How hard the novel coronavirus will ultimately hit Arizona and America remains to be seen. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention director Dr. Robert Redfield and U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Jerome Adams both told me on KTAR that the “C-word” could become another seasonal virus like the flu, but a more contagious and deadlier virus.
Sort of depressing, eh? Which is why it’s so important to find the humor in our shared situation – thank you, toilet paper hoarders – to alleviate our anxiety and our cooped-up crazies.
Easier said than done, admittedly, considering the virus’ economic effects. I, for one, believe the manufacturing and service sectors will bounce back quickly. Babysitting services alone will go through the roof as we can finally dine out again, you know, with actual adults.
The single people among us will really need human contact. As much as we love the company of our pets, they don’t speak English (despite what cartoons taught me) so long, chatty lunches, with a dining companion eating something other than Kibbles ’n Bits, will be in order.
By the way, have you noticed what incredible shape our pets are in right now? We’re walking them all the time – because we need any excuse to go out the front door. I swear, one of my neighbors was walking his cat.
But I digress from my dreams of an economy that comes roaring back 30 seconds after we get let out of our humble abodes. I just hope most of us live to see it.
Not because I think COVID-19 will kill off the majority of us. Nope. I’m much more worried that weeks of living 24/7 in a couple of thousand square feet with the same people may lead to, at the very least, homicidal ideation. Shortly after our 7-year-old daughter was born, my wife proposed that we have the stork bring a little sister/playmate for her. (Nowadays, the stork would deliver her via Grubhub-style no-touch delivery.) I happily agreed to this proposal, not anticipating that our older daughter would be blessed instead with a little sister/sparring partner.
You see where I’m going with this? A backdrop of battling kids can mean a 95 percent reduction in work-at-home productivity, by my calculations. And the childless aren’t staying completely on task, either. Besides the 38 daily dog walks, the compulsion to binge coronavirus memes is real – and necessary to staying sane.
But full-on LMFAOs are just some of the silver linings of the coronavirus cloud. Valley residents – not historically known for being the most neighborly – are stocking food banks, donating blood and financially supporting small businesses. (Frankly, my biggest coronavirus health concern is the sheer volume of food we’ve had delivered.)
More of us are realizing how important human connection is. Absence, they say, makes the heart grow fonder. And for most of us parents, we can’t wait for school to resume so that our hearts can experience that fondness for our children once again.