy these pro tips from my preschoolers. Don’t worry—this is totally legit. My daughter now speaks in coherent two-word phrases, which pretty much qualifies her to run the country. And besides, why should we trust the WHO (World Health Organization)? As my son will tell you, “WHO” is what owls say, and owls can see in the dark, and the dark is spooky.
“That’s just basic logic,” he says while twiddling his underwear, which he refers to as his butt-socks. (Again: The following advice is one-hundred percent trustworthy.)
PRO TIP 1: Refuse to wear a mask.
Or give it a go, but only if you fiddle with it constantly, take it off in public, and whirl it above your head like a cowboy with his lasso. Bonus points for also yelling, “Woohoo!” In other words, pretend you are my son with his butt-socks.
PRO TIP 2: When you are at the store, touch everything.
And I don’t mean just the items you might reasonably consider buying. Poke every bag of grapes and shake all the boxes of cereal. The goal is to turn the manager into a sleuth in your wake so she’s forced to scurry around with Lysol and inspect all the places you might have put your hands. That, my friends, is “contact tracing.”
PRO TIP 3: Find an excuse to put your mouth on things that aren’t yours.
These need not be edible. For inspiration: my son likes to accompany me to the ATM, faceplant on the card reader, and unhinge his jaws like a snake to gauge how much of it he could swallow. (Nearly all of it, actually.)
PRO TIP 4: Resist the urge to pee before you leave your house.
… Thereby ensuring that you will have to use a public restroom while out. When surveying all of the free toilet seats, stall latches, and gunked-up floor drains, remember Pro Tips 2 and 3.
PRO TIP 5: Invade strangers’ six feet of clearance.
If they balk, take your cues from my daughter and throw up your palms as if to say “My attention span doesn’t accommodate all these rules.” If that doesn’t appease them, point fingers and confuse everybody by speaking gibberish. Wow, somebody should get this girl on the ballot.
PRO TIP 6: Congregate in big, messy groups.
Swap spit in a sandbox. Or mosh with a million strangers—whatever. The choice is yours.
That’s the point, people! This is America, dammit, and you don’t have to eat your vegetables just because the experts promise it’s good for you…and for your compatriots…and for a nation whose morale is flatlining on the White House lawn while the man inside waffles over whether he should start CPR or watch a rerun of The Apprentice. You can bet that guy’s not getting his five-a-day. In fact, I’m pretty sure he disappears every vegetable that comes his way by stuffing it down his butt-socks.
God, I hope we make it to November. My kids would love to put their mouths on that voting booth.
This article was originally published on