While there’s no doubt whatsoever that the Covid calamity has wreaked havoc on the lives of millions of people and continues to be an alarming issue, there is another side to the pandemic producer. Many of us are still wearing our masks when we venture out to the grocery or retail establishments or wherever a crowd may gather. And while those ubiquitous face coverings remain a royal pain, it seems to me that they have given us license to change a few things about our daily living habits that may have been overlooked. And they’re not necessarily all to the bad.
Don’t get me wrong. I wish Covid had never happened. Anything that can be remotely construed as a positive pales in comparison to all the negatives. But for the sake of welcome relief from all the unconstructiveness associated with the various varieties of variants, consider these small silver linings:
If you want a little privacy, just cough or sneeze. Neither need to be real. You can just fake it. Everyone will give you a really wide berth for fear you’re going to infect them. (I’m pretty sure introverts never miss a chance to utilize this trick, inside or out.)
Along that same line, you really don’t have to speak to anyone you don’t like. You can either just point to your mask or mumble. If you do the latter long enough, the person you don’t want to engage in conversation will soon say something such as, “Well, I can’t understand you through that mask” and give up and walk away.
It’s a really good time to get braces. No one will call you “metal mouth” since they can’t see your teeth. (This is especially perfect for self-conscious pre-teenagers but works for adults with pronounced overbites as well.)
Women can save a bundle on makeup. No need to worry about touching up any parts of their faces from the eyes down. I imagine the lipstick industry has taken a hit to profits in the last two years.
Now I wouldn’t recommend this next one, but you have a great excuse to call in sick to work if you want to play instead of toiling in the mines for a day or two. Nobody will think unkind thoughts if you simply hint, “Well, it’s probably not Covid, I just think I should play it safe.” As a matter of fact, you may come off looking like a hero. (Don’t do this too often, though. Suspicions may be raised.)
Covid is a ready-made reason to refrain from visiting family members who perhaps aren’t your favorites. Simply tell Aunt Maude and Uncle Claude that you can’t come, out of an abundance of caution for their health. They’ll thank you, and you’re off the hook.
If you do go out to eat, it’s almost as if you’ve got a private dining room at almost any restaurant. Not many other patrons are venturing to the tables in person, so you can enjoy the feeling of immense importance as the waitstaff rolls out the red carpet for you.
The highways and byways aren’t nearly as crowded as they usually are. You can probably shave a good 10-15 minutes off any daily commute . . . going in AND heading home.
Helping the cause of commerce, masks have sparked a profitable new industry and have brought out the creativeness in many people. Perhaps you were prescient and added mask-making manufacturers to your stock portfolio two years ago. Slogans, political preferences, and sports team logos abound on every color combination face-covering possible. You can now wear your feelings right on your face, in addition to your sleeves.
If you’re a bank robber by trade, getting inside the lobby with your mask on is no big deal. Chances are the experience is still going to end badly, but as door-to-door salesmen used to say, getting a foot in the door is half the battle. (By the way, this one may not fall into the category of “silver lining.”)
My niece, who’s a teacher and leery of going out as much as she used to, has expressed this benefit as she doesn’t venture far and instead fixes up her brand-new home: “I’ve had time to rearrange the pantry. Twice.”
No doubt you can think of at least one or two additional mini-benefits that have come about because of Covid and all its disruption of our lives. Might as well try and look at a tiny ray of brightness wherever and whenever we can.
©MMXXII. William J. Lewis, III – Freelance Writer