During this Covid-19 virus dilemma, we are receiving lots of advice from the experts and the media regarding our health and safety . . . mostly good . . . and some maybe not so good. Who knows for sure? At my age, I take all advice with a grain of salt, because I remember all of the health and safety advice that I have received in the past which did not turn out to be so wise. Here are a few examples of BAD ADVICE given to me in the last 71 years . . .
"Clean up your plate or you are not leaving this table, young man. Be sure to eat the fat. That is the best part." (From my parents at every dinner meal)...evidently the word "cholesterol" had not been invented.
"Those flakes of rust won't hurt you. That is iron, which is good for your blood." (From my Dad after pumping me a cup of water from a hand pump back in the field . . . my wife said that maybe the lead, also in the rust flakes, is what caused me to be weird-acting at times. Now, is that nice of her?
"Go cut some sassafras and I'll make you some tea. It's good for you and will thin your blood." (From Grandma Dale, who also wore copper bracelets to ease her arthritis. Well, it did taste good even though it can cause cancer and liver damage. Poor Grandma didn't know.)
"Let the Vicks Vaporub melt down your tongue. Our landlady eats a barrel of that every winter. She never has a sore throat." (From my Mom whenever I had a cold. I guess she did not read the label "Not to be taken internally. Contains camphor and turpentine oil.")
"One drink won't kill you. It's cold and clear. Everybody drank from the creek in the old days." (From a friend I went camping with. I wonder if those people in the old days also ended up unconscious with a 105 degree fever like I did?)
"I'll eat one if you eat one. They can't be that bad for you." (From a friend who dared me to eat a dog bone. I also ate a bowl of Gravy Train once. No, I did not get sick, but to this day I have an irresistible urge to raise my right leg when standing next to a tree.)
"Here, eat a bunch of these. They contain Vitamin C, which will give you energy." (From Bob Shelton, our basketball student manager, right before the 1965 County Tourney championship game. I also found out that too many can make me sick. Yes, we lost. Thanks, Bob.)
"Keep your foot down so the dirt will bleed out." (From my father-in-law, who loaded me in the car after I had dropped a 1/2-inch diameter steel rod THROUGH my shoe and FOOT while lowering a spring-tooth harrow from a plow. I lost a lot of blood, but I stuck my foot in the back window about halfway to the emergency room . . . and survived! Maybe he wanted a new son-in-law?)
"Smoke Salem menthol. They are a lot safer than Marlboros. That's what I smoke." (From my doctor after he checked me for bronchitis. He died a few years later at a young age from a heart attack.)
"You should retire and enjoy life." (From several people through the past few years. Later on, these same people complain that they are bored and wished they had not retired.)
Much of the advice on TV today is common sense methods to help us avoid being exposed to this new virus. Good . . . no problem with that. However, there is one piece of advice that I hear every day . . . "STAY TUNED TO THIS STATION FOR THE LATEST CORONAVIRUS UPDATES"...Bad advice in my opinion. The TV station's idea of an update is to inform you as to how many people died yesterday, how many the experts predict will succumb in the future, which celebrity has now contracted the virus and what accusations the political elite have heaped on each other in the constant blame game.
This past weekend, I told my wife that I had had enough. I turned off the TV news and turned on the DVD player. She read a book. I watched "Viva Las Vegas," starring Elvis and Ann-Margret....Ah, yes, the good ol' days! And since I have been speaking about health . . . I don't know about Elvis, but Ann-Margret sure looked healthy . . . REAL healthy. Sorry, dear wife, I just had to point that out!

John "Butch" Dale is a retired teacher and County Sheriff. He has also been the librarian at Darlington the past 30 years, and is a well-known artist and author of local history.