OUR COVID “KEEPERS”
Funny how life’s changes change us.
My dearest readers, it is so totally exciting to talk to you once again! Hot dog! Who knew when it would happen? Who knew that when life resumed it would be in a way that included reaching out to you to laugh about this “Oh, my God” year when we exchanged hundreds of pet pictures, made the Zoom founders billionaires, gave Jeff Bezos more money than, well, you know who, and supported a brand new industry in high-fashion mask production? Ladies, never in my life did I see myself trying to decide between a leopard print mask versus camo. Who’da thought? Gents, did you go with the N95, or the “Give me your money now!” full face mask?
But you know what? Exchanging notes about surviving the COVID-19 shutdown, navigating the aftermath, and diving into the unknown experiences when we had to tread water, gave us permission to share how they kept us laughing, connecting and sane. And you know what? Many of us are liking them, and are taking them forward into our lives.
Here’s a sampling from my own and others. I’d love to hear about yours as well!
COVID CRUNCHES AND CAMARADERIE
Americans are notoriously uninterested in using the gym memberships we own, but for those of us who like the classroom thrill of the crunch, the desperation of pushups, and the sweat of double-timed knee-ups, they were our fun. Then, COVID-19 crept in. “I won’t wear sweaty masks (yuck), or breathe another’s disgusting exhaust,” I proclaimed. “No freaking way.”
Two of my comrades, one of whom is an instructor, and I agreed to start our own outdoor class, in her driveway, with social distancing, to maintain the restrictions our governor had mandated in his shelter-in-place directives. Twice a week, we did what we always did in a safe, bodyworks protocol class. Of course we included our obligatory griping, moaning, and begging for mercy. Buddy the household hound joined us daily to supervise. Neighbors watched with curiosity. Our instructor’s friend joined us in the early summer and the four of us forged on in the garage, all in our own corners with our own fans blowing, and our own (gross) sweat.
Seven months later: “Gym anybody?” “Nah. Not on your burpees!”
COVID COCKTAILS AND CONVERSATION
For many of you, the COVID shutdown created a shutdown in friendship dates as well, and like the “crunches and camaraderie,” you might have created another way to keep them alive. In my sister’s case in California, it’s a Friday night “cocktail” constitutional she started at a girlfriend’s home. My sister picks the wine and her girlfriend makes the goodies. It’s an instant “hen party” for two. A COVID cocktail klatch with a sanity check.
COVID CAR WASHING
My neighborhood has been alive the last several months with COVID car washers. There are the washers and the waxers and the detailers. There are the folks who don’t stop with the rain. (Seriously?) I remember my days of car washing. They are long in the rear view mirror. My method now is to wait for rain and then back the car out of the garage.
Ahhh, this is a big one that is in the news everywhere. Good heavens, everyone now has a cooking show online. They’re featuring comfort food: lasagne, casseroles, fudge and other creative sweets, shrimp everything, home-baked bread, cinnamon rolls, and every kind of European recipe and more. Flour, meat, sugar, baking powder and soda, eggs, and baking ingredients of all kinds have flown off the grocery shelves. Have we lost our minds? For some, the homemade cooking in moderation has become a new way of life. God bless them.
We cannot possibly talk about COVID cooking without discussing our waistlines. There, I said it. Even my own is three pounds heavier than before COVID. I’ve got this tire around my middle. I’m called to the cupboard every night to binge on peanut butter, nuts, chocolate chip muffins, and honey. I fib to myself, however, on top of the BIG lunches my husband is making me every day of vegan foods I love. It is definitely a delicious pile of calories I don’t need. And I can’t stop myself. I’m so doggone human. Who of you is with me?
Heaven knows, I‘m slumped down in front of the tube, friends are flopping down in front of the tube, and everyone is plopped down in front of the tube. Remember “appointment TV” that happened in the 70s with shows like All in the Family? Here we are again, and we’re liking it. We’re talking endlessly about our favorite shows and series.
The “he said, she saids,” the “they said, we saids,” the “I believes, they don’t believes,” COVID-19 has given us endless material for kvetching. I believe that complaining is a desired part of humans’ daily repartee. I’m certain that at the entrance to his cave residence, Og was complaining to his fellow caveman buddy that the heavy brow bone on their neighbor should keep him out of the spear-chucking club. Ergo, this virus has given us water cooler rumors and daily gossip. If ever there was fodder for proverbial uber-opinionated hot air, it’s now.
Take your COVID “Keepers” into the future to help keep you going. COVID is not over, but neither are your “keepers,” your coping methods of humor, relaxation, camaraderie, close friends, and diversions. We’re almost there.
Until then, use your mask, and be safe at the water coolers!
A note: Although my column is humorous, if you and your family have been impacted by COVID-19, I do know your sorrow and your desire for medical advances. I’ve lost one dear friend and almost lost another. God bless you, and we will always think about you.
Di Chapman is an inspirational author and speaker, and a branding consultant. Di’s latest book is Rekindle Your Purpose: Break through your disappointments, discouragements, and detours to resurrect your purpose and live it!