The novel Coronavirus has turned our worlds, and the world, upside down. There were a lot of cavalier attitudes at the start although I don’t think many believed it would last two weeks. Now, whether you’re panicked or not, there is no debate that Corona has significantly changed our society and likely will have long-lasting effects as we flatten curve and go through the various stages of returning to some semblance of normalcy. Recently, a friend said to me she’s doing “OK”, but “inactivity, isolation and uncertainty are not my preferred states of being, so this is tough for me”. Well put. The worst part for many seems to be the uncertainty. When is this going to end? When will schools open again?! 

The fact is whatever our thoughts and level of concern when it comes to Corona, it’s very real. It seemed to come out of nowhere, various theories about who knew ahead of time aside. Only “at risk” individuals, those with pre-existing conditions and older people needed to be vigilant about protecting themselves. Kids have the highest immunity to Corona. They’re  carriers so schools closed to prevent kids from passing the virus on to their older loved ones. Flash forward five weeks. No one is safe. Infants and adults in perfect health are being diagnosed with Corona. There are curfews and executive orders mandating face coverings be worn at all times in stores with potential civil penalties for those who don’t comply. We have to wait in line to get into stores. Our initial thoughts on Corona are now moot. Its impact is very real, very severe and very scary. I saw an interview with a senior politician recently about our nation’s action plan, “It’s like we’re building the airplane while we’re flying it.”, she said. That can’t be safe.

I laugh when I ask someone, “How are you doing?” I know the answer. Could be better to put it lightly. We sure could be but with all the focus on the bad things Corona has forced us to shoulder – it’s hard to watch the news – I think there is a bright side to this Corona craziness. I know it’s rough out there but it might be worthwhile to think about the positives associated with Corona if only to give your mind a rest for a few minutes and who knows? You might even get a laugh out of it. Here are some that come to mind:

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  1. You don’t have to pay your bills, at least for the time being. We’re Americans. We love getting things now and paying for them later. This is great.
  2. The Fed is giving individuals money. And we don’t have to pay it back?!
  3. You can defer your student loans and become current on payments just by entering the program, which positively impacts your credit. Forbearance is your friend. 
  4. Dear anyone who believes the Coronavirus is related in any way, shape or form to Corona beer, It sure is. Can I have your Coronas, please?
  5. Liquor stores are essential businesses. How many people were like, “Duh?” when they heard that?
  6. We don’t have to file our taxes on time. 
  7. You can get out of a lot of stuff by just uttering the word “Corona”. “I was going to get back to you but you know. Corona.”
  8. You invested in Zoom.
  9. Because you can’t see the people you normally would, you are reconnecting with old friends. Sure, maybe this makes you realize why you haven’t talked to some of these people in 20 years but no doubt there are some relationships worth rekindling. 
  10. Dates are a lot cheaper. We’re pretty much down to take out, roadies and taking walks six feet apart from each other.
  11. You don’t have to figure out how to get out of going to Knicks games.
  12. You can appear in court from bed.
  13. While the production of porn, the polar opposite of social distancing, is on hold, people already living together will likely be having more sex. If you can still stand the sight of each other, it’s a good way to avoid talking. At this point, what more is there to say?
  14.  
    1. Business will be booming for couples’ therapists.
    2. You can get degrees online.
  15. You can get degrees online. The University of Phoenix could see an uptick in enrollment.
  16. About nine months from now, obstetricians/pediatricians will see a spike in clientele.
  17. Since gyms are closed, a lot more attractive people are exercising in public.
  18. Anheuser-Busch is making hand sanitizer instead of Bud Light. Finally, something with a decent amount of alcohol in it.
  19. Surgical masks can be flattering and they may motivate some people to pursue their dreams of going to med. school.
  20. While homeschooling can be tough, at least parents are learning something.
  21. You don’t get a second look when you walk into a convenience store wearing a bandana over your nose and mouth.
  22. There’s no traffic and parking’s a breeze.
  23. While they are limiting the number of people in grocery stores, when you’re in it’s practically empty. Thanks, Corona, for showing us how to pay it forward. 
  24. My place has never been cleaner, despite what my ex-wife says. 
  25. You have to “work” from home. Usually considered a perk, now have no choice but not to go into the office. 
  26. You don’t have to see your coworkers in person.
  27. But the biggest thing for which I am thankful to Coronavirus is, I know a lot of parents with little balls of energy bouncing off the walls at home are going to think Corona has made me not just stir crazy but full-blown mad for saying this, allowing me to spend more time with my four-year old son. His Mom and I aren’t together. We share custody but now I get to see him every day. My son’s Mom has to work. My schedule is, shall we say, a bit more fluid these days. Normally, our son would be at school…learning…instead of doing silly stuff with Dad but education can be defined in different ways. I sure hope so.

Stay safe and healthy out there. “The comeback is always greater than the setback.”  - Michael Ediale requoted by Mike “The Situation” Sorrentino

Ted Calabrese

tedcalabrese@gmail.com