The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention is issuing a quarantine order for all the lovey-dovey, kissy-face crap you see on Valentine’s Day.

Officially, the CDC is concerned about the prevalence of “kissing diseases” this time of year. Unofficially, this is about the CDC being grumpy and single again on Valentine’s Day and not wanting to deal with the PDA and the cute nicknames — oh, and those awful couples who move in together, then can’t stop giggling about their bodily functions in these LOUD! PUBLIC! WHISPERS! like none of us can hear. I mean, grow up, people.

And just so we’re clear, this isn’t some hangup the CDC has about relationships or an ex, okay? Even though the CDC did do everything she asked. I mean, the CDC even took up macramé for Christ’s sake — macramé! The CDC didn’t even know what that was at first: She mentioned it one night and the CDC was like, “what is that, like, some new white hip-hop artist?”

Yes, the CDC can be a bit facetious. (“Why does everything have to be a joke with you?” was a common refrain). However, this was also month six of the relationship, by which time the CDC could sense some cracks forming. So, the CDC decided to be the, you know, “Good Boyfriend”, and to take the classes and learn a cow hitch from a clove hitch. Not always with ease or with skill — the CDC never claimed to be an art school, okay? But it tried, damnit. It tried!

But the cracks were growing and the macramé didn’t work. So we tried a book club. Then a wine club. Then we became museum volunteers. Then soup kitchen volunteers. We even, God forgive the CDC, we even went to a rally protesting GMOs: Yes, yes. “The CDC went to a protest against GMOs.” The CDC isn’t proud of that one but, you know, you do some fool things for love sometimes and that was one of them.

In the end nothing worked, though. “Sharon”, let’s call her, became distant. She started spending long stretches away. The CDC wanted to ask what was wrong but didn’t know how: It just kept probing around the edges, publishing charts on the need to promote things like “Healthy Communications Strategies” or “What You Need To Know About A Wounded Heart” (well, that was the substance of it, the title was actually “What You Need To Know About Lyme Carditis”). And in all honesty, the CDC was working up to the direct approach, it really was, when Sharon broke the news: She wanted to move to Seattle.

Sharon even invited the CDC to move with her. And that’s what it sounded like at first: She said the words, then the CDC responded, “But the CDC can’t move to Seattle. It has a job, here, in Atlanta.”


She knew.

Two weeks later she moved. A few months after that is when she started posting pictures of some new guy who, apparently, is a big fan of beaded bracelets and house planters. Not so coincidentally, that’s when the CDC started to issue reports about how “this sucks” and “that sucks” and “this thing’ll kill you” and “that will, too.” There may have also been a “Dating Sucks Awareness Month.” Regardless, that pretty much brings us to the present and the quarantine.

Look, the CDC realizes that there are better ways to deal with anger and stress. Trust us, the CDC has a whole stockroom full of pamphlets on the matter. It needs to eat better, talk to others, get some rest. It probably needs to not access its social media accounts from a bar, late at night, on St. Valentine’s Day.

And it will. It definitely will do all those things. But like those guidelines the CDC posts on developmental milestones say: “Baby steps.” Baby steps.