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Upon reflection, the pandemic has quite a few silver linings

Is there anything good to come of COVID? In this week's Everything King, Wendy has developed a list of things that aren't so bad

Ontario government to general population: “Return to Modified Phase 2.”

All of us: “Copy that!”

Sounds like an old Star Trek scenario and I wish it was, but it's our reality.

COVID-19 cases are creeping up and we are being urged to pay attention and rein ourselves in.

The province of Ontario is asking residents once again to limit social outings to essential trips to the grocery store, doctor’s office or drug store.

Cut back on the family gatherings. Stay in your own household, for the most part.

Mask up and lather up and, to be blunt, shape up!

I plead guilty to loosening my own restrictions. While I was vigilant about masks and hand washing, there have been times in the last few weeks when I did socialize with non-family members.   

I ate inside a restaurant a time or two. I have gone to in-person appointments.

I think most of us, not all, but most have opted for a bit more freedom. We let down our guard.

And, now, we’re are back where we were. Plus, flu season is coming.

There’s a hundred things to hate about the coronavirus and what it has taken from us, but how about a list of things that we can now be grateful for. 

We just celebrated Thanksgiving, so in that spirit there is still a lot to be thankful for.

On the top of my list of things that are currently gone that I don't miss is the buffet.

Honestly, I was never a fan because there were too many choices, which meant too many calories. I always felt like a pig at a trough snorting along from the salad bar to the meat section and on to a dozen dessert choices. Oink.   

Now, the thought of bellying up to the bar, shoulder-to-shoulder with strangers using a community ladle whilst breathing on open food containers makes me shudder.

Then there’s the annual potluck. I never liked them. That was mainly because I was too lazy to make something and then lug it to the office work party but now, I don’t need to suffer the guilt. 

Those won’t be happening any time soon. Are we going to trust homemade food that came out of someone else’s kitchen? Even if you are not a true germaphobe, I am thinking this won’t be happening for a while. Too risky.

Turns out I am now grateful for the intense cleaning protocols. 

I applaud and appreciate the extra effort restaurants, coffee shops, retail outlets, and hotels are now taking. 

When I think of some of the dives I frequented in the past and the conditions I just tolerated, I feel a little ill. No longer will any of us accept dirty bathrooms, hotel rooms or tacky diners nor should we. We never should have, but I think we just let a lot slide.

The pandemic has also forced us into virtual doctor visits. Turns out I’m OK with that, too. I haven’t had one yet, but if it keeps me from having to wait (with a bunch of sick people) in a crowded offices then I’m all for it. 

Being forced to make appointments, by phone or for a virtual meeting, seems to keep us all on track and on time.

Do I miss socializing with friends, family and neighbours? Without a doubt.

However, I have not missed door-to-door solicitors nor unexpected drop-in company. There’s a calm about knowing nobody is likely to show up on the doorstep and catch me pants-less and without makeup. I can only imagine to true introverts, this has been a peaceful time.

It is ironic that a disease that can literally take your breath away has actually given some of us more time to breathe.

Depending on the situation, of course, there's been less time away from home, less commuting, less running around with a jam-packed schedule. That’s really something to appreciate.

Don’t get me wrong. I am as frustrated and fed up with this current situation as anyone else, but if we can take a step back and consider how well we’ve done with the new rules and regulations maybe it won’t be so hard to keep up the fight.

If the only thing we can be grateful for is that we don't have the virus — that should be cause enough for celebration.

About the Author: Wendy King

Wendy King writes about all kinds of things from nutrition to the job search from cats to clowns — anything and everything — from the ridiculous to the sublime. Watch for Wendy's column weekly.
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