It's Not All Doom & Gloom
It's been a rough couple of weeks, or is it months? It sure feels like the latter. But, hey, one way to survive the social distancing, mask wearing (I just ordered some biker's masks that will make me look like--well, a biker), and sheltering in place is to come up with a list of some of the good things about this pandemic.
The New York Times
I know: talking about positives when thousands of people have succumbed to the coronavirus may seem like heresy. But for all the pessimists, control freaks (Count me in!), and those who've turned to substances other than food, it's an RX that may remove some of the sting.
A friend emailed me with her list, "Five Ways the Earth and Humans Could Be Better After the Pandemic."
Sounds hopeful, right?
1. More people will work from home more often cutting down on traffic, time spent commuting, car accidents and pollution.
2. There will have been less global warming for about a year.
3. There will have been less pollution for about a year.
4. There will be slightly fewer people on earth, easing the overpopulation problem a tiny bit.
5. There will be fewer old people which is better for the US social security system and job openings.
Hey, #5 doesn't sound very uplifting for those of us currently in the social security system.
I have my own list, one that is based on a few facts but mostly just personal observation:
1. Sorry Weight Watchers, Noom, (What the heck does that mean, anyway?), Jenny and all the rest of the weight loss programs, the number of Americans stuck at home who gain more than ten pounds and resolve to join up (Remember your New Year's Eve resolutions?) will flatten like the virus curve. Instead, exercise apps, the sales of exercise equipment, and all those YouTube and Zoom yoga, meditation, Zumba, dance, Pilates, gyrotonics programs have exploded like a bodybuilder's muscles on steroids.
(On a personal note, setting up your cell phone, iPad, or desktop computer to take advantage of all these online classes is a skill many of us seniors don't have. I spent the better part of a week trying to figure out why I couldn't hear myself during a meeting on Zoom when I wasn't the host. And when I finally joined a class, the teacher kept saying things like "Jane, I can't see you" or "Jane, move further back," "No, turn the other way." I got more exercise scooting around than I did from the class.)
2. The sales of books--yep, you know, those words printed on pages or narrated on Audible--will reach all-time highs. (No, not that kind of high, though anecdotal evidence confirms that liquor stores and cannabis dispensaries are doing just fine, thank you.) My publisher told me that book sales are up (LOL) fifty percent. We may not be a country of illiterates after all--well, except for those . . .
3. Speaking of books, the same publisher said that business has never been better. "Everyone has decided to write a book." Yeah, well, I've decided to join the Joffrey Ballet.
4. Warning: All you moms out there playing the role of a substitute teacher can skip this
But for us with kids who left home years ago, we can offer our condolences.
Online educational sites have never seen better days.
But moms at home trying to keep their kids up to speed have rarely seen more trying days. Just ask my next-door neighbor. She has three sons, poor thing, and has to oversee their continuing education. It's practically an all-day affair, and she's exhausted.
5. If you're like me, you're baffled about the run on toilet paper. Why not milk or eggs or bread? I've heard all kinds of possible reasons: we need to control something (our bladders?) in this uncertain time; everyone else is hoarding, so I'd better, too.
The average American has a weekly, one-to-two roll toilet paper habit. The environmental repercussions are staggering. So, as we use less toilet paper, we do our duty to help save the planet and put the companies that make and sell bidets back to work.