Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Observations from the Basement

If you were in a coma for the past month and just woke up today and watched the news on TV, would you prefer to stay awake or go back into a coma? Hmm, tough choice.

Here are some random thoughts about the “new normal,” that is, living with the anxiety and uncertainty of the coronavirus pandemic.

We are all encouraged to practice anti-social behavior. Yes, I know the correct term is “social distancing.” But, if before the pandemic occurred, we were behaving in a social way, and now we are not allowed to do that, then by definition our behavior is “anti-social.” Good thing for me I’ve been practicing anti-social behavior for decades.
Many people have been working from home, our as I like to call it, “What haven’t I watched on Netflix yet?” Because of telephones and the Internet, a lot of people are able to get work done from home. But there are frustrating moments, such as when you say to yourself, “Oh no, I need to scan this document, but I don’t have a scanner here.” Or, “Uh oh, I need to print 30 pages, but my cheap, little printer is just about out of ink.” Or, “Hey, do I have to make my own coffee now?!”

In addition, many folks have their kids at home, since school classes having been cancelled through approximately 2027. The home environment can be so infuriating and distracting, many workers end up succumbing to the siren call of Netflix.

Speaking of television, this is the first time in history, or at least since Abe Lincoln was president, that there are no live sporting events on TV. Over the years, many young brides have asked their husbands, “Honey, are you going to watch ANOTHER ball game?” The reply always was, “This is an important playoff game, dear. But the finals will be over next week.” However, the na├»ve young lady soon learned that once those playoffs ended, the playoffs for a different sport were set to begin. The process continued for all 12 calendar months, year after year after year.
But now, what do we have to watch? Replays of the Mets vs. Phillies in 2002, the Celtics vs. Rockets in 1988, and panel discussions with Bob Costas offering WAY too many details about his boyhood crush on Mickey Mantle. If there was a live game being broadcast right now, even a Tee-ball game with 6-year-olds, I’d be riveted to the tube.

Because the world economy is melting down right before our eyes, gasoline prices are lower than they’ve been in ages. But here’s our dilemma: plenty of cheap gas but nowhere to go.

Here’s another dilemma: the emphasis on washing our hands repeatedly has turned many of us into a bunch of Felix Ungers. (And if you’re not a fellow geezer who remembers “The Odd Couple,” substitute the name Sheldon Cooper.) However, washing so often is causing our hands to become dry and cracked and in some cases (like mine) even bleeding. This prompted me to have a Felix/Sheldon thought: “Oh no, can those viruses get into my bloodstream through these cuts, even if I don’t touch my face?”
Regarding face-touching, a humorous website had a satirical news story with this headline: “Man who tested positive for the coronavirus now relieved he can touch his face again.”

I hope you don’t think I’m being impertinent with these unserious observations. I truly believe in very serious times we need a little unseriousness to break up the relentless anxiety. After all, science has shown that laughter improves our health. So, stop reading my nonsense, and go look up Jim Gaffigan or Brian Regan on Netflix.

Also, please be safe.

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