What Dr. Anthony Fauci Hopes to Never Hear Again: “I’m Shaking It, Boss”

As any risk-taking pioneer knows, it is lonely taking the lead and suffering the derisive scorn of one’s compatriots.  I have been there and so can understand what Dr. Anthony Fauci, the director of The National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases and the public face of the U.S. government’s coronavirus efforts, must be feeling.  Fauci was recently quoted by Time magazine as saying to interviewer Kate Linebaugh:

I don’t think we should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.

Time got the quote wrong.  He actually said:

I don’t think we ever should ever shake hands ever again, to be honest with you.

You can’t be more emphatic than repeating a word three times.

Brave and cool-handed doctor that he is, he must be sweating now, wondering if getting so far out in front will result in unfair attacks on his feeling for flesh and blood human beings. Hand shaking has been around a while, and like hugs and kisses, people seem to like it, so the doctor is entering dangerous territory.

The triple “ever” in his statement seems to have raised some eyebrows with those who believe three is a magic number.  Some say that you can never be too careful with such statements from public officials and you must read them as if they were entrails and you were a haruspex.  I doubt it.

I’ve heard it said that it might be a clever coded message to his in-crowd that they can still give the secret handshake, or is it the elbow shake, while the public gets the shakedown.  I also doubt that kind of paranoiac speculation.

Maybe it’s a way to “walk it back” if the heat gets too hot.  Who knows?   Maybe the triple “ever” in his statement will give him an opening to say he was only joking.  I don’t think so.  He doesn’t seem like the joking type.

He said he was being honest and I think we should take him at his word. Honesty is hardly ever heard and mostly what we need from him. You’ve heard that before, I assume, and agree.  For we depend on him; he is, as they say, “America’s Doctor.”

I don’t doubt that his words “don’t…ever” mean never, and never is a long, long time.  Like eternity, I guess.

When you’re in the anti-germ business, no measures are too extreme. I know where he’s coming from and think I know where he’s going, too.  I’m a germaphobe myself and have always been extremely uncomfortable with the hand-to-hand stuff and have panic attacks at the thought of mouth-to-mouth activity. The other interpersonal bodily activities are beyond repulsive to me.

Whenever I’ve seen pictures of prisoners being visited by loved ones who were separated by a screen and couldn’t touch, I would have this weird thought that I always kept to myself until now: that it also made sense for those outside prison cells to be separated by screens.  I suppose it’s why I’m really into cell phones.  Screens do protect us from bugs, and most digital devices have anti-virus protection, which is especially handy during plague times.

As I said, I have taken pioneering risks myself and suffered ridicule as a result. I have recounted these experiences in detail before.  What follows is a summary offered as a friendly warning to Dr. Fauci of how irrational people can be when your good advice and actions threaten their distorted sense of nostalgia for the old days and ways.  They can get very nasty with their criticism.

My fear of germs and unhappiness with relationships led me to take radical steps.  A few years ago, I woke up one morning and looked in the mirror and said to my image, “Man, you are a pathetic sad sack.”  Then I heard a report on National Public Radio that said the latest cool thing was to marry yourself – they called it sologamy, I think the guy said.  It made you feel good about yourself, something I really needed.  They interviewed this woman who had just married herself and boy was she flying high and enthusing about the great feeling it gave her.  She said she had realized she had fallen out of love with herself and marrying herself was like the second time around.  It really stirred my blood and got me thinking what I could do for myself in a germ-free way.  I started humming that old song, you know, “Love is lovelier, the second time around.…”

So I took the plunge and married myself.  Sad to say, the relationship didn’t work out; actually it was a disaster, and so I eventually filed for a divorce. It was no one’s fault really, but we were emotionally devastated nevertheless. At least we had no children and few knew of the marriage since it was so intimate that I hadn’t invited anyone to the wedding.  So the mockery I suffered then was mostly self-induced, and was small in comparison to what followed.

About six months later, CNN, as they so often do, alerted me to a new technological possibility with a report about a Japanese man, Akihito Kondo, a school administrator, who fell in love years ago with Miku, a cyber-celebrity hologram. He had finally taken the plunge and married Miku in a lovely ceremony in front of thirty-nine people.  Kondo seemed radiantly happy and not at all confused.

So I took another chance and married an anime hologram friend named Meto.  She was cute as a button, and being on the lightweight and ethereal side, posed no risk of germs.  But she was such a lightweight, even I couldn’t stand her and so we parted amicably without ever formally marrying.

It was then I resolved not to listen to the mainstream media for relationship advice.  I was still rather desperate for a partner, however, and didn’t know where to turn when I happened upon an offbeat podcast where a doctor, no less, was talking about how he thought sexbots would be the wave of the future since they posed none of the problems our flesh is heir to and now were powered by artificial intelligence, which was an added bonus. He also said they came germ free, which was the key for me. So I ordered one by the name of Sveltlana and we have been a healthy couple for about seven months now.

My friends and family ridiculed me terribly at first, but now with the coronavirus pandemic, they are softening their mockery. I have withstood the worst of their abuse as a risk-taking pioneer must. There is no need for me to tell them that Svetlana wears gloves and a mask or that we never shake hands.  Why would we?  I think they may even be starting to get jealous.

I think Dr. Fauci may be shortly facing just the first and mildest form of abuse for his brave advice to never shake hands.  He seems like the sort that can soldier on despite the criticism. But everyone needs encouragement in these diseased times.  If, as seems likely, he is planning to follow my germophobic path forward toward a clean robotic future, he might appreciate my cautionary story so he can find strength to vaccinate himself against the silly criticism he is sure to encounter.

So many people have gotten into the sick habit of shaking hands, kissing, and hugging that when a public servant of his prescience and prominence warns that these social habits must be abandoned in the name of public health, there is bound to be an irrational, gut reaction.  Such people, who are living in the past and need to stop and think, have always resisted the sage advice of futurists of every stripe, and such pioneers have had to stand strong in the face of public ignorance. Dr. Fauci, like his associate Bill Gates, is a true pioneer.

There is one thing I do not doubt: that digital distance living and a robotic future will only find full popular acceptance when leaders are willing to step up, do the right thing, and take the heat.  Keeping people locked in their cells, living the techno life separated from other bodies, will demand a strong hand from the bosses.  It’s called doing one’s job.  Will “America’s Doctor” get the appreciation he wants for doing his?

Boss: “Sorry, Luke.  I’m just doing my job.  You gotta appreciate that.”

Luke: “Nah – calling it your job don’t make it right, Boss.”

At least that’s what Cool Hand Luke thought.  But naysaying didn’t get him too far, did it.

 

 

 

14 thoughts on “What Dr. Anthony Fauci Hopes to Never Hear Again: “I’m Shaking It, Boss””

  1. Ed Curtin: I have been wondering when did the first use of “virus” come up in computers? We have been kind of programmed to think “virus” from the getgo. Cold viruses were one thing, but computer viruses scared us in a while ‘nother way. Did the “Brain” virus make Bill Gates all unhappy and vengeful?

    1. That is an important question and the answer is the term virus was first used in the early 1980s but just within the small computer world. It started to be popularized in the the late 1980s and its use has – to be a wise-guy – grown exponentially since then in the media, etc. Your question opens up a very interesting line of research. Many thanks. Pax, Ed

  2. I wrote this story about 5 years ago. -Our “conscience” is vaguely relevant here?
    Pearly Gates
    If you want to get in somewhere, let’s say Heaven, Paradise, The Gold Coast, Hollywood, The Circus or Married, whose approval or blessing do you need, and how would you go about getting it? Now in regard to The Pearly Gates, It is understood that our conscience is being examined. Have we always acted in accordance with our beliefs or code of conduct? Let’s take yourself. You may present your case this way.
    “Dear God, please have mercy on my soul. I once spoke crossly to a man who was trying to rape my sister. I understand that I should have turned the other sister. I beg you to forgive me, and I promise it won’t happen again. Apart from that, I’ve always liked your songs, and thank you for all those potato chips each Sunday.”
    To which the personification of your conscience may reply, “OK, sing Jingle Bells five times, and Bob’s your uncle.”, or something like that. Now while you are performing this penance, you may be surprised to note, at the very next portal to the one before which you are kneeling, a bloke standing shuffling his feet, making out his case in quite a different manner. You can hear him clearly, “Well, your honour, I know it doesn’t look too good. I’ve only killed seventeen scoundrels in my whole life, but you must admit that I didn’t have that many more opportunities. As for fathering only seven children, well, take into consideration that I WAS pretty busy at times killing scoundrels, so, how about it?” Followed by a softly murmured “In you go then.”
    On the other side, a chap is confidently waving a newspaper clipping announcing that he once had a 53% approval rating in the polls. He points out, “Your Excellency, that’s a lot more than the other fellow got!” He is also waved through, with the directive to “Sit with those ordinary looking people over there to the left on that bench marked The Great Polling Booth In The Sky.” “Thank you Your Excellency, thank you.” You fancy that you can hear a final piece of friendly advice to the chap, “Don’t leave your bench, because there’s a bloke on the other side here who thinks Heaven is a place where he might make up for missed opportunities!”
    Further along, you notice a whole group of suicide bombers, their paperwork obviously attended to previously, being ushered in without question.
    Bill, who thinks the Gates were named after him, complacently waves a bundle of notes and indicates the charities he has contributed to. You seem to be aware of a substantial delay while his baggage is checked.
    ………………………………………………………………………………………………………………… Please inform me politely Ed, if I am surpassing your commentary guidelines or wishes.

  3. Haruspex! Now, THAT, is a word worth knowing.
    I can raise Fauci in this poker game. I was walking by a man with his tiny terrier who was straining at the leash to say “Hi” in his tiny, adorable terrier way, and the man said “Watch out- he’s fierce!” The man smiled as he said it (no mask), and I laughed out loud.
    I thought “Oh my goodness! Laughter must spread the deadly Virus at a much accelerated rate! We MUST stop laughing!”

    While I hope many people read your delightful posts, Ed, I sure hope Dr. Fauci isn’t one of them.

  4. Thank you so much for this most timely apotheosis of the wondrous new era we have stumbled into. I don’t know where to begin; so I’ll just say I feel so much better for my neighbor. Walking the dog this morning, I passed her 2nd floor condo; she was sitting all alone on the balcony, wearing one of those heavenly masks sent by God to save us from our sinful ways. I knew it was safe to say good morning: though my own sinful ways have kept such masks as she was wearing at bay, I knew whatever germs my saying “Good Morning” might send her way would not find their mark.
    And being every bit as devoted to science as Dr Faustus – I mean Fauci – I must share what I’ve discovered. It isn’t the virus that stalks us – it is the Mites that carry the virus. When we’re out in public and have an overwhelming urge to scratch our nose or eye or the corner of our mouth – it’s because a germ laden Mite has just leaped upon our person, effecting an itch. I beg you, since you have a public voice, pass this discovery to the rest of humanity.

  5. “Naysaying didn’t get him too far, did it.” Once someone gives up their integrity, they are nothing, a zero. How far did that get Luke? Well, one would need to know how the prison boss felt, what was going on inside him within the naval, mind connection!
    The saddest part of that movie is how Luke was worshiped by the other prisoners, dependent upon. The script wasn’t written for Luke to tell those people to think rather than to follow. The ‘prisoners’ on the U.S.S. Roosevelt recently showed support for their captain. I”m not sure exactly why they did. Perhaps the crew should have denounced the u.s. navy in general!
    Often it seems ‘we’ have only learned to be adversarial for the most part. There is little unity or understanding of human ‘sameness.’
    I think if any, it’s only superficial and perhaps pretentious for the most part.

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