I miss the old days of sheltering in place. I was able to stay home all day, every day and nobody minded. All the projects happening with the family were put on hold while I binge-watched several full seasons of this and that on Netflix including Joe Idiot, the Lyin’ King.

Since our restrictions were eased I’ve been getting out a bit more often. I’ve made many stops to the hardware and lumber stores collecting items for my honey-do list. I’m not actually working on the list, I’m just prepping. Lots and lots of prepping. Should I get stuck at home again during a possible round 2 of this COVID crisis I’ll need to come up with some good excuses for why my list is not getting any smaller.

I’ve always been kind of partial to the list of excuses Joliet Jake used to appease his ladyfriend in the Blues Brothers movie. “I ran outta gas. I had a flat tire. I didn’t have money for cab fare. My tux didn’t come back from the cleaners. An old friend came in from out of town. Someone stole my car. There was an earthquake, a terrible flood, locusts.” If none of those work like they did in the movie I’ll just distract my dearly beloved with the new pair of shoes that arrived today. There’s always a new pair of shoes arriving.

My wife is the most essential person on the planet. Essential mostly to me. When I needed supplies I would send her a text message then she would stop on her way home and grab it. A gallon of milk. A loaf of bread. A case of beer. All essential.

I don’t mean to diminish the seriousness of this crisis by making jokes about it. That’s just me. I can joke about anything. It’s my coping mechanism. It keeps me sane. Don’t take anything too seriously and your problems will never be too serious.

There are only a few things we are being asked to do and none of them are too difficult. Wash your hands. Wear a mask. Keep your distance. All easy to do. The last time I was out of the house it appeared most people were heeding the advice. 

I did see a few people who were having issues with their masks. Either their noses were uncovered or their mask was covering only their chin. But they were wearing one. That’s a good start. I didn’t bother to offer my two cents. Maybe they were having a bad day. Maybe they didn’t see the humor in anything. Maybe they just didn’t care. The times I came across someone like that I simply stopped in my tracks and waited for them to move on or took another route. You won’t be able to talk to these people so don’t. Avoid them like the plague.

If we all do our part we can put this crisis behind us. Complaining doesn’t help anyone. Not even yourself. If we want things back to normal we have to do the abnormal. And if we’re not going to do a little extra to win this fight then I don’t have a problem with it. I don’t have to go anywhere. I can stay home and catch all the new seasons of shows on Netflix or while the weather is nice please excuse me while I just lounge in the pool. 

• Kevin Foster retired two years ago and is now sponging off his wife. He can be reached at tsloup@shawmedia.com.

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