A pandemic or a damn panic?

Today’s Weather:  High of 42.  Low of 34.  Windy.  Rain and snow predicted for several days to come.  Brrrr!  Guess it wouldn’t be spring in Montana if it didn’t try hard to humiliate us.

Today On The Ranch:  Beau and crew have been sorting yearlings in the feedlot in preparation for shipping this weekend.  (Yay — shipping yearlings out of the feedlot is one of the highlights of the year around here!)  All but 500 of the biggest steers will ship out, along with the heifers that won’t stay here for breeding this summer.

Also Notable Today:  I had to make a quick trip to the city for a dentist appointment (grrr!  my dang teeth just can’t get right!) and while I was there I couldn’t resist buying this t-shirt…


I figure if I survive this COVID-19 trip, I’m going to want a souvenir to remember it by.

Also of note, while I was perusing the t-shirt rack, I received a phone call from Greg Gianforte’s office.  A Republican Congressman for Montana, Gianforte is also campaigning for Governor of Montana this election year.  The lady on the other end wanted to know if I was the contact for the Custer Ranch Rodeo, which I am, and if we were indeed planning to proceed with our event June 20.  “Yes,” I said, “unless somebody shuts us down.”  She assured me that she was just putting together a list of events that are still planning to proceed across the state in June.  So now I’m wondering if perhaps Gianforte will come to the ranch rodeo and campaign?  Or if perhaps he’s compiling statistics to advance his political agenda in the state or in Washington?  Or if the authorities have been alerted and are coming to get us?!

The truth of the matter is, judging by the BIG response we’ve received from teams wanting to enter the upcoming ranch rodeo, people are really wanting to get out and about, to get back to normal, to get the economy rolling again.  We Blakes are probably counted among those people.  Maybe we are foolish to underestimate the virus and selfish to risk spreading it.  I don’t know.  I can promise that I would not (and will not) move ahead with plans if I thought there was great danger in getting everybody together.  (Of course, “danger” is a familiar notion to rodeo and ranch people, so my perspective might be a little skewed.)  The thing is, I have for two months assumed that the Coronavirus mess would be long over by June 20.  Now it’s about time for all of us to define “over.”

I do know this:  last week, as we drove home from Billings, we witnessed a huge team roping congregated within site of God and everybody.  That team roping might have proceeded against recommendations… but it wasn’t against the law.  And that’s an important line there.  I think it’s been easy for people to start to believe that recommendations are laws.  People are easily confused.  Heck, even I am extremely confused!  I always joke that I’m caught halfway between my mom (who watches the news consistently) and my husband (who listens to Rush Limbaugh).  So, to quote a lady I saw today at the feed store, Most the time I don’t know whether this is a pandemic or a damn panic.

© Tami Blake

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