Bill Moeller Commentary: The Aftermath of My Experience With a Virus


I don’t suppose there’s a policy on when you can stop thinking about something as serious as the coronavirus once you’ve come into personal familiarity with it, but here — and I hope this will be the only time — are a few more comments about how it affected this senior citizen.

First of all, you don’t start feeling better as soon as you know that the vaccine is working because there’s always the nagging thought in the back of one’s brain that maybe it isn’t.

Five days of isolation after the appropriate shots have been administered isn’t enough time to stop worrying about such things. And then there’s the fear that, unknowingly, you might have infected someone else before you were diagnosed with the virus and your vaccines took effect.

In my own case, I lost interest in food. Perhaps I thought that any food I digested had to be prepared by a sick man (myself) and that just didn’t seem to make the food as palatable as it used to be? But I lost a couple of pounds, so who’s complaining?

Another downside was — and still remains to a small extent — the loss of interest in writing this column after spending more than a dozen years meeting a deadline. I’ll confess right here that last week’s column was one of four or five that I had written months ago and then set aside for just such a situation.

The fact that a winter spent without either the TV turned on or a book in my hand became a serious factor in this old duffer’s lifestyle. I found that walking a distance of about two blocks to deposit my month’s rent and then back again meant stopping a couple of times just to catch my breath. That condition will not happen again.

There were (and still are as I write this) several instances of dreading the possibility — once the trails have dried out a little more — a walk up the trail to the top of the Seminary Hill Natural Area would not be feasible. I assure you that such an event will happen, no matter how long it takes, or I’ll have to bring along my old sleeping bag from my backpacking days.

On another note, we’ve been assured that the annual Seattle Seafair will be held this summer and the Navy pilots will again display their ability to thrill the audiences around the shores of Lake Washington. I’ll likely watch as much of the race as I can, but I have to confess that since I am a member of a hypothetical Bill Muncey fan club, I won’t enjoy the races as much as I used to before those old second-hand aircraft piston engines were replaced by jets.

How many people remember what a quill shaft was and why it meant so much when one broke?

At this point, I’d like to tell young whippersnappers that there used to be an annual race of outboard motor powered boats on, I believe, the Snoqualmie River that was included in those news shorts that used to separate a feature movie from a second rate one.

The river’s course could only be described as “snakelike” and many drivers would shorten their path, and thrill viewers at the same time, by “gunning” their motors when they came to a turn and skimmed over the ground until they hit the water again on the other side.

I’m sad to say those races were eventually discontinued after scumbags who thought they were being funny began throwing obstacles in the boats’ paths.

So, party on. It’s summer, I think, and we are all ready to enjoy life again.


Bill Moeller is a former entertainer, mayor, bookstore owner, city council member, paratrooper and pilot living in Centralia. He can be reached at