Two tornadoes, a pandemic and even a small hailstorm, all in the last year. I’m expecting the locusts and frogs to show up at any minute.
No matter what shows up next, I have to admit this coronavirus thing has made me a different person. If you run into me on the street, you might not even recognize me, although there’s little chance of that happening since there’s no one on the streets, anyway.
Here’s what I mean:
• I have become a dog. This is true. Even though I am a cat person at heart, I am acting like a dog. I wander around the house all day looking for food. I think it’s a big deal when I take a walk or get to go somewhere in a car. So far, those are the only dog habits I have acquired, but if you see me standing by a fire hydrant or a mailbox, you might want to practice social distancing and go in the other direction as fast as you can.
• I am twice the man I used to be. You can call this the “Sam’s Club” effect. Back when our children were small, my wife and I decided we could save money by purchasing things in bulk. So we loaded up on all the essentials, and you know what? Our kids — and their friends — devoured everything in the same amount of time they normally would have eaten a normal week’s worth of groceries. It was “If you buy it, they will come.” With the coronavirus, we tried to buy for a longer period of time so we wouldn’t have to risk our lives at the grocery store. You know what? There are no kids here anymore, but I’m eating way too much. Plus, when I went to the store I kind of rolled down the aisle and threw all kinds of things into my cart that I normally wouldn’t buy. Cookies, ice cream, brautwurst … feel good food. When I come out of hibernation in a few months, I’m going to look like a bear.
• No more handshakes. I am convinced the Japanese had it right all along. We should just bow. That whole handshaking thing is a little odd, anyway, and now who knows what kinds of things are crawling around on the other guy’s hand? I know, handshaking is supposed to be a sign of trust, but since we really don’t trust each other anymore, why pretend?
• I now trust politicians. No, I’m not talking about President Trump, who has been way more than a day late and a billion dollars short on this thing all along. I’m talking about Governor DeWine and his sidekick Amy Acton. I don’t know if they’ve been right about everything, but they’ve shown real leadership, and that’s what you need in times like these.
• I don’t miss the NBA or Major League Baseball. I check the box scores every day, but now no one is playing. And you know what? I found out I don’t miss them — although I have to admit I’ve snuck in some old basketball videos on You Tube. I still love you Lebron, just not as much as I thought.
Most of all, I have an added appreciation for family, friends and just about everyone, actually. Yes, I’ve done a lot of streaming and Google Hangout and Zoom and What’s App, but it’s not the same as actually being in the same room with a person. Human beings are social creatures and while I’m thankful for all the video connections, they’re just not the same.
I’m looking forward to being able to see you in person again. When you see me, make sure you say hello. Just look for the big guy who acts like a dog.