It’s An Ill Wind

[Today’s Theme Music]

Yes, there’s a plague.  And for some of us, today really sucks.  Doctors and nurses are getting burned out — and worse, sick — and things are still just ramping up.  The numbers look bad and tomorrow they’ll look worse and a week from now we’re going to look back on today and wish it was still only as bad as this.

It’s tempting to focus on this as the end-all be all, the sum total of the important news of the day.  Particularly if you follow politics; I mean, seriously:  President Biden?  No thank you; I’m changing the channel again.

Instead, I’d like to point out a few things that are worth considering in this time of trial that might help you feel a bit better.

  • There’s suddenly a lot fewer car accidents.  40,000 Americans die on the highways and back roads every year; this year, that’s not happening.
  • Art galleries around the world have been forced to shut down, so they’ve put their collections online.  It’s not the same as being there, but for those of us who probably never would have gone to the Louvre otherwise, it’s glorious.
  • 41,000 people die of the flu every year.  The current moderate quarantine is going to cut that number back too.  There’s no measles outbreak from idiots that refuse to inoculate their kids; there’s no nothing.  Even STDs aren’t being transmitted.
  • Slippers and pajama bottoms.  Just sayin’.  Also, all things being equal, you’re probably less likely to get a painful sunburn and subsequent skin cancer over the next few weeks.
  • Pollution is way down.  I know; there’s some of you upset that the EPA isn’t enforcing some regulations thanks to the most recent relief package.  Chill, people!  Overall numbers are through the floor.  Air quality across the country is the best it’s been in decades; water quality is amazing.  If you’re worried about climate change, this is the best news you’ve had in years.
  • The mountain guerillas in Colombia have declared a truce — because being sick is hard enough on people without there being a war on.
  • You know that list of books you wanted to read when you got the time?  You’ve got the time.
  • Bernie’s campaign may be flagging a bit, but he’s not quitting.  Instead, while other campaigns have shut down, he’s converted his organization into a relief effort, raising money for the unfortunate, focusing on those hardest hit by the present situation.
  • Remember those kids that went to Spring Break beaches in Florida despite the virus?  Guess who’s sick right now.  Guess who’s about to recover in time to fill in for all the InstaCart workers who are getting sick.  Guess who’s brave enough to do the job.
  • Speaking of InstaCart:  Once this is over, the gig economy is really going to take off.  That’s a ton of service jobs that are going to stay filled going forward.
  • If you don’t have time because your family is home, remember how just last month you were feeling guilty about not spending enough time with your family?  Checked that box, din’t’cha?
  • Panda Express, Subway, Jersey Mike’s, and Five Guys all now deliver.  So do McDonald’s and Dunkin’ Donuts.  Down side?  So does Starbucks — but hey, some people like their coffee burnt.  Who am I to argue?
  • It’s highly likely that home burglaries are going to decrease.  After all, everyone knows you’re at home, and you’ve got plenty of bleach on hand to help clean up any unfortunate messes.

I know things are rough, and on top of all your other problems you’re getting cabin fever.  (Unless you’re an Essential Employee, in which case you’re getting overtime.)  But that’s no reason to be more grim about things than you have to be.

So cheer up!  And if you think of something I didn’t, mention it in the comments.


Nobody’s offered an emergency bail-out to me, mind you.  Not that I mind; I don’t do this to get rich, and I really love the taste of boxed mac and cheese.

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