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A time for young fellas to carry umbrellas

And considering the climate, you really might find it

The right time to stay at home

Man, I hope not. NASCAR hopes not. The stock market hopes not. Anywhere where people gather hopes not.

The above are words from a fairly obscure Jerry Jeff Walker song. They come to mind as America confronts an epidemic – and potential pandemic – that could be endemic, but let’s hope not.

Anywhere people congregate is fertile ground for the spread of something called coronavirus, which is spreading rapidly around the world.

For gosh sakes, wash your hands thoroughly every chance you get. Carry a handkerchief. Apologize, but don’t shake hands.

Fortunately, coronavirus doesn’t spread from exhaust fumes or engine noise. If you’re a race fan, you’re unafraid of such fumes and noises. Enjoy yourself, whether it’s in Fontana, Calif., or Hickory, N.C. A race track is a good place to get your minds off your problems, whether it’s the job or the 401-K or health care or the latest virus making its rounds. The rounds are better around a track.

Life is fatal. Almost anything will kill you. The stress from worrying about it will kill you, too.

Have fun. To borrow a line from a movie, “Isn’t fun the greatest thing you can have?” To borrow a song from another, “Que sera, sera. Whatever will be will be. The future’s not ours to see. Que sera, sera.

I don’t know why I’m worried about this. Race fans are hearty folks. I had a sneezing fit this morning. I have them from time to time. I don’t think it’s coronavirus, not unless I’ve had it for a couple years. There’s just something in the air. I don’t know what it is. It just makes me sneeze sometimes. Everyone at my age is one germ from disaster. I try to take a zinc tablet and multivitamin every day and not worry about it.

The ending of the Daytona 500 scared me. Las Vegas encouraged me. I thought it was a fine race. Intermediate tracks have been a source of frustration. The competition in Sin City was excellent.

Just this once, I hope what happened in Vegas doesn’t stay in Vegas.