A Brief History
On April 15, 2016, we ran an article acknowledging April 15th as the day your income tax return must be filed by each year in the United States, and used that fact to list five days people really look forward to and five other days many people may dread. Today, we do it all again, with an updated list for both columns that takes into account the changing nature of our society, or as you may have guessed already, coronavirus. As always, we welcome your input on days we could have added to the list or should have deleted
1. End of coronavirus lockdown and social distancing.
Dread: Having to see friends, co-workers and family you have been avoiding without repercussions for weeks. Once more being stuck in lines, crowded public transit, and having to go to various events you would rather not attend (think of elementary school orchestra concerts…). People will once again feel free to invade your personal space, and those stinky unwashed will be standing in line at the bank or store right on top of you. Many people will want to go back to shaking hands and hugging you, which you may or may not like. No longer having an excuse for not having a date. Now you will have to once again visit Granny in the nursing home. If you are Granny in the nursing home, you will now have to put up with visits. Or are you dreading not having an excuse to put off that wedding?
Eagerly Await: Getting out of your house and away from your kids/parents/spouse/siblings! All this time together, “quality time” if you will, is really grating on a lot of nerves in this country! Reports of domestic violence are on the rise. Once more being able to go out and date, or try to find dates, while socializing and partying without ending up on a viral video and being on cable news while the entire country says, “Tsk tsk.” Sports fans, movie fans, concert fans and television fans are all eagerly awaiting the return to audience (live and on television or the big screen) productions. Olympic athletes cheated out of what might have been their particular moment to shine have to wait another year, and maybe by then their moment will have passed. Gym rats want to get back to the gym! Miss your yoga class? Waiting for your drivers education program to restart so you can finally get your driver’s license? Yeah, you are eagerly awaiting the end to all this social distancing.
2. Going back to school.
Eagerly Await: The high level jocks and “in-crowd” types are undoubtedly chafing at being taken away from their stage. Those preparing for serious study at college are being denied proper preparation for their upcoming classes, and others eager to experience prom, graduation, and maybe delivering the Valedictorian speech are being cheated out of these experiences. You thought this year you were going to be the state wrestling champ? Guess again! Being good looking and having fancy clothes does little good when marooned at home. Many students miss their friends and social interaction, as well as the school sponsored activities such as sports and clubs. Other students, especially of the college variety, have been forced into virtual classrooms by getting their “education” on the internet, not exactly what they bargained for when they signed off on the enormous college loan to get a quality education.
Dread: The considerable number of students that really do not like going to school are undoubtedly enjoying time off from the rigors of the classroom and the social tyranny of not being in the “in-crowd.” Those slugs in love with video games instead of real people and physical activity are no-doubt in their glory while staying at home during their unexpected vacation. Other students that may have been having a hard time with a particular subject or 2 may well be dreading a return to the classroom and the academic challenges that return entails. Geez! Once again, having to brush your teeth and hair and use deodorant, what a drag!
3. Going back to work.
Dread: “Find a job you enjoy doing and you never have to work a day in your life.” (Mark Twain.) While many people may find aspects of their job enjoyable and look forward to those parts of work, most people are happier not to have to work. As a retired person, I find it waaaayyy more satisfying to get money every month for doing nothing than actually having to work for it. Having to go back to work will put a serious cramp on one’s ability to binge watch television programs such as Tiger King, we suspect that many folks just do not like being awakened by an alarm clock every day. Having to face a boss or co-workers you cannot stand is not an appealing thought. Some jobs are physically and mentally draining, and those with a bad back or just can no longer stand dealing with the public are probably not rooting for the scientists trying to find a cure or vaccine for coronavirus. Even worse than all of the above (for some), having to start shaving again!
Eagerly Await: Many other people are eager to go back to work because they need the money! Especially if they are self-employed or run a business. Others are social people that miss the interaction with others and are bored at home with their family or even themselves. Has your health insurance lapsed while you are unemployed? Going back to work suddenly seems like a good idea.
4. Stop wearing masks in public.
Eagerly Await: Wearing a face mask in public is uncomfortable and makes it kind of hard to breathe. Wearing a face mask also can make you feel overheated in a store and make your glasses fog up. These masks also look kind of goofy, and make one feel self-conscious, plus, it is one more thing you have to remember to have with you all the time, and if you forget, people look at you like you are some kind of criminal. And of course, wearing masks makes it easier for robbers to blend in with the rest of us.
Dread: When people stop wearing masks in public due to a decreased threat of coronavirus, that does not mean it is suddenly ok to cough, sneeze, and breathe on other people once again, spreading all those bajillions of other diseases we have been forgetting about these past couple of months. Once again, cashiers at stores will be coughing into their hands while handling my purchases and my change. While wearing a mask is a pain, it is kind of nice having all those other diseased people in society wearing them to protect me! Those of us that are not particularly good looking find the mask in public rule to be somewhat of an equalizer, and will miss that aspect of the pandemic.
5. Paying rent.
Dread: People that pay rent for their domicile or place of business have had a bit of a reprieve courtesy of the coronavirus pandemic, with some official edicts allowing renters to not be required to pay their rent for 3 months or a time TBA. When the pandemic is over, and things go “back to normal,” there are going to be some hellacious rent payments due!
Eagerly Await: Landlords that are being stiffed by renters unable to pay rent due to being laid off or their business being shut down are faced with unforgiving banks and lending institutions that still expect their mortgage payments. How could the property owners make those payments without rent coming in? Thus, landlords across the country are eagerly awaiting the time when people start paying rent again.
Question for students (and subscribers): What day are you most looking forward to and the day you are most dreading? Please let us know in the comments section below this article.
Your readership is much appreciated!
For more information, please see..
Mack, AJ. Staying Safe: A Simple Guide to Social Distancing for Over 55’s. Amazon, 2020.
Roberson, Mel and Katrina Ferguson. Social Distancing for Idiots: Necessary steps to Help Flatten the Pandemic Curve. Amazon, 2020.
The featured image in this article, a photograph by Philafrenzy of social distancing at the pharmacy Cockfosters in London on 23 March 2020, is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license.