Covid has brought mostly bad news. Sickness, death, unemployment, confinement, loneliness. But there have been a few silver linings. For example, according to one estimate, global greenhouse gas emissions fell 2.4 billion tons in 2020, for a 7% reduction.
Something else: animal shelters reported that the pandemic created new demand for dogs and cats as more people stayed home. One national animal rescue operation said that shelter intake was down 24% compared to 2019.
Perhaps there are some other positive things that come out of the year 2020. Can you think of any?
On a personal level, too, it's been a tough year. We've been shut in. We have friends and relatives who've gotten sick. We know people who've lost their jobs.
My first reaction was: No, nothing. I want to get out of the house. I want to go see friends, play ping pong, go dancing, attend our senior classes in person. I want to go out to the movies, and most of all I want to travel -- visit friends and family, go someplace warm in the winter, or just experience a different environment or take part in different activities.
But then I thought, there is one thing I'd like to keep doing. We've been Zooming fairly regularly with far-flung family. I used to talk to my sister in Phoenix about once a month, my sister in Florida about twice a year. Now we've scheduled a Zoom meeting every other Thursday. We're getting together more now than ever!
Before Covid, I hardly ever talked with my kids, because they live far away and lead busy lives. It was always hard to get them on the phone. But now their lives have slowed down as well, and they have time to talk to their old man. So we've been Zooming on a regular basis, getting the family together. We have a new granddaughter. She lives a thousand miles away. But we see her once every two weeks. We saw her new teeth; we saw her start to crawl; now she's beginning to walk. She likes to wave and stick her tongue out at us.
B has a large family spread out, literally, coast to coast from Seattle to Boston. I don't know the last time they all got together in person. But now they've held several family reunions on Zoom -- all six of them plus spouses and a few children.
So in turn, I asked B what she hoped to hold over from Covid. She agreed she wants to keep up our Zoom meetings. Then she said that she's actually been enjoying the slower pace of life, the more relaxed lifestyle. She can watch TV without feeling guilty. She can have a cup of tea in the afternoon. She can sit and read a book . . . in the middle of the day!
Don't get me wrong. I'm am fed up with Covid. I feel like I've been running a marathon, and now I've hit the wall. I hope they can make the vaccines available soon . . . for us, maybe sometime in February?
I just hope, after it's all over and Covid is nothing but a memory, that we'll continue to see our friends and family on a regular basis. I want to be there when my granddaughter starts to talk!