WHY I’M LEARNING TO LOVE THE CORONAVIRUS (3/17/20)
Don’t get mad at me. I know you’re cooped up in your home and both you and your spouse are having sweet, secret, never-to-be-revealed thoughts about divorce.
The fact is that men and women aren’t meant to be together for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. That’s why God invented work.
But let’s look a the positive side of being locked in your house waiting for the end of the world.
Once you’ve had your full of Netflix, you can do something that you haven’t done for quite a while – read a book.
Here are five books I have enjoyed thanks to the coronavirus:
THE SPLENDID AND THE VILE by Erik Larson: This is a look at Winston Churchill during the early dark days of World War II. When you read it you’ll wish Winnie was here to guide us through these dark days where the enemy is invisible.
THE BIG GOODBYE by Sam Wasson: A fascinating study of the making of Chinatown, one of the finest movies ever made.
WHERE THE CRAWDADS SING by Delia Owens: A brilliant first novel that will hold you prisoner until the last page.
LIFE ISN’T EVERYTHING by Ash Carter and Sam Kasher: A story of the incredible genius of Mike Nichols.
And finally, HERE IS NEW YORK by E.B. White: Perhaps the greatest book written about New York. Just read White’s opening line, “On any person who desires such queer prizes, New York will bestow the gift of loneliness and the gift of privacy.”
Being forced by my children to stay inside my house has saved my life. No, not from the coronavirus, but from a worse fate: a broken hip or a broken neck.
Let me explain. Three weeks ago my wife, the beautiful Judy Licht, and I flew to Miami to see our beautiful, brilliant, talented and incredibly wise 4-month-old grandson Teddy.
From the minute I got on the American Airline plane I felt something was off. The passengers eyed each other with suspicion. I had the feeling that if I coughed the others (including Judy) would throw me out of the plane at 30,000 feet.
I sat there and longed for the good old days when if you got on a plane the worst thing that could happen to you was the plane would be hijacked and you would be flown to Cuba, forced to look at their wonderful school system (endorsed by Bernie Sanders) and then returned home, never the worse for wear.
We stayed at a nice hotel in Miami where they had a 12-step stairway down to the entrance where your Uber was waiting for you.
So after washing my hands for the 37th time that day, I started to reach for the bannister. “Wait a minute, I’m not touching that bannister,” I thought. “It must be filled with the coronavirus.” So I tried to walk down the steps without holding on to anything, and it was tough. I think it took me a half hour to get to the bottom step.
This is how old people will die.
Not from the virus, but from trying to avoid holding onto banisters and falling down and breaking their hips and their necks.
But here is the best thing the coronavirus has given me.
First, let it be known that when it comes to the coronavirus, I tried.
God knows I tried not to panic.
But the television networks, the newspapers, my family, my friends worked on me and now I’m terrified.
Last week I wrote that if you are under 65 years old and are in good health and you wash your hands every 15 minutes, you have a better chance of winning a $160 million lottery than dying of the coronavirus.
That’s still true.
But my kids keep reminding me that given my advanced age and terrible physical condition, if I get the coronavirus I’m a dead man.
This makes me feel good. Let me explain.
My kids call or text me every 15 minutes playing the “Don’t” card I used to use on them when they were young. “Don’t go out,” they say. “Don’t go shopping.” “Don’t go into any restaurant.” “Don’t go near anyone.” “Don’t go within 6 feet of anyone.” “Take your temperature.” Today my son JT and his wonderful, beautiful girlfriend Rachel went out and shopped for me. Yesterday my daughter Jessie wrote me this:
“Everything that comes into the house from outside, including FedEx packages and groceries, must be wiped down. If you can’t find bleach products use rubbing alcohol or hydrogen peroxide.”
At first I resented being treated like a child. Then it hit me. Then it answered the question every parent asks themselves at one time or another:
Will my kids ever love me as much as I love them?
Thanks to the threat of the coronavirus, I have proof that my kids truly, truly love me.
At the thought my eyes filled with tears. Then the next second I turned into Sally Field when she accepted her best actress Oscar.
Like Sally I wanted to call my kids and blurt out, “You like me! You really like me!”
I thought about telling my children, “This time I feel it. And I can’t deny the fact that you like me. Right now, you like me.”
Then I thought better of it. If I made that call, out of the blue my wonderful children would probably all get together and have me committed to the loony bin.
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