A global pandemic has forced a myriad of reactions. It’s been an in-your-face CHOOSE YOUR COPING MECHANISM era. Stress is inevitable. Hoarding brings some a sense of control. There’s a need to be productive. There’s an overwhelming desire to do absolutely nothing. “I should be walking.” “I should be sleeping.” “I should be disinfecting.” “I should be rolling in dirt to build my natural immunities.”
Long before I hit my classic “This is all too much, I’m just going to shut down now,” inevitability, I punctuate my life with every bit of humor I can squeeze out of the current moment. If it’s funny, it’s not terrible. Or the opposite: if it’s terrible now, it’ll probably be funny later. I hope I hope.
With that in mind, here are some of my observations, discussions, and internal monologues over the past few weeks. May they help you cope for the next two minutes.
“Oh, Cup O’ Noodles! 35 cents a cup! No. That is only 6 meals to a case. When we are nomads crossing the deserts in our hunter gatherer tribes, pausing to gaze at the sky like it has anything of value to tell us beyond, ‘Why yes, your steampunk sun goggles ARE cool!’, we simply cannot make camp and pull out a Cup O’ Noodles. We will be the embarrassment of the Northern tribes. We need to pull a 25 pound sack of rice out of our packs like responsible adults.” *Heaves sack off the shelf into the cart. Heads to the Heluva Good French Onion Dip*
“You know all that food you really don’t like and never buy? Like teriyaki beef jerky? That is absolutely what you should buy right now. You never know if you won’t be able to eat it again.”
“What day is it?” “Uuhh, the fourth lunar cycle.” “Nice. It’s pay day.”
“So this squirrel has gotten a drink out of our birdbath 9 times today. But what did he do before we had a birdbath? He lives here. He’s always right around our building. The closest water I’ve been able to map is across the street and down that huge hill in the woods. Where did he go? Do squirrels need that much water? Is he just bored and doing it because it’s there? Are squirrels perpetually dehydrated?”
“Yes, yes, I know bread is cheap and available, but I’m going to have to start making that all myself now. Same with Magnum bars.”
My near perfect 6 foot social distancing radius < my neighbor bringing exactly one puppy inside.
“Why have we not been drying our own herbs??”
“Are you going to the grocery store tonight?” “No, I’m avoiding it like the…no, I’m not going.”
Person approaches you on the sidewalk. “Oh gosh, oh gosh, hold your breath. Wait, try not to make it look obvious. You don’t want to offend them. Oh man, I should have waited until we were closer – walking takes up significantly more oxygen than sitting in a car during a tunnel does. Okay we’ve passed each other… When can I start breathing again? It’s been like 6 feet, but I might have caught a bit of the draft with me and I’m not actually clear yet. Well I can’t hold my breath for the rest of my life, so I guess I’ve just accepted the plague. If I sneeze in 14 days, I’ll remember this moment and know it was you, lady.”