Some folks are handling it better than others.

How are you coping with this social isolation?

Let me guess: For introverts everywhere — heaven, loving it! For newly homeschooling parents — it’s a nightmare, when’s bedtime already? For married couples — why is he breathing so loudly? Bet it’s just to get on my nerves.

This situation is horrific and often heartbreaking. But there’s this habit some have of poking fun at difficult situations, which in a way can alleviate some of the magnitude of what we’re experiencing. As if looking at it through irreverent eyes can somehow dim the ferocity of the terrifying thing we’re dealing with.

I suspect that’s why there are millions of memes floating around about how we’re doing the hard job of staying at home, trying to get along with those we love the most (or have the displeasure of living together with, depending on how you view it at that given moment …) How we have all the time in the world on our hands now but still aren’t doing those things we promised we’d do when we had the time.

Some folks have come up with hilarious musical parodies. My favorites are “Social Distance” by Randy Rainbow and the guy who sings about the “super bad transmittable contagious awful virus” to the tune of “Supercalafragilisticexpialidocious” from Mary Poppins. If you haven’t seen them, I recommend looking them up — always fun to see how creative and clever people get!

Have you discovered anything new about yourself during this isolation? I’ve definitely tapped into my inner hypochondriac. Every time I feel a tickle in my throat I think, “Is that coronavirus?” It takes me a while to remember that it probably has more to do with the fact that all my kids are home, Alexa’s blaring music, there are three devices dinging and singing, and I have to yell to get myself heard …

Likewise, whenever I walk up the stairs and feel short of breath, for a heart-stopping moment I think, “Is that coronavirus?” Until I remember that it happens all the time and probably has more to do with being overweight than corona.

The food situation is mindboggling. When the order about social distancing was first declared, what did we do? Rush to the grocery store with the rest of the city, jostling for the last of the pastas, grabbing up as much wine as we could carry, trying to stock up for the foreseeable future. How long did your “stock” last? My family’s never eaten more in our lives! My three-week supply of chocolate disappeared in four days! Maybe because there’s just not that much to do at home … besides eat. As one meme said, “I’m considering putting a mezuzah on the fridge — because it’s the only door I still open!’

When this is all over, we’re going to be coming out of quarantine with facial hair that will need a lawnmower to get it under control and a few pounds heavier. The quarantine 15, one friend called it. More like COVID–19, another suggested.

Nothing lasts forever, and this situation — like everything — is only temporary and will eventually come to an end. When? How? No idea. In the meantime, it’s our attitude that’s gonna keep us sane. Whether you consider it a golden opportunity or quite the opposite (“Purhell”?), one day it will be considered history and you’ll be telling your children/grandchildren/anyone who’ll listen about those days you stayed inside and did your virtuous bit to flatten the curve of coronavirus spread… Quite the opposite for your waist.


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