It seems like forever ago, but it’s actually three years this week since the Chieftain reported the first two cases of COVID-19 in the county, and the governor declared a statewide public health emergency, thus beginning the new normal and empty toilet paper shelves.

I bring this up because the self-same governor just last week announced the emergency would be no more by the end of this month. In so many words.

Think about it, after three years of mask-wearing and sanitizing and six-foot spacing being drilled into our heads, we are now left to fend for ourselves, risk-wise. And not to trivialize the handful of cases still popping up every week, it seems folks have gotten used to taking a modicum of precaution and the new-no-more normal.

Fair enough, I say. You’ve probably heard that everybody is bound to catch it sooner or later, it just comes down to another nuisance of life in the 2020s.

And hey, speaking of a nuisance, we still have that nagging thing they make us do called Daylight Saving Time. It’s coming around again this Sunday as the clock strikes 2 a.m. and whoosh…we’ve teleported 60 minutes into the future. Kind of like time travel, but the trouble is, on Monday morning my body is wanting to live in the past.

Other than Ben Franklin, who jokingly proposed in 1784 that waking up earlier in the summer would save on candle usage, I’ve never really heard anyone give a logical reason to keep doing the Daylight Saving Time shuffle. I mean, why are they saving it and where do they keep it?

Not to worry, we’ll get that hour back in the fall. It’s recyclable, which in this day and age is commendable, like rinsing out a Ziplock bag to reuse as we do at home, or keeping an empty Folgers can to pour bacon grease into.

Whether we save time or spend it, it’s something up for discussion in Santa Fe again in the legislature. If our lawmakers end up going with SB 191 and vote to do away with Daylight Saving Time, Mountain Standard Time would be standard. But politics being what they are, the competing SB 287 would keep us on Daylight Saving Time forever and ever. Or neither. They’re even bringing it up in DC again. They decide, we abide.

All this compulsory re-setting of the clocks makes me envy the days when every town had its own more-or-less time zone. There would be a sundial of some sort and wind-up clocks would be set at noon at the highest point on the dial. And that was for people who actually needed to know. Oh sure, people had pocket watches and grandfather clocks, which they used when ma would tell pa, “dinner in ten minutes,” but otherwise standardized timekeeping wasn’t important until the trains came. Socorro’s town clock entering the plaza is reminiscent of those old days, I suppose, but I’ve never seen anyone walk up and set their watches by it.

Anyway, when the trains came with their timetables and telegraph poles, somewhere along the way. it was decided that there should be four time zones and not a separate time zone for each community.

But guess what? The science and technology folks at the European Space Agency are now advocating the creation of a special time zone for the moon. This has nothing to do with trains or telegraph poles, of course, and you can be sure Stanly Kubrick will not rise from the grave to add special effects to satisfy the moon-landing-hoax people.

They say that by next year NASA et al. will start working on the Gateway, a component of the Artemis program, which will orbit not the Earth, but the moon, providing “essential support for long-term human return to the lunar surface and serves as a staging point for deep space exploration.”

If you think about it, keeping track of “what time is it?” on the moon can’t rely on a sundial and forget Greenwich Mean Time when you’re on the other side. I suppose they’ll have a committee to decide what Moon Standard Time should be. And before you know it, people living in the yet-to-be moon colony will be complaining about setting their clocks to Moon Daylight Time.

Never mind.

Back down to Earth, I’m thinking the Free State of Socorro should start its own time zone. We’ll call it the comfort zone, where if someone says they’ll do something this afternoon, it’ll get done tomorrow.

OK, I’m joking, but in this modern world and the semi-annual fooling around with the clocks, it’s a wonder they haven’t made us switch to keeping time using the metric system.

One more thing, you can refrain from taking a shower this Sunday. It’s Alfred Hitchcock Day.