by Ken Rolheiser
A laugh a day and covid’s time out

A laugh a day keeps covid at bay!

I set out recently to ponder the pros and cons of our Covid-19 restricted life-style. I decided I would have to sprinkle in a little humour to make this column palatable. So watch for the hashtags. Like # Now is not the time to surround yourself with positive people.

Recently I greeted an old friend at the post office. I had a sudden urge to shake his hand, but because of social distancing we conversed from afar. We used to pass each other exercising, he walking and I running. We would greet at community gatherings.

# Covid-19 gives new meaning to “I wouldn’t touch him with a ten-foot pole.”

I miss shaking hands of old friends. I miss hugs. I miss the freedom of travelling to family gatherings and social events. Mother nature seems to have sent us to our rooms for a while to reflect. Will we be better when we come back out?

There are positive and negative aspects to our Covid-19 world. I am fortunate because I am an intuitive introvert who happens to be a writer. That gives me time to do one of the things I love – writing. The pandemic has not affected my income much. Only a few newspapers have been forced to close.

Some very negative results of Covid-19 include the illegal activities of deforestation, mining, and poaching endangered species. This is often a result of flagging tourist activities compelling the unscrupulous to make money in less acceptable ways.

The global economy has been impacted, and how we work, socialize and communicate has changed. Aggressive racial segregation and unwelcome quarantine has caused racists and bigots to court violence over tolerance. Political instability is threatening our peace and security.

Damage to the world as we knew it has resulted. Hate looms over nations and stigma is attached to countries of pandemic origins. At the personal level we distrust neighbours or acquaintances for not wearing a mask or not following protocols.

 # If covid has forced you to wear a mask with your glasses, you may be entitled to condensation.

The balance we seek is in counting our blessings and listing the positives in our current situation. Our environment is improving. The air is less polluted, and traffic is light. We talk to our neighbour over the fence, and we exercise outdoors more. Gratitude can keep us from depression and rising suicide rates.

For the introspective there is daily journaling, and time to read and meditate. Even prayer has changed as we experience God in our homes rather than only in church on Sundays.

Family life has been enriched where working at home and getting to know the children better, in some cases through home schooling, has resulted. More time is available for spouses to grow together. There are many blessings to count!

 # In 2033 there will be a sudden jump in a number of teenagers known as quaranteens. 

Communication has changed and our world is richer in technology. Texting, face time and phone calls have become more regular. There is so much we can do in this time out we have been given. 

# They told me wearing gloves and a mask was good enough to go shopping. To my surprise, everyone else was wearing clothes.

The human spirit grows in adversity. The steeper the climb, the more altitude we gain.

(570 words)