By Lisa Scottoline
I know the coronavirus is no laughing matter, but you came here to smile.
And I have a job to do.
If you have a sense of humor, please continue.
If you don’t, watch the news. Over and over. I feel certain that if you tune in to the constant updates about coronavirus, you’ll come back.
Alternatively you can watch reports of the stock market. If you do, just remember that red is a great color. That’s why Santa Claus wears red and nobody wears green except leprechauns.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day!
Oh, wait, no?
The following are my Do’s and Don’ts, and you can keep them on hand for the next one.
Obviously, do wash your hands.
Don’t wash other people’s hands.
Don’t have anything to do with other people at all.
Really, you’re not missing anything.
Take it from me.
I married and divorced two of them.
Other people are just not worth it.
Do keep your family close. Your family is the exception to Other People. For at least the first three days at home.
After three days, you might find the need to spend time away from your family. Go to the bathroom. And stay there.
And even with respect to your family, don’t keep them too close. If you have a daughter or son, you’ve already kissed them plenty of times. They know you love them. If they forget, do tell them. Tell them from the other side of the room. If they can’t hear you, shout. Soon you’ll be yelling at them, and they’ll recognize you instantly as their parent.
Don’t hug them either. Enough with the hugging and the kissing. Evidently, this is called social distancing.
I always thought it was called celibacy.
Now I have a medical reason for being dead below the waist.
I don’t know what couples are supposed to do about sex.
What is love in the time of Corona?
You’re on your own.
Don’t see your friends, either. Do call them on the phone. Don’t FaceTime or you will have to wash your hair. Also nobody looks good from that angle.
The upside of social distancing is that you can eat all the onions and garlic you want. In fact, eat onions and garlic, then go to the grocery store. You will get instantly to the front of the line.
If at all possible, do work from home. Wear whatever you want to. I have written 33 novels and nine books of nonfiction dressed like a teddy bear.
Otherwise, do stay home. Don’t go to bars. Drink in your house like I do.
Don’t go out and get other people sick. Especially not the elderly. For these purposes, I’m elderly.
While we’re on the topic, do let your roots grow in. If they’re gray, you won’t be tempted to leave the house at all. If they’re black, quit complaining.
The news is going to get worse, so do find something that makes you happy. If you have a hobby, do it. If you don’t, start one.
I love to read, so give it a try. You can buy books online from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, or any independent bookstore. They need your support, and books support the soul.
Do whatever else makes you happy. I love needlepoint, and I’ve already stitched an entire pillow in two weeks, which is a record for me and maybe Western civilization.
Pray, and meditate. I take yoga twice a week, and today we held a remote class via the Zoom app. It relaxed me for at least three minutes, but that’s three minutes more than I would’ve had otherwise.
Do monitor your mood. We’ve all had tough times, but we can rise to the challenge. One of my favorite sayings is Winston Churchill’s: “When you’re going through hell, keep going.”
And “this too shall pass.”
Months from now, we will have suffered truly devastating losses as a nation, but the end will also be in sight.
I remember Mr. Rogers, who always says, “Look for the helpers.” I know some in particular, a young emergency room doctor practicing in a hospital in Austin, treating patients around-the-clock with her typical intelligence, strength, and heart. I know her amazing sister, a veterinarian working with her colleagues in staggered shifts to take care of large animals and small. I know a terrific young man whose high school closed but he’s working at a take-out store, and his wonderful brother whose college closed, but he’s working at an outside job. I know a chaplain at a local hospital, calming and counseling everyone, her spiritual center a constant in any crisis. There are countless doctors, nurses, and staff, not to mention employees, deliverypeople, and salesclerks in pharmacies, grocery stores, and other businesses, doing their jobs for the good of everyone else.
To my mind, the reason we look for the helpers isn’t only to applaud them. It’s to be like them. They are sacrificing for us, and we can sacrifice for others.
We can get our families through this awful time, and we will.
We can be heroes, just for one pandemic. See you on the other side.
Copyright Lisa Scottoline 2020
Lisa and her daughter, Francesca Serritella, have teamed up to bring their hilarious and witty perspective on everyday life as mother and daughter in their weekly essays. With stories that will have you laughing out loud one minute and tearing up the next, Lisa and Francesca connect with readers on a deeply emotional level because of their honesty, warts and all.
Lisa is thrilled to announce that her co-author for these humorous essays, daughter Francesca Serritella, will publish her debut novel, Ghosts of Harvard, on May 5, 2020. Pre-order the book, and you can get a free paperback of their essays!