Dances With Words: Hey, COVID’s not all bad!

Nick Wolochatiuk ~ Dances With Words
Dances With Words: Hey, COVID’s not all bad!

“It’s an ill wind that blows nobody any good” and “Every cloud has a silver lining”. The COVID pandemic has certainly been a blustery ill wind and its cloud has been oppressive.

However, let me count some positive spin-offs from what we’ve been enduring since that unwelcome visitor spread itself throughout the world.

Let’s start at home. Moms and dads aren’t spending hours commuting to work every day. Their children are getting to see their parents far more, even having a sit-down breakfast with them. Parents are getting a revealing look at the education their children are trying to get on-line. There’s time to teach youngsters how to do some cooking and ride their little bikes properly. Bicycle dealers are doing quite well as they keep up with increased demand for whatever they have in stock.

The money that would have been spent on the Caribbean cruise or the fourteen-day seven-country European tour is now being invested in doing some gardening, adding a deck to the house and re-shingling the roof.

At some grocery stores, the staff have been cruising the aisles to fill our on-line orders, then bringing what was on the customers’ shopping list to the door of our cars. It’s no longer just ‘greeters’ at the door. There now are cart sanitizers and head-counters, ensuring that the restricted store capacities aren’t exceeded.

In addition to the traditional greeters, our churches are following the same protocols. We are asked to hand sanitize, followed by “Sign in, please!”, for contact-tracing purposes. That’s reminiscent of the routine followed by the mystery guests on the TV series “What’s My Line?”

Never in my wildest dreams did I expect to see a hand sanitizer dispenser substituted for holy water in the dry font at the foyer of a church.

I’m sure some of the tankers, rail tank cars and pipelines that are plying the high seas and criss-crossing the countryside are now carrying Purell and other brands of hand sanitizers, rather than crude oil and diesel fuel.

During WW II, factories were busily churning out vast quantities of Plexiglas, Lucite, and Perspex for bomber windshields and gun turrets. They are now back in business making transparent barriers to protect bank tellers and grocery store cashiers from the potential hazardous droplets of customers’ breath. Unfortunately, transactional dialogue is muffled by those invisible walls and face masks.

Pre-COVID, you would have set off the bank’s alarm system if you entered wearing a mask. These days, staff get alarmed if you enter without wearing a mask.

Factories are now producing enough yellow cordon-off barrier tape to encircle the Earth and even reach to the most distant planet. Sign-writers are having a field day printing off precaution signs and stick-on one-way aisle arrows. To “No shirt, no shoes: no service!” has been added “No mask – no entry!”

Jobs, jobs, jobs!

Compared to the eat-in dining establishments, take-out and drive-thru restaurants and packaged food deliverers are doing well. Many of the former eat-in restaurants have erected tents to accommodate their patio deck customers. I don’t think their iced tea will need ice cubes if patio dining has to continue next January.

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