Saturday, March 21, 2020

For Adults Experiencing "Saturday Night Live" Withdrawl: Virus-Related Deaths Italian-Style

Like so many Americans, I have been traumatized by the news coverage of deaths caused by the Coronavirus in Italy.  Since so many of us were turning off the TV in order to avoid these terrifying stories, journalists started putting a cheerful spin on a tragic event and showing pictures of just how resilient Italians are.  I am a third generation Italian-Sicilian-American who has a second generation Italian-Sicilian-American aunt who is 102 years old and was born the year of the Spanish flu.  She plans to live until she is 106 or so as her grandparents did in Sicily.  I am more concerned about her children who look after this spunky woman than I am about her.  After experiencing death and dying Italian-Style since my youth, I am suspicious not only about the pictures that are coming out of Italy but of the statistics or body count that we hear daily.  I have composed a list of what the media is now calling “virus-related” deaths.  I propose that for each Italian who dies of the Coronavirus, at least 14 people might die of one of the following virus-related causes.  This list might have been written by the dark comics on Saturday Night Live if they could phone it in and was inspired by their Coronavirus soap opera:
 
Virus-Related Deaths in Italy:
 
1.      The virus.

2.     Guilt because you did not get the virus while others are suffering and dying.

3.     Guilt because you did not prevent someone else from getting the virus.

4.     Guilt because you did not do enough for a person who got the virus.

5.     Food Poisoning if you are a son whose mother never taught him how to cook before she died.

6.     Food Poisoning if you are a daughter who was never allowed in the kitchen except to wash or dry dishes.

7.     Fear of getting the virus.

8.     Anger because someone died from the virus.

9.     Anger because of the cost of a funeral for someone who got the virus .

10.  Jealousy because your loved-one’s lover showed up at the funeral.

11.  Grief from a broken heart.

12.  Shock brought on by the reading of a will that leaves everything to the cat.

13.  Murder caused by married couples or siblings having the virus at the same time.

14.  Murder caused by a neighbor who is singing opera on a balcony across from a sickroom—especially if the sick person is a teen.

15.  Fatal injuries of zealous and melodramatic grievers who throw themselves on top of the coffin or into the grave of their loved one.

If you enjoy Italian humor, read The Seven or Eight Deaths of Stella Fortuna by Juliet Grames or the books by Adriana Trigiani.

If you need hope and strength , watch Mr. Smith goes to Washington and Why We Fight by the first generation, Sicilian-American, Frank Capra, who gave us It’s a Wonderful Life.

Please remember that laughter is the best medicine and “The joy of the Lord is our strength.” (Nehemiah 8: 9-12)   If you don’t believe me,, a mere court jester in “the Kingdom,” or The Bible, read Anatomy of an Illness by Norman Cousins or ask Google.
 

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