Updated: Mar 19, 2020
Let's address the microscopic elephant in the room: coronavirus. A lot of people are scared and panicked about this mysterious virus that is circling the globe at breakneck speed. I am nervous, too, which is why I have taken as many reasonable precautions as possible. Now I haven't gone all hazmat suit on the world like Naomi Campbell. But I am keeping myself and my family members far away from others, washing my hands frequenty, and wiping down doorknobs, light switches, and elevator buttons with disinfecting wipes as often as possible. It may get worse before it gets better, but I plan on taking this one day at a time.
How do I keep my sanity during such a trying time, you ask? One thing I've learned is that when life gets me down, it helps to make a list of all of the things I'm grateful for as a reminder that it's not so bad. So here goes my list:
1. The End Of Handshaking
I for one have never been a fan of shaking hands with people. To me it is on par with high fiving, which Jerry Seinfeld considered to be the "lowest form of male primate ritual." And everything Jerry Seinfeld says and has said must be true because it was on TV. I've also lived with hand-shaking anxiety for years. I never know when meeting a person necessitates a hand shake or if I'm pumping too strong or not strong enough during a handshake. In fact, some people have called me out on a weak handshake. To them I say, fuck you and good riddance to this social norm.
2. Men Who Wash Their Hands After Using the Bathroom
I am not a man, but I am married to one and he tells me what goes on inside the men's bathroom when a man thinks no one is looking: The whizz and run out of the room. It's disgusting. And now I know why I want to vomit everytime I shake a man's hand. Also, shame on you men. I hope you'll do better from now on.
3. Waived Cancellation Fees
Before the shit started to hit the fan in Chicago, I signed up for one of my regular weekly barre classes. At the last minute though, I decided I was too tired and canceled. Now normally, the service I use charges a $20 fee for canceling, which I figured I'd have to fight by lying and saying it was out of fear of the virus. But, magically, no cancellation fee has appeared on my credit card. Guess they were one step ahead of me, and this can be our little secret.
4. Free Stuff
Now I'm not talking about looting. That is wrong. But I often limit the number of activities my daughter participates in because of cost. Now, though, so many companies and organizations are offering free online classes so Evelyn is never stuck counting the pieces of lint on her bedroom carpet after school because mama's too cheap to put her in a music class. Something tells me if the quarantine lasts much longer these free activities won't. But for now, I'm making the most of it. I've signed Evelyn up for so many free virtual yoga and music classes she is going to be able to play Beethoven's 5th Symphony on the piano while doing a down dog into a Vinyasa flow by the time she can go back to school.
6. Everything is Clean
Thank god the Chicago CTA was compelled to clean out the El trains. And I thought New York's subways were bad.
5. The Best Excuse in The World
Before the closure of most restaurants and businesses I begrudgingly signed up to attend a workshop for which I barely had any interest. I had already met with the organizer who graciously answered my questions on the topic over coffee, and didn't see the point to hearing any more about the subject. She seemed to think it would be good for me to go, so out of kindness, I said yes. As the day of the workshop neared, I struggled to find a way out. I scoured medical sites to find a weekend work-related event to attend while trying to diagnose myself with a rare disease to no avail. But then, a few days ago, a miracle occurred. The organizer canceled the event due to coronavirus. That gives me more time to come up with an excuse for when the event is rescheduled.
Feel free to comment with your own gratitude list.