Like everybody else, I'm hugely looking forward to the relaxing of stay-at-home and physical distancing orders that are succeeding in slowing the spread of the coronavirus.
But amid the distress of so much human misery caused by COVID-19 infections, I've been experiencing some bright spots during the month Oregon's Stay Home, Save Lives policy has been in effect. Here's my Top Ten.
(1) This afternoon I came home from a dog walk to find my wife taking part in a Zoom dance party celebrating her grand-niece's birthday. Naturally I had to grab my iPhone and upload a short video to You Tube.
(2) Before, I never knew that finding toilet paper on the shelf of a grocery store could be such a peak experience. Now I can relax about climbing Mt. Everest or visiting Machu Picchu.
(3) I'm not a highly social person. But when I encounter neighbors on a daily two-mile dog walk out here in rural south Salem, my enforced soliitude leads me to get all chatty, as if I'd been shipwrecked on a deserted island and finally some fellow humans show up on the beach.
(4) With more available time, my wife has been busy getting rid of stuff that sits around the house with no discernible reason to keep it. So far I've avoided being taken to the dump. (Maybe because I empty the dishwasher once in a while.)
(5) Watching TV in the afternoon has never appealed to me. Now, though, every day I record MSNBC from 2 pm to 6 pm, so I can be sure I won't miss Trump's White House coronavirus briefing performances. Super entertaining! Especially his back and forth with reporters. And his B.S. gets my heart rate up without exercising.
(6) Rather strangely, I'm enjoying The Late Show With Stephen Colbert more than I did when it emanated from the Ed Sullivan Theatre. I like the informality of Colbert broadcasting from his home. Also, seeing his super adorable dog.
(7) I've always enjoyed going grocery shopping. In these coronavirus times, that Monday afternoon experience is the highlight of my week. I see people! I drive my car! I stand in line at Trader Joe's! Life is good.
(8) Because we let packages get sterilized in the sun for a few hours after they're delivered by UPS, the mail person, or FedEx, getting something from Amazon is a bit like my childhood Christmas mornings. I have to wait to open my presents, and I'm not sure what exactly is in the box. I'm young again.
(9) Our crappy DSL out here in the far reaches of the broadband desert, albeit just five miles from the city limits of Oregon's capital, is even slower than usual. Streaming movies is problematic, so I'm happy that Netflix still sends DVDs through the mail.
(10) Having medical appointments by phone isn't as bad as I thought it might be. I don't have to watch my doctor spending most of their time staring into a computer screen while they're talking to me -- though likely they're still doing that; I just can't tell that they are.