On April 6th, things will be open again. People will be going back to work, and people will have built up a month or two of toilet paper, cleaning products, and canned food.
I was talking with Tony about this earlier today. He had questions as to what kind of people we’d be when this crisis is over? Will we be better people on the whole? Will the country be kinder? Will the world?
I made a joke about people emerging from their homes squinting into the sunlight and feeling dirt beneath their feet for the first time in a month. But, you know what, I know that won’t happen.
I have never seen so many people going outside since this COVID-19 pandemic. People are doing yard and garden work themselves. People who had given up on mowing their own lawns not only have to do it themselves now (because teenagers are bags of germs), but they want to do it themselves.
People are practicing social distancing in the public parks that are open. They are visiting friends and family outdoors with an appropriate amount of air between them. Communities are hosting fitness events in cul de sacs and dance classes on balconies of apartment complexes.
We are getting back to nature because of this damn virus. Those who are lucky enough to not have the virus are walking more, getting more sunlight, and getting more fresh air.
We are also communicating more. I have used Facetime more in the last week than I have my whole life. I am not the only one. My mother has been using Facetime too.
I have texted my family more often and connected with colleagues via video more often in the last week than I have all year.
We are becoming better communicators in part, because we aren’t working all the time the sun is out. Don’t get me wrong. I am thankful for day jobs including my own, but it is hard to want to talk with anyone after you’ve cooped up with two monitors and a wireless headset for upwards of eight hours.
Also, let’s talk about the phenomenon of hand washing. Were we, as a people, not washing our hands before?
I’ve never felt safer touching things lately. People are washing their hands constantly, and they are so proud of themselves for it. It’s like we’ve all discovered fire…again.
What I’m driving at is, I don’t know how we will come out of this. From where I am sitting, there will be those of us who emerge from our homes post-pandemic with appropriate amounts of vitamin D, better relationships with our family and friends, and the cleanest hands we’ve ever had. There will also be those of us who have lost people, lost jobs, lost hope. There will also be new survivalists that fill cabinets, sheds, campers with hand sanitizer and Clorox wipes.
But no matter the group you’re in or I’m in when this is all over, we will all be winners as long as we can say, “At least we didn’t cannibalize each other.”