"Monday 5 Things" with D. Paul Graham

.....Chronicles of Covid.....

Monday 5 Things…..Chronicles of Covid.…..

The past few months have been rich for observation of our lives in this time of Covid. Notes in my iPad have been growing with each passing week. This morning’s M5T shares a few of these Covid Chronicles from the eyes, ears, and perhaps slightly bent sense of humor of your humble scribe.

1. Covid Cha-Cha.

There are those awkward moments of late when (a) you come in front of someone and realize you are going the wrong way in a store aisle, (b) you stick your hand out to shake another hand, (c) you move to hug and/or kiss someone, or (d) possibly all three occur at the same instant when you see someone you haven’t seen in months. When this happens, with steps that would make Fred Astaire and Martha Graham proud, at the last possible moment you effortlessly bob from to side to side, barely avoiding carts colliding, you pull your hand away and to the side in a swift yet graceful movement, and then you perfectly pirouett, preventing an unsanitary, human-race-threatening, hug and/or kiss. You may even finish your moves with the optional and advanced soft elbow bump. At that very moment, you realize you have mastered ‘The Covid Cha-Cha’.

2. The Mask.

As he so often does, Billy Shakespeare was recently waxing poetically on this pandemic and was quoted, “To mask or not to mask, that is the question.” My friend’s best friend’s third cousin’s uncle said he saw it on the internet and on [insert media channel of choice here], so it must be true. That being said, more often than not, I choose to go sans-mask, but I am careful to observe proper social distancing. Last week, in a local grocery store, where I just leave my “Whole Wallet” at the cash register, I was one of only a handful of patrons without a mask. The squinty-eyed, angry looks I received from those donning the most fashionable of Covid coverings made my head spin like Jim Carey’s dog in “The Mask”. And, I say this with all due respect to the woman who subtly threatened me with her baguette. For the record, I was not afraid of you. Your bâton Française de bonté was not long enough for you to reach me without broaching the six-foot abyss of safety. Clearly a Covid-amateur, you didn’t even have a proper round of Brie or an obscenely priced bottle of Bordeaux to throw at me.

3. AA & WW.

Social distancing has allowed for some interesting impacts on both drinking and eating habits. New cocktails called ‘Quarantini’, ‘No-School Driver’, ‘Mommy Needs a Caffineatini’, ‘Pandemic Punch’, and ‘Fuzzy All Over’ are but a few of the creations concocted by residential mixologists while under house arrest. If AA (and I’m not talking about the airline here) was a publicly traded stock, I would be buying long, betting on a bull market post-Covid. You may have missed the recent Food Network episode where the Bard mentioned in number 2 of this M5T said, “if food be the music of Covid, then play on.” Many are guilty of having played that music loud and often these past few months. It’s interesting to note that Weight Watchers stock, which was at a twelve-month high of $45.50 in January of this year, took an enormous dive to $11.23 on March 18th this year. Coincidence? Conspiracy? You decide.

4. T’s & Z’s; Hugs & MoMA.

I’m thinking that once kids go back to school, there is going to be preponderance of paper mâché projects just so families can free up additional bedrooms from hordes of toilet paper. No one is more surprised at the wild success and use of TikTok and Zoom over these past few months than the CEO’s of these companies. Facebook has once again saved the day by introducing a hugging emoji. I get choked up every time I use it. I’m a hugger by nature and tree hugging is starting to look very attractive to me lately. And MoMA you ask? There are some really great things online beyond binging Netflix. MoMA has a fantastic (and free) series of online art courses and videos. All sorts of free courses are available through edX’s ‘Massive Open Online Courses’ that are definitely worth checking out. You may also be interested to know that all of these courses are quite enjoyable with a Covid cocktail paired with delicacies from your pandemic pantry.

5. Renaissance.

From 1347 to 1352, the Black Death, otherwise known as the Bubonic Plague, killed a third of Europe’s population; that was over 20 million people. In my research, I came across reports that said over 80 million to 200 million people died of the plague in Europe over that same time, proving that statistical modeling hasn't improved much since the 14th century. But I digress. The plague brought about massive social, political, economic, cultural and religious changes. However, those changes led to one of the greatest periods of art, literature, philosophy, and architecture in our history with the emergence of the Renaissance period. Time will tell what changes Covid will inspire in our lifetime. More often than not, I shudder when I think of what could happen post-Covid.

Here’s to a week of finding things to laugh about wherever your own Chronicles of Covid may take you.

© 2020 D. Paul Graham, all rights reserved.

D. Paul Graham is passionate about people, culture, photography and business. He has embraced his wanderlust with his travels around the globe and is at peace with his need for spirited drives in all things automotive.

You can find M5T each Monday here on www.southmag.com and by friending D. Paul Graham on Facebook. Paul is also a contributing photographer to South Magazine. His photographic work can be found on Instagram @dpgraham and at www.imageGRAHAM.com . Your feedback is always welcome. Email Paul at dpg@imagegraham.com