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As we all prepare to hunker down and flatten the curve of the Covid-19 pandemic, I’d love to hang out at the library or go to a movie or visit the Shafer Art Gallery. I want to go to a Kiwanis Club meeting and enjoy some human contact. Group hug, anyone?

Alas, it is not to be. At least we can all now celebrate the fact that Kansas really is flat.

Watching Jimmy Fallon do “The Tonight Show” without a band or audience from a tent in his back yard wasn’t funny. He had his daughters help him with the Friday “Thank You Notes” bit and one of them got bored half-way through and left the set. A short time later, I switched off, too.

The precautions all of us are taking now could pay off in the next few weeks. Meanwhile, I spent the weekend doing some cleaning, some reading, and a little writing. Barton Community College’s literary magazine Prairie Ink is accepting submissions for its 11th edition. The last I heard, the deadline is April 1. Editor Scott McDonald said the aim of the publication is to provide a venue for local authors to showcase their creative writing talents.

The editors are looking for fiction, creative non-fiction, poetry, drama, and graphic short stories. Submission guidelines and other information about the magazine can be found at prairieink.bartonccc.eduor by sending an email to McDonald at mcdonalds@bartonccc.edu.

Here in the Great Bend Tribune newsroom, folks are still coming to work if they’re healthy but we’ve been making plans in case some of us will be Working From Home, like Fallon. 

WFH is one thing, but how do we pass our free time? I asked my coworkers to help me work on a coronavirus song playlist.

First, there are the pun/slanted titles:

“(Not) Leaving on a Jet Plane

Covid-Eileen

Covid-Chameleon and

My My My Corona ...

But for actual songs, there are plenty to choose from. The Tribune’s top picks:  

Fight on Fighter – King and Country

Living on a Prayer – Bon Jovi

Breathe – Jonny Diaz

You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet -  BTO

Never Been to Spain – 3 Dog Night

I Won’t Back Down – Bruce Springsteen

New York State of Mind –  Billy Joel

I Drink Alone – George Thorogood

Once in a Lifetime – Talking Heads

La Grippe – Squirrel Nut Zippers (preferably the “live” version from the album “Sold Out”)

Fever – Peggy Lee (or Elvis on the “Aloha from Hawaii Via Satellite” album)

The Safety Dance – Men Without Hats

It’s the End of the World as We Know It – R.E.M.

Don’t Stand So Close to Me – The Police (Along with “Every Breath You Take”)

The Gambler – Kenny Rogers 

Breathe – Anna Nalick

In the Air Tonight – Phil Collins

I Will Survive – Gloria Gaynor

Don’t Worry Be Happy – Bobby McFerrin

I Want a New Drug – Huey Lewis and the News

Stayin’ Alive – Bee Gees

And, if all else fails, there’s the 1966 single by Napoleon XIV, “They’re Coming to Take Me Away, Ha-haaa!”

Here’s hoping we all keep our sanity until things get back to normal.


Susan Thacker is the news editor of the Great Bend Tribune. Contact her at sthacker@gbtribune.com.