On Life During Corona

Life’s changed in ways we couldn’t have previously imagined. It has affected us all — big and small, rich and poor, young and old. Never before has the world seen such a lockdown of people and economies in a century. In a well connected world where we are co-dependent on one another, our lives have taken a toll.

We have all had the luxury and time to watch this disaster unfold in front of our eyes. We each have our own story but collectively we all rue the loneliness and the fear of the unknown that the advent of this virus has introduced. Virus’s existed in the past and will continue to exist in the future but will one change our lives the way SARS-COV2 has done. Only time will tell this tale.

An important change in our lives is the growing mistrust of our own species. Whilst many are still in lock down, the few of us that get out do so with a fear that someone out there might inadvertently share the virus with us. When you are out walking you can see the deliberate attempts at social distancing, people avoiding people. Strange as it may seem we all have woken up to a new reality.

At the grocery story, you are actually waiting for the person in front of you to bag their product before you move forward. Now that’s not always true. Try going to a store on Saturday morning and you are likely to run into a human or two that doesn’t want to wait and would rather run over you to get to the milk bottle.

I was at a Costco recently where there was a sign at the entrance to a cold room where the dairy products were kept. It was pretty well organized with a sign suggesting you go in one way and come out the other and pick up your products along the way. On a crowded Saturday morning with checkout lines backed up fifteen or so, some folks didn’t have the patience to respect social distances. They felt the rest of us shopping in an orderly manner were idiots and zipped right in between carts and people and zipped right out.

It’s been ten weeks since this lock down began and life has changed some but people are confused on how to adapt. Some are assuming things are back to normal and others are behaving as if we are on siege. There are others who doubt we got this all wrong. These are the believers in herd immunity. They hate the concept of a lockdown and would rather we live life as before and deal with the consequences smartly. This debate will probably last till eternity for there is truly no simple answer.

The masks are beginning to come off and we can actually recognize those who waved to us now. Sanitized carts are becoming a luxury that only the likes of HEB and Costco still provide. Toilet paper and sanitizers and masks are starting to be easily available. Wonder what impact all this will have on this years Halloween celebrations as wearing a mask is no longer a novelty. The only thing clothing stores can be happy about is the fact that many amongst us are growing out of our clothes even before we had a chance to wear them.

Surprisingly the Internet savvy amongst us are communicating and working effectively. Many old relationships are being renewed. Friends and family meeting online without all the cooking and cleaning and sometimes without face to face non-verbals are actually working to the benefit of all.

The Feds printed enough money and have helped life be at a standstill despite millions losing their jobs. Many small businesses and their employees have benefited from the paycheck protection plan unleashed by the government. Hospitals are getting better stocked up, supply chain for medicines and PPE are getting more efficient, the worlds best minds are at work on vaccines and treatment protocols. The urgency for a cure has made folks rush to conclusions without proper scientific scrutiny and destroying their careers in search of fame.

The barber shops are finally open. I walked into one last week being the only patron in a store with three hairdressers. It was an amusing experience with both me and the hairdresser a talkative sort wearing our masks. I got my own clean apron and sanitized combs and scissors, making me feel like royalty. All that was not clean in the room was the oxygen. Maybe MJ would have filled the room with pure oxygen too. She was happy to cut my hair and patiently worked around my mask and even had me take it off my ears and hold it down whilst still covering my nostrils so she could trim my side burns. This first Corona hair cut will stay in my memories for a long time.

Working from home has become the norm for many of us. Surprisingly it’s been pretty effective for many of us. Families are actually eating together instead of in front of their TV or with their devices. The commute has disappeared from many of our lives, giving us extra hours of sleep or free time. It’s a blessing in disguise. Spending an hours and a half in my car every day was usually the worst part of my day, even if it provided for a large portion of my “me” time. There are some who want their life back. But for others this new reality is actually quite pleasant. Online collaboration is still challenging but surely we humans will figure out better ways to work.

Education K-12 through college has been a challenge with zoom and meetup leading the way. Students and teachers are still adapting and these few months are going to be the forerunners for a big technology change in how we teach and learn. Cost of a good education is still expensive and we probably are going to see dramatic changes to the cost structure sooner then later.

Strange as it might be we social animals have for once been forced into exile within our own homes pondering how beautiful this world is around us. For devoid of our polluting natures the world outside is thriving. Flora and fauna devoid of human interruption are having a revival. Maybe things aren’t bad after all and this is just nature’s way of evening things out !!