Bill Sniffin: Is It Possible To Lighten Up A Bit? Cabin Fever Is Killing Some Of Us

Its a scary time and a situation that makes you want to stay secluded in your home. There is a big But here . . . it has been so beautiful outside.

Bill Sniffin

March 23, 20204 min read

Bill Sniffin
(Cowboy State Daily Staff)

By Bill Sniffin, Cowboy State Daily publisher

Wyoming folks love the outdoors. Just about all of us do.

In the face of the self-quarantining that most of us have been enduring, it is just too hard to resist the opportunity to go outside.

My home town is Ground Zero right now in Wyoming for cases of the Coronavirus.  Lander has 10 of the state’s 26 cases as I am writing this Sunday night.

It’s a scary time and a situation that makes you want to stay secluded in your home.  There is a big But here . . . it has been so beautiful outside.

Nancy and I are stuck in our home but we feel we can safely go for walks along the city’s walking paths. We also feel safe getting into our car and heading out around town or up to Sinks Canyon, or around the Squaw Creek-Baldwin Creek Loop or up to South Pass. Lots of nice places to see from inside your car.

Saw some young folks with kids walking their dogs this past week.  Brad and Cree Neuendorf, their son Andrew, and dog Boo were enjoying the nice weather. 

We also visited with Jason Hunter from the Lander Game and Fish Office.  He was away from his locked down office and was walking with his daughter Ava and son Griffin. He was worried that he had been exposed to the virus, but was not showing any signs yet.

On a lighter note, my newspaper colleague from South Dakota, Larry Atkinson, predicts we will see an abundance of babies born across the globe in about nine months.  What does he think we should call this generation?  How about Coronials!

A friend of his, Marisa Wollman, said that when this group becomes teenagers, they will be called “Quaranteens.”  Pretty clever these Dakotans. They are also really, really bored.

Also, on the subject of a couple being stuck together, reminds me of the story about the late Rev. Billy Graham, who always had his wife with him. They were always together.

A reporter asked him, because of the stress of constant togetherness, did he ever consider divorce?

Billy Graham replied: “Divorce: No, Never. Murder? Occasionally.”

Our daughter Shelli Johnson has used a Fitbit to count her steps, which are considerable.  During the last 10 years, she has walked 59,000,000 steps or about 26,000 miles.  That is equal to walking around the earth one time.

She thinks right now someone should invent the “Sitbit,” to keep track of the time we spend sitting in front of the TV or just reading.

Mike Moser of Cheyenne is a funny guy. He says: “I have found one of the positive things about this social distancing thing is I can stay at home, read, and play video games and consider it being responsible!”

He also said that if those folks freaking out about toilet paper run out, they might find a use for all those unmatched socks.

Moser’s new favorite drink is the Quarantini – it’s just a regular martini but you drink it alone in your house.

And with just six people per square mile, I saw a poster that read: “Wyoming – celebrating social distancing since 1890.

And finally, there was a cartoon circulating which showed a mom bitterly complaining that she “was tired of babysitting my mom’s grandchildren!”

Casper native and best-selling author Ron Franscell writes: “Quarantine Log Day #5: We’ve eaten the dog. Cat is armed and considered dangerous. Saving water by drinking NyQuil. No coughing but sleeping all day. Toilet paper running perilously low, only 7,439 rolls left. If you find us dead, we must have eaten some . . .  bad dog.

Franscell’s friend Hal Smarkola responded: “I found after day five, dog tastes better with ketchup; cat needs more mustard, and a few sweet pickles— very salty!!” 

Hope Ron writes a book about this crazy time in our history.  Call it Love in the time of Coronavirus.  Note: There is a famous book published decades ago called Love in the time of Cholera.

Our famous Lander coffee group the Fox News All-Stars met by phone Monday morning.  We are all self-quarantined and well.  Interesting, none of us are sick (yet?) and more importantly, among this group of eight, we did not know personally of any person anywhere sick with the disease. Hope it stays that way!

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Bill Sniffin

Wyoming Life Columnist

Columnist, author, and journalist Bill Sniffin writes about Wyoming life on Cowboy State Daily -- the state's most-read news publication.