One of the unexpected side-effects of the COVID-19 pandemic, other than American hygiene devolving to that of gold rush prospectors, is the fact that our brains have stopped working.


Sure, modern American stupidity is stylish in Washington, D.C. (City slogan: "Last one here thinkin’ was Lincoln"), but it’s worked its way down the state and city ladders so fast the common citizen has apparently forgotten there’s still a deadly virus waiting to jump them from the nearest alley.


How, I wonder, does someone go from cowering in their home to stripping off their shirt and protective mask to run down the street with a beer in each hand screaming "spring break!" I’d never seen a 48-year-old certified public accountant do that before.


Each level of government has eased or canceled restrictions against public gatherings and whether citizens should continue to wear masks to protect against the virus.


The odd thing is people are listening.


When did the rebellious American decide it was OK to willfully obey the government? A government that has consistently lied to us (I’m looking at you, Roswell coverup)? A government that can’t balance a budget, properly fix a road or figure out how to keep its citizens from hating each other? Now we’re going to follow its medical advice?


The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (you know, the people we’re counting on to save us from the impending zombie apocalypse) has said this about stepping out in public:


You morons. Stay away from each other. Put on masks. Public gatherings are death traps. For the love of God, go home and wash your hands. Haven’t you seen "The Andromeda Strain"? (Possibly paraphrased.)


I guess I understand why some may want to ignore medical professionals trained to deal with virulent diseases in favor of listening to elected officials with the common sense of The Three Stooges. Medical professionals sound like our parents, The Three Stooges tell us to run outside and buy candy.


Today’s America is like every bad disaster movie. Public officials stand smiling, waving people away by saying, "Move along, folks. Nothing to see here. Overcrowded restaurants, beaches and national parks are great this time of year."


And we’re going to the restaurants, beaches and national parks.


There are things I’d like to hear, too, but, "For the fourth pick in the 2020 MLB draft, the Kansas City Royals select Jason Offutt," is probably not going to happen (although I bat right-handed and can scratch myself like nobody’s business).


I’m a 55-year-old balding fat guy, I can deal with disappointment. As a country, we should be able to deal with disappointment, too. You’ve heard of the 2019 Detroit Tigers, right?


If we don’t smarten up, this pandemic will be the death of us. I want to be able to walk into the grocery store without my HAZMAT suit, mainly because it’s hard to eat free samples while encased in polyethylene, but now’s not the time.


It is, however, the time for caution. The Three Stooges are funny, but they’re not good role models.


– Jason’s upcoming novel, "So You Had to Build a Time Machine," is available for preorder at jasonoffutt.com.