Coronaviris is serious business, but I can’t help it — there are some things that make me smile. Maybe it helps to be able to laugh at the thing you’re supposed to be afraid of. Maybe it doesn’t. But I do it, anyway.
I’ve been collecting some pandemic related incidents that I think show at least a little bit of the human ability to adapt to bad circumstances. So take a few minutes and read over them — after all, what else do you have to do?
• Newspapers Are Saved! It’s no secret that the newspaper industry has been on a rapid slide toward oblivion. All the money has moved online and it’s tough to keep papers solvent. But newspapers in Australia have figured out something that may change that. At least one newspaper printed an edition with eight blank pages at the end — to use as toilet paper! “Hurry up with the Sports section, honey, I want to see that last section.” It brings new meaning to the cleverness of our friends Down Under. I think Miami Valley Today should start this. The paper could even sell little ads up in the corners of the pages. A comeback is imminent!
• Rudy, My Man! For those of you who don’t follow the NBA, Rudy Gobert is one of the best defensive players in the league. He even has won defensive player of the year several times. But this year, talk was he had lost a step and probably wouldn’t win the award again. That was before coronavirus. Gobert joked about the virus in a press conference and even went around touching microphones. Then he became the first NBA player to test positive. As soon as the league heard about the test results, it canceled all games. As it turns out, Rudy the Defender didn’t just shut down one player or an opposing team, he shut down the entire league. He’s the only NBA player to ever accomplish that feat. He’s not just the defensive player of the year, he’s the defensive player of the century! Way to go, Rudy!
• Always Ask a Student. When China told everyone to stay home, the schools set up online learning for students. Like kids everywhere, Chinese young people don’t like homework. One of them figured out if they all gave the on-line program bad reviews, it would be taken off the Internet — thus, no homework. They not only figured this out, they also somehow communicated it and yes, they pulled it off! Just goes to show, if you want something done, ask a kid. We probably could have averted this whole crisis if back in the beginning we would have just asked some junior high students what to do about it.
• Donald Trump’s Press Conferences. Those guys in Washington need to ask the people in Columbus how to do this. For a while, the president’s press conferences were delivered from a small stage with a bunch of people crowded around behind him. Hey, you knuckleheads! Social distancing! Small groups only! The supposedly smartest people in the country couldn’t even figure how far six feet is. Somehow, this does not make me feel very confident.
• O Sole Mio! I have to admit seeing pictures of quarantined Italians standing on their balconies singing was pretty cool. I was so inspired I went out on my back patio and sang to the world. The only trouble is, no one could see me, except for maybe my neighbors on one side, and I think I saw their lights go out as soon as I started. The cat hid under the couch. I guess Italians are better singers than me.
• Things Will Never Be So Clean Again. One unexpected result of the virus is that everyone is cleaning everything. Guys who haven’t washed their hands in years are washing them every half hour. People stuck at home are cleaning out closets, eating all the stuff that was hidden in the back of the pantry or the refrigerator and working in their yards. If cleanliness really is next to godliness, we’re getting close.
We have a ways to go with this thing and we all need to hang in there and do our best to keep it from spreading. As Theodore Roosevelt once said, “When you’re at the end of your rope, tie a knot and hold on.” So let’s tie our knots and hold on as long as necessary — and maybe find a few things to smile about along the way.