Post 61 – Quarantine!

Post 61 – Quarantine!

January 19 – FAIR

“Alicia catches Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever. Everyone else is quarantined. Laura brings Alicia some berries and later comes down with poison ivy but thinks it’s the fever. Alicia gets well & all’s well that ends well like Ma always says!”

 

From Tracy –

This is the perfect LHOP episode for the pandemic weirdness we’re going through right now. And dammit, it’s just a great episode. There’s action AND tear-jerking scenes in this badger. Just go get the box of Kleenex right now — that is if you haven’t used up your supply on wiping your bottom.

So much of what’s going on right now worldwide is going on in Walnut Grove in this episode. School closures! Crankiness! And people putting themselves at risk for coffee, booze, fishing trips and fresh raspberries! Like I said, just like now. “You watch yourself! Folks are mighty touchy!” warns one of the friendlier Elmsville residents. Good advice, even now.

By the way, in case you were wondering, Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever is the real deal. It’s a bacterial disease spread by ticks. It starts with a fever and a headache, which is followed by a rash that’s made up of small spots of bleeding. Yum! Other symptoms include muscle pains and vomiting. Wheee! And long-term complications include hearing loss or the loss of part of an arm or leg. Joy! These days they’d dose you up with the antibiotic Doxycycline, but in Laura’s time, no such luck. And despite its name, it appears throughout these contiguous United States, especially east of the Mississippi River.

Quarantine is also an important episode for the LHOP canon because we get Isaiah’s (Mr. Edwards) back story for perhaps the first time. He brought the Mountain Fever to his first family, and his wife and baby daughter died. That would make one an alcoholic and a semi-hermit! No wonder he was always so protective of Half-Pint.

Then there’s that sad scene of Ma Ingalls and the girls leaving Grace all alone on her bare, windblown farm! I tear up every time. Life is so damn hard on the prairie.

Which brings us to Laura. She just can’t stay out of trouble. In my pop-culture addled mind, Laura is Captain Kirk and Mary is Spock:

Laura may piss off ALL the local aliens, but by God, she’s going to give Alicia those raspberries.

But just like Kirk, Laura is nothing if not noble. She leaves her family to go to Mr. Edwards’ ratty-tat cabin and ends up taking care of both Mr. Edwards and Alicia.

“The worst part about being sick is how sad it makes other people,” says Laura. Dammit, where’s that @#$%?! Kleenex!

By the way, poison ivy is no laughing matter either. I have it on my neck and collarbone exactly where Laura has it in the episode. I would post a photo of my oozing, chafing wounds, but I don’t want to make you vomit like you have Mountain Fever.

Here’s to all of us staying well and getting through this quarantine as soon as possible.

From Anne –

Tracy, I think this is the first time that your Star Trek mania has merged with your Little House mania. Perhaps Mr. Edwards is a stand-in for Dr. McCoy. Didn’t they both have drinking problems?

While I agree with you that this episode has lots in common with the present public health madness, the politics differ. For instance, vigilantes in Elmsville take up arms when Charles and Mr. Edwards don’t social distance. That actually makes sense! Today, people are brandishing guns to defend their right to shop to death.

Dr. Anthony Fauci would not approve of Laura’s desire to help the sick. But at least health care on the prairie is easy enough to get. Just kidnap Doc Baker from the neighboring town that needed him, pay him with a chicken, and you’re all good! No money changes hands. Forget high deductibles and Medicaid; a return to prairie economics is just the ticket.

As Alicia Edwards comes down with Rocky Mountain Spotted Fever, you can’t help but think how nice it would be if COVID announced itself with some brightly colored visual symptom.

My favorite character in this episode is Caroline. After school is canceled and Carrie and Laura are fighting all day at the kitchen table over school supplies, Ma is over it. “Quarantine. Seems like it’s lasting forever,” she says.

PS: From Tracy – Stepping here to defend Dr. McCoy here. He just enjoyed a bit of the wee dram of the Romulan Ale. One more thing: COVID sometimes does express itself with a brightly colored visual symptom — Google “Covid toes.” Eek!

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