I woke up knee deep in another day of the apocalypse and decided to make another list. Because I know the vast majority of people are waiting to see what it is I’m going to say/do about a particular thing before they do it. So see attached in no particular order:
We’re all currently, in my estimation, roughly 16-24% crazier than we usually are (and that’s saying something for a few of you), so let’s do our best to be more understanding of each other’s temporary version of cuckoo. When you find out your book club friend Dina is hoarding Salisbury steaks in her basement or your poker buddy Kyle is swabbing his door knobs with peroxide and bacon grease, save your commentary. It could potentially get worse before it gets better. That fruitcake shoe could fit you like a hand-sanitized glove before it’s all over.
Stop freaking the f**k out about toilet paper. Ask around. There’s knowledge to be found, but you have to dig for it because the info isn’t made public. I was told about The Toilet Paper Lady by a business acquaintance who spoke out the side of her mouth like a mob boss during a Zoom meeting. The next day I was able to waltz into the store at the crack of noon, only to be greeted by the heavenly sprite herself. The Toilet Paper Lady holds court, I kid you not, in front of her desk made solely of toilet paper packages, not in the toilet paper section itself, but in front of the dressing rooms on the opposite end of the store. Various brands of the elusive species are stacked up, around and in back of her, like a vast butt-wiping fortress. “One-ply or two-ply?” she’ll ask before proudly presenting you with, true, only one package, but a 48 mega roll isn’t off the table. Knowledge is power. A clean butt is better. Keep your ears to the ground.
Please, in the name of all that is holy, stop watching the news. My first day of college journalism class opened with the professor saying, “Monday mornings will always begin with the thought, ‘What tagline can I use to elicit the most fear in my readers and viewers?’” Remember that when your favorite show begins. Or you open your favorite info app. No matter what channel you watch, they know it’s the fear that keeps you coming back. I’m allowing myself three minutes a day to look at my phone. On the other hand, if sustaining that level of all-day crazy is what’s getting you through, then go ahead and roll around in that mess like a yard dog in three-week-old poop.
Whenever you see another post from somebody that begins, “This is from my daughter who’s a bug doctor at Sloan Kettering and knows more than anybody else” and proceeds to tell you that the contact timeline on a piece of fudge has been extended from 3 days to four years, please-dear-God skip to the next cat video. I guarantee those imagined night sweats will be a thing of history.
Get outside! Even if, like many of us, your beaches and hiking trails have dried up, take a walk. Mind you, everyone else has the same idea, so making your way through the neighborhood with folks zigzagging this way and that to keep a reasonable distance can feel like you’re in your own vitamin D-infused video game. But that’s what makes it fun. Ish.
Eat better. Whatever that is to you. In my opinion, that alone will do more than a battery acid gargle to keep the boogeyman away. If your great grandmama’s recipe for field peas and mashed turnips makes you feel better, hit that crap hard. But don’t forget to keep a balance. If a third cup of coffee keeps you grateful and an occasional black-out drunk mixes it up, who cares? It’s not like you have to get up and go to work.
When possible, let’s all try and lighten up about this whole thing. If self-self-awareness isn’t your bag (I’ve read some of your posts, this is only a guess), pay attention to where your shoulders are. If we just do that several times during the day, we’ll know where we need to put a little space and perspective.
I think it’s important to remember that, even if any of us gets this thing, we’ll pull through it! Despite some of the grisly posts of people reporting anything from bloody eyeballs to possession-style fever fits, this too shall pass. And if it doesn’t, then there you go and I’ll see you on the other side. (Well, depending on which side we each wind up.)
Whatever this all is, wherever it goes, it’s all a big dream from which we’ll someday wake. So big love, peace, laughter and health to you all.