July 9, 2020. The Rolling Stones were scheduled to give a concert in Atlanta. My boss had tickets for the concert. In fact, I think seeing a Rolling Stones concert was on his “bucket list.” What a trendy activity to check off a bucket list.

But nooooooo. The Rolling Stones concert had to be canceled because of the coronavirus. A virus that, until a few months ago, most of us never heard of made it necessary to cancel any and every activity Americans could dream up. Every concert, high school reunion, high school prom, high school and college graduation, family reunion, neighborhood picnic, block party, and birthday party had to be canceled or postponed.

Nobody ever dreamed the basketball playoffs would be canceled or that baseball season would be canceled. Ultimately, any gathering of more than 10 people was not a good idea. The risk of spreading the coronavirus was too great.

Looking forward

Coronavirus notwithstanding, we all need to have something to which we can look forward. I want to go to Colorado in September to see the Aspen leaves change. New England has nothing on Colorado when the Aspen leaves change color every fall. Actually, because of the virus, I am skittish about flying anywhere. I think I will plan that trip for ... oh ... say ... 2023.

Three years from now, will we still be wearing masks, social distancing and postponing any and every activity we can fathom? Coronavirus notwithstanding, I am looking forward to that trip! Because we have been disappointed over and again when our plans had to be canceled, it is imperative that we have activities to which we can look forward. Like football.

Football season in a pandemic

We can only hope football season will not be canceled. In the South, that’d be an emergency. I have a lot of questions. Will we have to wear a mask and socially distance at Baron Stadium at a Rome Wolves football game? Will the cheerleaders have to wear masks? How will we be able to hear the cheers? If the referees wear masks, how will they blow the whistle when they need too? Would all the gang in the press box have to wear masks? Would we be able to hear them announce the game? What about the Sound of the Seven Hills? How in the world would they wear masks? Everybody, with the exception of the drum section, would constantly have to lower their mask in order to play their instruments. The drum majors would have to do likewise in order to give instructions to the band. The cheerleaders ... the band ... the referees wearing masks? None of that would look right. What if fans are not allowed to attend the football games?

I told you I have a lot of questions, but do not talk to me about the “new normal.” None of that is normal.

After the Fourth of July

Right after the Fourth of July, Americans were encouraged to always wear a mask in public. Most of us are complying with that recommendation. Most of us were scared to death not to! I had my car serviced at Riverside Toyota last week and I wore a mask. All their employees, and most of their customers, were wearing masks.

Many places require that we wear a mask when entering their building. My husband underwent cataract surgery last week. All the employees at the surgery center wore masks, as did we. The next day we went to the post-operative examination where all the employees wore masks. Although we both wore a mask, it was different there. We were among 25 people in the waiting room. Four of the 25 people were not wearing a mask. I guess they didn’t get the memo.

The Rolling Stones wearing masks

My family and most of my friends are not too cool to wear a mask. However, could you imagine the Rolling Stones wearing masks during one of their concerts? No! Even if Mick could sing while wearing a mask, it would never look right. Ultimately, the Rolling Stones are just too cool to wear masks.

Roman Pam Walker is a paralegal, a writer, an avid cyclist, history enthusiast, and an ardent reader of Southern fiction. She is the author of “People, Places, and Memories of Rome.” Readers may email her at pamterrellwalker@gmail.com

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