Well, hello, it’s been a while. How’s by you?
Helluva month it’s been. And by “month” I mean two days. Over the weekend, little by little, the dawning realization struck me — “social distancing” is a polite but ineffective way of saying “STAY THE F- AWAY.” It’s simple math, right? The chance of passing or catching a virus is zero if you have zero contact with other people. The more contacts, the higher the chance of contagion. Forget limiting gatherings to 250, or 50, or 10. “Approaching zero” finally has real life meaning.
Like many of us, I’ve been slow to catch on. We sent the kids to school last week, now they’re home; we allowed a couple friends to come over during the weekend, now we’re locked down, as these conversations from this morning illustrate:
“Can I go to Chick-Fil-A?” “No.”
“Can I go to Sammy’s house?” “No.”
“Can he come here?” “No.”
“Can I—?” “Can you vacuum? Why, yes you can!”
We have silver linings: Our pantry has never been more full! We have ice cream in the freezer! Two kinds! We read more, watch movies more, talk more, and cook more (all that food I bought before it goes bad). Chicken soup and turkey chili and teriyaki bowls, and other meals combining chicken and broth and rice and leftover chili (put it on chips, throw some cheese on it and it’s nachos!). Maybe, just maybe, if this lasts long enough, there will be arts and crafts.
We are lucky. For Christopher and me, who already work from home, little has changed, other than more time with our kids and a lot more hand washing. We walk the dogs, walk to the bluffs and look out at the ocean, and wave to neighbors (who now cross the street to avoid us). I work on writing projects and he learns code.
But. This is weird. And. It will not last forever (though some hours it may feel like it.) It can be lonely, especially if you do not have a house full of young adults. If the hermetic life does not suit you, or if you are going crazy being locked up with too many near and dear ones, reach out. Phone a friend. Connect over group chats, and WhatsApp, and Zoom. Try a yoga video (or see if your local yoga studio is livestreaming classes so they can pay their teachers) like these livestreamed dance classes. If you have K-6 kids, Scholastic offers this homeschool help for you.
And let’s aim to keep our patience, our kindness, and our sense of humor. To that end, here are two jokes from Laughfactory.com/jokes, one G-rated and one a little spicier:
“My friend thinks he is so smart. He told me an onion is the only food that makes you cry. So I threw a coconut at his face.” [that slays me!]
PG-rated (for language, or perhaps violence, if you are a member of PETA):
“A man kills a deer and takes it home to cook for dinner. Both he and his wife decide that they won’t tell the kids what kind of meat it is, but will give them a clue and let them guess. The dad said, ‘Well it’s what Mommy calls me sometimes.’ The little girl screamed to her brother, ‘Don’t eat it. Its an asshole!'”
Stay safe out there, people.