Here's hoping it's OK to laugh at this virus
It’s Day 30 of the quarantine, but it feels like it’s Day 3,333,333.
I don’t really know what number day of the quarantine it is; I picked 30 because as I write this on Tuesday for this week’s Nashua Reporter, that’s how many days our office hasn’t technically been open to the public.
I say technically, because if you knock, we’ll open the door, step back the prescribed six feet and find out what you need. If you’re here to give us money, you get to stay; if not, we tell you to get the heck out of here … I’m joking, I’m joking.
I’m sick of typing the 19 key strokes that lead to “Coronavirus COVID-19,” although I find it kind of amusing that it really does take 19 taps on the keyboard to get that out. I’m sick of not having sports. I’m sick of not being able to go out to eat. I’m sick of not being able to socialize.
And maybe that’s the biggest issue for me. I’m a social guy. I’m an extrovert. People energize me. Save for the couple of people in the office and one friend I hope I’m helping through a rough time, this damn virus has robbed me of people.
My boys are both living in Iowa City. They practice good social distancing, but because they have access to weights at their new home, they abandoned me. So it’s just me, the dog … oh wait, I don’t have a dog. It’s just me at home. God, I miss people.
You know why I love track so much? Because a meet lasts for like four, five hours. Do you realize how many people you can talk to in that amount of time?
I’d probably be locked up in a looney bin right now without humor. If anything is getting me through this time, it’s that I’m continuing to laugh.
Let’s face it, the Coronavirus memes have been brilliant, if a bit raunchy at times.
My family-friendly favorites include:
• Home schooling update: My child just said I hope I don’t have the same teacher next year.
• Think you’re bored? When Sir Isaac Newton invented calculus, it was during the plague. Do you have any idea how bored you have to be to invent calculus (sorry math teachers).
• An Englishman, an Irishman and a Scotsman walk into a bar … Those were the days.
• I’ve been social distancing my whole life … it’s called golf (with a guy searching for his golf ball in the trees).
• COVID-19 Fact: 87 percent of gym members don’t even know their gym is closed.
My favorite, though, may be the “Quarantine Diet,” although I’m afraid it’s a little too close to reality for me. Basically, save for “one Oreo cookie” at the end of lunch, the first two meals consist of healthy food, and then it all goes to hell.
“Mid-afternoon snack: Rest of the package Oreos, 1 quart Rocky Road Ice Cream, 1 jar hot fudge.”
By the time you get to supper (they call it dinner, but I’m a supper guy), all bets are off as the diet calls for a large pizza, two loaves of garlic bread, large pitcher of Pepsi, two Milky Way candy bars and an “entire frozen cheesecake eaten directly from the freezer.”
And that’s why there’s something known as the “Quarantine 15,” and honestly, I’m being generous when it comes to me and my recent weight gain.
Seriously, though, I need this to be over. I missed March Madness. I missed the opening of the baseball season. I missed the Masters. My college — good old Minnesota State, Mankato — had a good chance to make the Frozen Four. I am b-o-r-e-d. No, that’s wrong, I am B-O-R-E-D.
I’ve done some weird stuff during the quarantine. I helped a friend struggling with alcoholism put together a Trundle bed. She had two days of sobriety that day, and I had 8,378 days of sobriety. The fact that neither of us resorted to drinking that day means there’s hope for both of us. I had never heard of a Trundle bed until that day, and I never want to hear of one again.
Look, I know this is serious stuff. People are dying. We’re trying to flatten the curve, but we’re flattening our economy, too. Are we doing the right thing? I hope so.
I feel awful for our high school seniors; let’s be honest, the last two months of high school is fun.
Spring sports, concerts, prom, commencement make it so. And for now, all that’s on hold.
You know what? These are scary times for everyone — kids who will tell you that they really do miss school, parents who are worried about how they’re going to provide for their families and grandparents who can’t reach out to their grandchildren because of this virus.
So, instead, I try to laugh. It’s my defense mechanism, I guess.
I love this quote from Tom Nansbury, although I honestly have no idea whom he is, what he did, if he’s even alive. But it’s perfect for all of us extroverts dealing with this pandemic.
“An optimist laughs to forget; a pessimist forgets to laugh.”
Today I choose to be an optimist. Besides, it beats the hell out of putting a Trundle bed together.