Though I am not happy that you finally caught me, Covid, I wanted to thank you. I know I’ve been elusive. I stopped traveling. I don’t hug with reckless abandon. I revel in staying home, staying in, and not gathering new strangers as friends. I don’t go to bars or crowded movie theaters. I avoid grocery stores because of the awful lighting and because you might be lurking there. Plus, there are other people there. I thought it was my aging, maturity, or being particular that had me enjoying the isolation – but I am finding there are many more reasons I have to thank you for… so…. You got me, thanks.
I’m sleeping with you now, Covid. So if you are going to stick around with me and Chris, there are some things you should know. It has taken me 26 years to train Chris- so please study up. I can get bitchy quickly, so the sooner you adapt- the better for all of us, and the cats. Oh, yeah – by the way – thank you for getting in the way of our 25th anniversary – we are going to double down on 30, and every year between, with or without you. You have helped us embrace every special event. We are more mindful. So, take note if you are going to stick around me for this round or another.
- Coffee is best provided about 10 minutes after I wake up – just in case I drift off – I dislike waking up to cold coffee. It took a few years to have “us” get this right.
- I shouldn’t have bacon weekly if I’m going to lose weight, but technically I should have it twice a week. You can hide it in breakfast egg sandwiches, in Brussel Sprouts. Use your imagination – talk to Chris if you need suggestions.
- I need some alone time, sometimes. We both have a meditation, prayer, or mindful practice. Yeah, you have given us a lot of opportunities to be contemplative. Please be sure to provide more. I am certain you will.
- I like to say we clean the cat box equally – but if you do it slightly more often than I do or like, all the time, I’ll be that much more charming.
- It is important for you to have three clear options ready for a dinner conversation and prepared for me to have a few opinions upfront and many opinions after you make a decision.
- It is best for emergency chocolate to be hidden in both easy-to-find locations and ones that evade my desperate searches.
- If I say I’m going bald and getting fatter, the best answer is to say you love me more now than ever -or to just say nothing and kiss me passionately. Grip my butt for extra points.
Now that I have taught you a few things, Covid, I will pivot to my thanks. I do not want to be part of the chorus of people who only bemoan or lament the ways you’ve changed the world and our lives. There are many things to be thankful for with you around, so I want to focus on that. After all, I’m a glass-half-full kind of guy- it comes naturally with my rural New England upbringing. Cold, dirty winters really make us true optimists. [ Footnote – you killed people. For that, fuck you. Oh yeah, fuck you for a bunch of other shit – but this is a thank you letter… ]. For all the good you bring, I thank you for:
- Enabling me to finish Netflix, Disney+, Hulu, Amazon Prime- and though we went to streaming services to save money, you helped us realize we needed a cable package and EVERY streaming service. Without this baseline of comparison, I would not be an informed consumer. Thank you. #streamthedream
- Thank you for sourdough, gardening, pickling, cocktail shrubs, and mixology- I now have legit survival skills, so in an Armageddon event, I might be let into the bunker. #bunkerskills
- People now cough into their elbows, if they cough at all – and when they do, I am no longer the only person giving them a dirty look, as though they were killing kittens. #kittenkiller
- My cloud is not cloudy – I’ve stored, edited, moved, or deleted pictures and documents for my entire digital life now about two or three times. Prior to you, I was digital hoarder -and now my archive is squeaky clean. #killtimesoyoudontkillme
- You gave me a break from work- mind you, you did that by nearly shuttering a company I spent 12 years of my career building. Give me a break, indeed! I was able to lie in bed and watch all the wonder of the 2020 election. Sure, I had to let all my staff go, but they found work – and you helped me get government assistance, so now I have a 30-year relationship with the SBA. I wanted another mortgage- thanks! #covidrelief?
- My friends and family all have a unifying conversation and something that can always dominate the room- crowding out unnecessary topics like dreams, travel, aspirations, kids, cats, and democracy. #conversationkiller
- You did not hold back with me. You went all in. None of that simple cold-like Covid stuff I’ve heard of. Covid, Allergies? Aren’t they same? Not for me – you embraced me with all you have to offer – aches, pains, fatigue, no smell, limited taste- you didn’t hold back. Thanks. I’d yell to (at) you if my throat didn’t feel like you were hot prodding it. You are so generous it makes me dizzy. No, really – with you and because of you, I get dizzy. #coviddizzyqueen
- We now have a judgement-free reason to decline events, especially if I’m having a down day. Rather than needing to work around the nuances of my mental health maintenance, I can now say I have the sniffles and I might have been exposed to you. #judgenomore
- Filter me not! Because of you – and conversations about you – we/I can now speak our minds with complete reckless abandon and no regard for feckless facts. Some may have said that I struggle with my filter. Some. Now, however, because of you, Covid – I can lift the filter. Find someone at a gathering annoying? Easy- “Hey, you sound sick (sickening), should you be here? Maybe go home? #covidliberatedmouth
Like me, the list can go on and on and on and on. And on. We saved money on travel. We saved drive space on pictures. We saved money on dress clothes and embraced elastic waistbands. We learned how to save our food with our bodies. Bellies are amazingly expandable storage spaces! We can nap like cats. I was on a global mission to make video conferencing transformative. You did it! Just look at how you changed schools! You finished a life-long career mission in 6 months.
My quarantine with you ends on Monday. You may leave us soon. It’s not our thing- but I didn’t think a threeway with you and Chris would be like this. It’s like having a toddler in the bed with you when you really, as a couple, you should be “alone.” Oh, that toddler wet the bed too. It has not been fun or fabulous. You, Covid are more porcupine than bear- not very cuddly, sorry. Work on that, please. Maybe Phizer can add another mystery ingredient to my next “booster”?
Rumor has it, you will linger as you leave. You return without warning. Thank you for being interested in us- but honestly- it’s time for you to go. #fuckoffcovid