The Virus Is Horrible, But I’ve Come Up With Some Upsides


I’m sorry but what else can I write about? “The Corona,” as I heard one semi-informed person call it, is almost everywhere. Where it isn’t, it is expected to be shortly. And fear is even more rampant than COVID-19. Fortunately, the antidote to fear is denial, and that is a very comfortable place for me — a place in which I have already lived most of my life.

Plus, I’m pretty old. Once you’re pretty old, you’ve already started thinking about death. So, eeh, death.

Of course, no one wants to die unnecessarily (even me) and certainly no one wants anyone they like to die. But could this deadly, fast-acting virus with no known treatment or cure have an upside? Of course it could. Everything does. In fact, COVID-19 has many upsides Here’s a few that I came up with:

• People are “sheltering in place,” a brand-spanking-new term for something we used to call “staying home.” (“Are you grounded, Billy?” “No, I’m ‘sheltering in place.’”).

• The respirator business is booming. (When China sells out of something, you know that thing is a very hot item.)

• Women are cutting up their bras to make face masks. (These masks don’t really work and large-breasted women are complaining that now they can’t breathe or see, but kudos for trying!)

• Shut-ins no longer feel ostracized. Everyone’s a shut-in!

• Following the close of many restaurants, people are starting to cook again! (This is where I would ordinarily add “…and cooking is fun!” But it’s not, and I hate it.)

• Due to an unprecedented run (get it?) on toilet paper, Sears catalogs are back with a whole new use. Actually, I do not understand when toilet paper became crucial to our survival. Until it was invented in 1857, we existed without it for thousands of years. And no TP is a good excuse to use up those annoying leftover cocktail napkins that are cluttering up the house!

• Even great-grandmas are learning how to shop online.

• We’re saving money on vacations, sporting events, movies, festivals, travel and more. (We will soon have no money to lose, but that’s not one of my upsides.)

• People have stopped being insulted if you don’t want to shake their hand. (Now they’re insulted if you do.)

• No one coughs in public anymore. Cough in public, you’re a pariah.

• Visitors used to brag about being from New York City or California. Not anymore. Also, the pavement in Times Square is visible for the first time maybe ever.

• Anyone with a car can get a job delivering stuff.

In reviewing these upsides, you will note that they do not even come close to the downsides. However, for that you must blame “The Corona,” not me. I tried.