Like all of you, I can’t wait to get the all-clear on this pandemic, to travel freely, hug at will, workout in a gym, visit my friends and host my family without worrying about infecting anyone.
But, there are a few pandemic-related things I hope stick around long after COVID-19 ceases to be a threat. These are my top five:
- Respect for front-line workers. I hope we always remember that those young workers bagging our groceries have done and continue to do so during a turbulent and dangerous time. Our medical workers and first responders also risk their lives to do their jobs during this crisis and I hope our gratitude for their efforts translates into continued recognition of the difficult work they do. I’d like to see the overwhelmingly respect for educators that increased dramatically during the COVID-inspired home schooling, which we all wrestled our way through, last forever. Special shout out to the AASD, our school district, that, within just a few days, rolled out a comprehensive plan to provide educational, technological and nutritional support to every student.
- Home baking. I know, I know. People were baking long before they got stuck in their homes for months. But, this global crisis has really encouraged people to raise the bar on the stuff coming out of their ovens. Meal planning became a thing again and, weirdly, for a time yeast became difficult to find in local grocery stores because it was busy elsewhere becoming Insta-worthy loaves of delicious bread. As I may have mentioned a time or two, I have been quarantined with a young lady who was supposed to be taking a bread course in Paris until COVID closed the borders and the school. So, I have grown used to unbelievably good smells wafting up from my kitchen pretty much every day and delicious treats emerging from my oven. I’m not going to commit to that kind of regularity in my baking, but I hope I activate some yeast and put it to good use periodically even after our young baker heads back out into the world. Good bread made with clean ingredients is healthy and you will never convince me otherwise.
- Cheerful messages. I love all the sidewalk chalk and window art that popped up during this crisis to encourage neighbors and the general public to “Stay strong” and “Be positive” and reminded them that “We’re all in this together.” I hope all those generous artists, young and old, continue to spread the love and good cheer throughout the year.
- Hygiene. I thought I was a good hand washer until this crisis came calling. Now, I know that a thorough hand washing includes attention to both sides of my hand and the nail beds too. I intend to continue my new habit of heading straight to the kitchen and washing my hands every time I come home. I hope restaurants continue to offer no touch menus and I will keep anti-bacterial wipes in my car for a quick but thorough wipe down of my door handles and steering wheel periodically.
- Family time. I love to see families out for afternoon and evening strolls. It may be more difficult now as parents stop working from home and head back into the office, but I hope they continue to enjoy time together walking, biking, doing puzzles and playing board games.
I hope you all stay safe and I look forward to seeing you, perhaps on a long walk through the neighborhood, soon.