I was having coffee with a friend the other day when he began a sentence with, “What I’ve learned from the pandemic…” Now this is a dear friend who also became very, very ill when the pandemic hit New York City, so much so that there were a few nights when it didn’t seem likely he would pull through. This was before any of us realized just how bad it was going to be here in New York City. Before we realized that all of us would know at least a few people who barely survived and a few who did not. He is still not 100%.
What I’ve learned from the pandemic…
I’ll start with the easy ones.
Travel! My husband and I love traveling. So much so that when we first got together we talked about traveling the world with kids in tow, mind you this was before the reality of having actual children had hit us (Oh how young and foolish we were!) but we did fantasize a lot about the places we wanted to go and see. So in the next 6 months we have planned a couple big trips that we’ve been thinking about doing for years, but now are actually going to do.
I’m not a foodie. Actually that’s an understatement. I don’t care about that hot new restaurant that requires a 3 months in advance reservation. In fact I don’t care about eating out period. It turns out I can happily exist on a very boring diet of sameness for months and months at a time without ever varying it. The ice cream situation is a case in point. Did I tell you about the ice cream situation? No? It’s okay, I did a video about it that will be posting in another day or two. The same can be said about clothing. Comfort is everything at this point.
Masks. Here’s the thing about masks, I hate wearing them, I just have to say it, but I won’t be throwing them out any time soon. And while I’m at it I also hate wearing high heels, a bra and non stretchy clothing. In fact, underwear in general is annoying. However I do, on occasion, wear any and all of those things and even all at once. Okay, maybe not the high heels any more, but I am a woman of a certain age and I think that gives me the leeway to say, “No More!” Having said that, I would also like to take this moment to point out that I have not gotten sick, not even a cold, in over a year. That mask? Yeah, I’m pretty sure I’ll be putting that thing on again when I’m in the subway or massive crowds. And since I live in New York City the likelihood of finding myself in either of those situations is pretty good.
Germs are everywhere. This probably isn’t news to most of you, but I grew up in the country, making mud cakes, shoveling manure, picking berries and eating figs right off the tree. It was all considered very healthy and it was. Basically I’m one of the Beverly Hillbillies only moved to New York City. And now that I live in a thriving metropolis, washing fruit and vegetables is a given, along with my hands, to a degree that would make a germaphobe proud. Cities are basically massive petri dishes over flowing with germs eager to attack. Where did I put my mask? Did I mention the whole mask thing? Oh and also, hand sanitizer. Those are going right into my must-have-at-all-times along with some Kleenex, regardless of how many people get vaccinated.
Laughter. Any situation, no matter how awful, is better if I can find the humor in it. The Irish seem to have some sort of humor DNA that they’re born with, but as I don’t have Irish ancestry, just an Irish husband, which helps, but isn’t the same thing; mostly I’m left to my own devices on this one. Sometimes it’s hard and I have to dig deep, but that tiny kernel of humor is always there waiting to be discovered. Of course now, while I’m trying to think of something funny to say, I’m coming up empty. Humor’s like that. It creeps up and hits you in the face unexpectedly.
Family. This isn’t something I learned because of the pandemic, it’s more that the pandemic confirmed what I already knew. Family is everything.
Kindness. Again, not a big discovery moment because of the pandemic, but more a validation that when in doubt, kindness is the way to go. That and the art of not saying anything. This one is a big learning curve for me, but one of these days… Of course at that point, I’ll have to stop blogging and doing videos as well, because really, what else is there to say?
What about you?