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Things to love about COVID-19

The coronavirus is believed to have killed about 400,000 people worldwide so far. More than 100,000 of those are Americans, like me. Five people I know have contracted the disease, of whom one has passed away, and another seems likely to. Three acquaintances have lost their jobs in the ongoing economic collapse. It's a hella huge tragedy, and I offer my condolences to everyone who's lost a loved one or endured the agony wrought by this illness.

Also, it's not over. The virus is still out there, so despite the relaxed rules, now is not the time to be going to parties, hosting barbecues, or hanging out in a crowded bar.

That said, the Zen in me looks for the yin amidst all the yang, and there are some delightful things about COVID-19. I'm semi-serious here.

The most obvious optimistic aspect, of course, is that most people haven't gotten the disease, at least not yet, and most people who get the disease don't die. Woo-hoo!

Almost as obviously, we've all saved beaucoup bucks we'd otherwise have spent on movies, sports, arts and entertainment, dining out, gasoline, vacations, etc, and there's been less wear-and-tear on our parked vehicles, because most of us haven't been going much of anywhere or doing any damned thing.

Here's my Top Ten list, of COVID-19's many marvelous advantages:

If there aren't many people you want to talk to, the dreaded virus provides a great excuse not to talk to them. If you must have a conversation you'd prefer to avoid, it'll at least be a briefer chat than it might have been pre-pandemic. 

For people who've been laid off or locked down, it's a golden opportunity to de-stress from all the worries of work or school — provided you're not stressing too much about the virus.

Most of us are able to go for a walk more often, especially if we're working at home or unemployed. I've always found that a quiet walk alone helps with almost any problem — well, except for foot pain, or if loneliness is the problem.

You're washing your hands more often, right? Counting to twenty or singing Happy Birthday, scrubbing between the fingers, rub a dub-dub and all. If we keep doing that, make it a habit even after the coronavirus crisis is over, we'll be healthier for years to come.

Wearing a mask in public means you can't see that I'm not smiling, at moments when social protocol suggests I should be.

No more meetings at work, at least not in person. Meetings are boring, counterproductive, and always an opportunity to say the wrong thing in front of your boss or co-workers. No meetings? No problem!

Philosophically and morally, it's heartening to know that we shut down the world and crippled the economy to save a lot of lives. It isn't often that humanity comes together to do something smart, but if we hadn't gone into lockdown mode, the death toll would have been much, much higher. Excellent work, humans. Keep it up.

Big picture: A huge and deadly epidemic has again revealed America's health-care system as the slipshod, shady, half-assed and dangerous monstrosity it is. Let's go full Pollyanna — maybe the pandemic will help people understand that universal health care is the best way to protect each other, and thus protect ourselves? We're living in a society!

  Bigger picture: Thanks to the coronavirus, we've reduced carbon emissions, improved air quality, and had a brief moment of accidental progress against climate change, before we resume ruining the world again.

And , the coronavirus might remove Donald Trump from the White House, when voters notice that he's thoroughly botched every conceivable aspect of the federal response to COVID-19.

 

itsdougholland.com 

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