I was speaking with a friend the other day, and for purposes of this column, let’s call her Mary Smith. She lives alone in Malibu with her cat Mr. Peepers (also not the cat’s real name, but I tend to call all animals Mr. Peepers). Mary is bright, artistic, caring, and looks at the bright side of things, to say the least.
I often call friends during the pandemic to see how they are doing, and because I am a people person and have been in virtual isolation for what seems like eternity, these calls also prevent me from going stark raving mad.
When I asked Mary how she was coping with the pandemic, I was quite surprised to hear she was not only doing well, but actually felt there was a positive side to Covid-19. Now granted, Mary is an upbeat person, but she piqued my curiosity when she said there was something good about Covid.
“Okay, Mary, you have caught my attention.” I continued, “What could possibly be good about Covid-19?” Without hesitation she responded, “I have had lots of time to bond with my cat.”
I was expecting something more earth shaking. I thought that perhaps the pandemic had taught Mary some life lessons like life is filled with risk, or good people die too soon, or makeup is not necessary when you wear a mask. But that is not what I got.
What I learned is that Mary, who works out of her house and has had this cat for many years, needs a pandemic to bond with her cat.
This revelation surprised me to the point where I was actually silent. I did not know what to say. Those of you who know me understand the silence was not long lived.
When I gained my composure I let out the following, “We are alone in our homes. We cannot travel, visit our loved ones, have to wear the damn masks, and you find solace in being able to bond with your cat! (Out of respect for Mary I did not call the cat Mr. Peepers).
And then I realized that Mary was onto something. Despite all the bad in these troubled times, she was able to find the good, the silver lining. I guess we can all learn from Mary Smith.
To be perfectly honest, I have tried my damnedest since I spoke with Mary to find some good about Covid. I have failed miserably, but I promise I will keep on trying.