Well, here I was all ready to write about the various visits from family, when suddenly there’s new words in my vocabulary and a (hopefully temporary) new way of life.
I don’t watch the news anymore; I haven’t in quite a long time since there’s really not a thing I can do about what’s out there anyway. But when it directly affects me and mine, then I read as much as I can, avoiding the sky-is-falling sites, and go from there. This COVID-19 thing affects me and mine.
Suddenly it feels like we’re in a really bad sci-fi movie. We are, for the most part, confined to our homes. Playgrounds and beaches (beaches!) are closed. Shopping centers, amusement parks, theaters, gyms; you name it, they’re closed. In fact, unless you’re a grocery store or restaurant that can offer take-out, you’re closed (or will be). Even the almighty Amazon has had to change the way they’re doing business, focusing now on getting the essentials to those who absolutely need them and relegating the inessentials to an unknown distant delivery date. Bad human behavior has shown itself to be as diverse in its volatility as any B movie could conjure up. In fact, if someone had written into this movie that across the globe people would be hoarding toilet paper, would you have believed it? Wouldn’t you have wondered, ‘Who writes this crap’?
I just read two disturbing things regarding human behavior. In the first, a woman deliberately coughed, sneezed, and spit on $35,000 worth of food in a grocery store forcing the store to dispose of it. And this was intentional! The second involved a masked customer who was irate because he felt that an associate was ‘giving him attitude.’ When asked to leave the store, the man removed his mask and yelled and spit in the manager’s face! Really?
At the same time I read heroic and inspiring stories of the selfless men and women in healthcare and public safety who, despite their odds of contracting this wicked virus, continue to do their jobs day and night. I hear of the good neighbors willing to share what they have. I’m enjoying the plentiful impromptu videos musicians are sharing online just trying to ‘do their part’. Thankfully this list is long and encouraging, if you look for it.
While I can’t say this is the avenue I would have chosen, some of the consequences of this vile thing are not necessarily bad. Interestingly enough, the ozone is healing, there is little or no smog in the formerly polluted air around the world. Families are spending unprecedented time together, people are working from home and kids are learning online.
Will this be our new normal? Outside of the inconvenience of not having our swimming pool, card games, and social activities available, outside of not being able to see my family and friends right now, it’s been rather interesting. Gas is cheaper, traffic is lighter. Will people realize perhaps some of the good that has happened? Look at the projects getting done, the new hobbies taken up or rediscovered, the creativity that is drawn from having to find new and interesting ways to keep kids occupied. Parents are on social media sharing ideas and commiserating with with each other. We’re so used to ‘plugging in’ when things get to be too much that we forget what it was like before this technology arrived that has robbed curiosity and creativity. I’ve seen more interesting and creative ideas on social media than I ever did before! (Now if I could just find a store open for supplies…)
Check this out for some perspective: