I have been watching the news, wondering what, if anything, constructive I can add to the cacophony the current pandemic is inspiring. I come down in a hopeful place, somewhat to my surprise, because I am learning things as result of this experience, and learning is always good (though not always happy).
One thing I learned is that having a few weeks worth of extra cat food on hand at all times was not a bad idea. I always considered that stockpiling pet food was my Potato Famine heritage making a last gasp in the land of plenty. I also kept a big cat food inventory because I am haunted by the following thoughts: I live alone, I have few close friends and no family in the area. If I am ever out of action for any length of time, who will look after these felines whom I have allowed to become dependent on me? If the food is on-site, I can hire somebody to dish it out.
I am learning that I want everybody to have some sick leave/family leave, even if that means I have to pay a little more for my bread, cheese, travel, or phone service. Working sick is just wrong, though we’ve all done it, and expecting people to work sick, or send kids to school sick, is even more wrong. We can do better.
I am learning that we are pretty practical folk. My local grocery store ran out of TP, milk, eggs, and bread. The pasta was running low too, but a lot of “non-staples” like soft drinks, chips, cookies, and cereal, were abundantly available. That says to me that wine has not become the fifth food group, and neither has chocolate (yet). When we panic, we at least do so sensibly.
I’m learning, once again, that I live a very privileged life. I can go to the store at any hour, I can haul home a double-shop with no problem (both because I have a car and because I can walk unassisted). I can afford to shop for two weeks at once instead of one, I can buy whatever version is on the shelves instead of having to stretch my budget by purchasing only the cheapest brands. Golly Ned, am I privileged.
I hope a lot of employers are learning that most people can be trusted to work from home. The job gets done, the carbon footprint is smaller, the employee wastes less time commuting, and HVAC costs at headquarters are reduced. What a concept.
I am learning that books are wonderful. I always knew that, but I know it now in an immediate way. I would rather have a new Deanna Raybourn mystery to read, or a Joanna Bourne novel to re-read than any anti-anxiety medication you can name. My keeper authors got me through so many difficult years, and they are coming through for me now.
What lessons do you see coming out of the current uproar–if any? To three commenters, I’ll send $25 Amazon gift cards. And PS: I dropped the price on a fourth novella anthology, Love by the Letters, which you can now pick up for $1.99. (The other three half-price anthos are linked on my Deals page.)