By Catie McDonald | Illustration by Cate Johnson
It is difficult during a time like this, when everything feels so wrong, to find things that are right. COVID-19 has drastically changed our lives, leaving us little time to seek closure or answers as it continues to escalate by the day. It is heartbreaking, it is boundless, it is terrifying, and it is uncertain. The reality is bleak: it sucks (to put it eloquently). Living in a world in which there seems to be only bad news, it is a daily challenge to identify good news.
Having been home for three weeks, I have struggled to appreciate the little things that typically make me so happy when I’m home, as my mind, like so many others’, is consumed with the distress of coronavirus and its implications. Yet — warning: cliché up ahead — it is so important to recognize and appreciate the good in our everyday lives, no matter how big or small. Here goes.
COVID-19: Human’s Worst Nightmare, Dog’s Dream Come True
Whereas coronavirus is one of the worst things to happen to us, it is one of — if not the — best thing to happen to dogs. You are now there for them (all the time!), and they are there for you. Never underestimate the healing power of dogs. And if you are quarantined with a cat, I’m sorry — hang in there.
Be the Person Your Apple Watch Wants You to Be
Another reason dogs love quarantined humans: I have taken quarantine as an opportunity to finally live up to the expectations my watch has set for me. Every time it alerts me that “Your activity should be further ahead by this time of day,” I perceive it as the obvious personal attack that it is and proceed to go on a walk, or run, or some type of physical activity that will make the computerized message really regret its words. I couldn’t always afford to do this at school in the midst of college life, but I didn’t need the fresh air as much then, either. Plus, your dog will love the prospect of a long walk, which inevitably makes you the selfless humanitarian that you are, all while proving your watch/Fitbit wrong. It’s a win-win.
Instead of Watching the News, Watch Something New
I should have known 2020 was going to be a shit show (again, to put it eloquently) when “Big Little Lies” did not air a third season. Now, when the first phrase on the nightly news is “death toll,” it is the perfect time to find a new series or movie in which to immerse yourself (although, I would not recommend the movie “Contagion” for another couple of months).
Instead of Reading the News, Read for You
We all have that one book that we never got around to finishing (because who has time to read for fun on the Block Plan?). I’d hate to spoil the ending, so I’ll leave that up to you. You deserve to know how it ends.
The Zoom Phenomenon
In the sudden age of Zoom facilitating essential and non-essential interactions (anyone else wonder how Skype is feeling these days?), a trend has occurred in which people are Zooming others just because they can. While I can’t claim that Zoom has made hours happier, I would argue it certainly has increased the rate at which they occur; happy hours are taking place in living rooms and backyards all over the country between people who, prior to COVID-19, never even met for happy hours in-person. Families are Zooming extended families (to whom they normally just send Christmas cards), friends are Zooming friends (in order to escape their families), and businesses are maintaining the company Friday Happy Hour Tradition (and extending that tradition to Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays, respectively). Affectionate “is your mic on?”s are echoing throughout the nation, and the best part is that, when we finally get to meet one another for in-person happy hours again, it will feel so good.