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Above all, I have too much on my time if I’m wondering how Barney Fife would handle the COVID-19 crisis. Barney Fife, of course, was Sheriff Andy Taylor’s Chief Deputy on the “The Andy Griffith Show.” This classic American sitcom ran on the CBS network from 1960-1968. Frankly, the black-and-white episodes with Don Knotts as bumbling Deputy Fife were the best. Hence, those shows with Sheriff Taylor and Barney are some of my all-time favorites.  

How Would Barney Handle the Lockdown?

Therefore, before drifting off to sleep last night, I pondered exactly how Barney Fife would handle the COVID-19 crisis. Would Barney have urged Andy to declare a lockdown of Mayberry, where Barney and crew resided?

Barney would have loved a lockdown. First of all, the deputy would have deputized Gomer, Goober, Otis (the town drunk), and Floyd the barber. Barney would have set up checkpoints immediately.

Deputy Fife would have checked to see if his solitary bullet, allowed by Sheriff Taylor, was still in his uniform’s shirt pocket. Barney would have been barking orders to all of his new deputies while Andy would stand by merely shaking his head at his Deputy’s antics.  

Would Deputy Fife need the dozens of police in camouflage uniforms that we encountered at Ortiz Wharf in Iloilo City last week? Probably not. The abundance of armed law enforcement officers at Ortiz in Iloilo seemed extreme and alarming.

Guimaras has about as many dangerous criminals as Mayberry. While drug dealers selling shabu (meth) have been arrested (and killed) in Guimaras over the past several years, our island province is a relatively safe place to life. Furthermore, there’s no reported case of anyone afflicted with COVID-19 in Guimaras at this time.

What Would Andy Do?

Moreover, what would Sheriff Taylor do amid a COVID-19 crisis? Because Andy Taylor had a nurse girlfriend, Peggy McMillan, at one time, he probably would have consulted with her first. In contrast to Barney, Andy was the calm, cool, and collected type who would look at all the facts first. He wouldn’t want the “cure” to be worse than the actual virus.

Andy certainly wouldn’t have let Aunt Bee in on anything. Aunt Bee and her gossiping friends in Mayberry were the originators of “fake news.” When Barney accidentally cut himself while cleaning his gun, Bee and company eventually concocted the story that Barney accidentally shot and killed himself.  

Again, Andy would look at the facts.

Let’s review how COVID-19 thus far stacks up against previous health crises.

image courtesy of pixabay

The 1918 Spanish Flu Epidemic had over 500 million cases and killed over 50 million people worldwide. The death rate was around 2 percent.

Seasonal flu kills around 291,000 and 646,000 people worldwide according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC.)

From 2002–2004 the severe acute respiratory syndrome (SARS) killed 774 people. The death rate was around 15 percent.

The 2009 (H1N1) flu pandemic claimed over 284,000 lives with a death rate of .02 percent.

The deadly 2014–2016 Ebola virus resulted in 11,322 deaths worldwide with a 50 percent death rate.

As this post goes to publication, the World Health Organization, WHO, states that the COVID-19 pandemic is accelerating. Over 16,510 deaths have been reported worldwide at this time.

It’s time for Gomer to make some “Citizen Arrests” and stop this virus in its tracks.

All joking aside, the COVID-19 crisis, is extremely serious. We’re not planning any unnecessary trips from our home in Guimaras and won’t be venturing to nearby Iloilo City until the lockdown has ended.

Keep safe. Trust God. Be responsible. That’s what Sheriff Taylor and Deputy Fife would have wanted.

(Source of facts and figures from past health crises from Healthline.com) )

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