After five of my columns dealing with the negative aspects of COVID-19, I’m going to try something completely different. (Monty Python’s copyright holders should be happy that I’m acknowledging the comedy troupe with credit for stealing their lines.)
I’m attempting to identify some positive aspects of our involuntary lockdown/ physical distancing/ isolation. I wish I could talk about these “roses among the thorns” without mentioning the virus, but the thorns are the disease. I think the metaphor is used to help students talk about something positive in their lives, as well as something that’s not so good.
One of the best things going on is that, of all the seasons this could have happened, it’s at the end of winter and beginning of spring. Maybe we will be in rough times during the heat of the summer, but if had experienced the disease in the early fall last year, we would be facing fewer hours of daylight, increasing cold, complications with the seasonal flu, not being able to spend Christmas and the holidays with friends and family, and disruptions of travel (especially to warm spots). If you have one of the ski deals, I sympathize with your attempts to get a refund.
Could we have had the Chili Cook-off at the Stone Cup, the Holiday Parade of Lights, and along with that, the cookies and hot cocoa from the River Church on parade night in Sandstone Park? There’s still a chance that the Sandstone Summer Concerts will be held, though Planet Bluegrass has at least unofficially announced their festivals are canceled.
LaVern is still delighting her loyal readers. Let’s hope her voice will be around long after this plague ends and she can say “another week gone by” and that no new deaths or new cases have emerged.
Another rose is the incredible response to the virus thanks to the generosity of our mask makers. How many weeks ago did we have all the sewers and seamstresses making these PPEs for not only first responders and healthcare workers, but for all the people we encounter on walks, runs, or biking?
And speaking of which, hasn’t it been pleasant to pass someone with a mask when you’re out for some exercise? People tend to be friendly in this town anyway, but the cheerfulness we get from another person on a walk is nice. Maybe it’s because we sometimes can’t recognize the person we pass and assume it’s someone we know, or maybe not. Best to be cautious and friendly just in case you know that person.
If you’ve lost your job, work for or own a business, or watched your savings or 401(k) tank, it probably doesn’t matter what time of year the virus hit. Observers of the stock market have gotten whiplash. But you can get a bargain on airfares and cruises if you are willing to to take a chance. I re-booked a trip to New Jersey to see my sister from a June date to September, and saved more than $200. I hope I don’t have to reschedule again (unless they reduce the fares even more).
One of the roses has been the use of the app Zoom. We’ve tried it for staff meetings of the Recorder, and it’s been somewhat sketchy, given that we tried to have more than four people on the call. My wife and sister did a Zoom call Wednesday with two of our best buds in New Jersey, and they apparently had lots of fun for the two-hour call with quite a bit of laughter. They plan to do a weekly call.
Another rose has been going through the back of the pantry and finding products that have expiration or “use by” dates. My sister-in-law, who works for Trader Joe’s, has said, with great authority, that the “sell by” or “use by” dates are just for pulling products off the shelves. Products can be used even years after the “sell by” dates, she assured us. I’m going to try a “beignets” (French donuts) mix and see if the “use by date” of September 2016 will produce great beignets this week.
Just one more positive is that my car, which is a 2014 hybrid, was getting more than 40 miles per gallon. Now I am looking at four or five weeks on that tankful since I filled up and I still have a quarter of a tank to go. Great mileage!
I invite you to share with us some of your “roses.” You can send them to me at firstname.lastname@example.org and I might print some of them in a future column.
Oh, and one last thing: Please, please don’t huff or inject Clorex or Lysol.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this Opinion Column are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of any staff member, contribution writer or the Lyons Recorder.