The Septuagenarian Speaks – published March 25, 2020, Siskiyou Daily News

COVID-19 sucks, no question.  But there are a few bright spots.  I don’t want to minimize the seriousness of the virus or disrespect those who have been impacted, but some good things have come out of this.  Here are some examples:

Heartisan Masks.  The pandemic has brought out the best in people.  (Not all, of course.  There are the hoarders.)  People are more innovative, thinking outside the box.  When life gives you lemons, make lemonade.  For example, even though their shop is closed, the Heartisans, those wonderful Madrone Hospice volunteers who make beautiful items from discarded fabric, are now sewing face masks for the Hospice staff, volunteers, patients, and their families.  The face masks are really attractive.

Denny Bar Hand Sanitizer.  This is an example of local small businesses coping with a bad situation, helping their neighbors, and being innovative.  Etna’s Denny Bar Co. Distillery and Restaurant is making hand sanitizer. A distillery making hand sanitizer?  It makes a lot of sense and is a great idea.

Sweats All Day.  Since the only reason I’m leaving my house these days is to walk at Greenhorn Park (maintaining social distancing of course), there’s really no reason to wear anything during the day other than sweatpants and a T-shirt or sweatshirt.  It saves a lot of my valuable time not having to make all those decisions about what to wear.

Appreciation of What We Have.  On my Greenhorn walk yesterday, I saw Larry Stidham, walking his dog.  We talked a while (at a safe distance) and agreed that there is no place better to live than Siskiyou County, for a lot of reasons.  One reason is that there is plenty of room for social distancing.

My Sequel.  For several months now, I’ve been working on a sequel to my novel “The Septuagenarian.”  It’s been sporadic, but now, being homebound, I’ve been cranking out a couple thousand words a day.  I may actually get it finished before this pandemic is over!

All Quiet on the Democratic Campaign Front.  There’s bad news and good news about this one.  The bad news is that we are now constantly bombarded with media noise about the pandemic, much of which is misinformation and blaming, more political than educational.  The good news is that this noise has overshadowed, at least for now, the noise about the Democratic political campaign.

Virtual Happy Hour.  Ann and I often socialize with friends at the Wine Bar on Friday nights.  We can’t do that right now, but last weekend, at Lisa Nixon’s suggestion, some of us got together online, using Zoom, and it worked great.  Give it a try.   Having said that, the virtual TGIF is still not the same as the real deal.  We’ll be back to the Wine Bar just as soon as we can.

Humor.  I believe humor is a necessity of life, right up there with food and water.  It should be on the government list of “essential services.”  The coronavirus has spawned a new generation of humor.  The toilet paper jokes are still top of the list, but other topics are catching up.  I saw a great cartoon, a variation of the famous Chick-Fil-A billboard, the one with one cow standing on the back of another, painting “Eat Mor Chikin” on the billboard.  In this one, the cow is painting, “Eat Fewer Bats.”  Three weeks ago, no one would have seen any humor in that cartoon.  But the world has changed.  That single cartoon took a humorous jab at the ongoing media noise about the source of COVID-19, which has gone downhill from genuine scientific discourse to political diatribe. 

So, thanks for reading my columns.  Stay safe, but keep looking on the bright side.  Support our local businesses.  Buy take-out from our restaurants.  Leave nice tips.

Bob Kaster
Yreka, CA

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