Be a better you when this is over

(Photo: I snapped this shot of a guy contemplating the sunset on giant rocks that jutted out into the Pacific Ocean in the little fishing village of Las Peñitas, Nicaragua, during my first trip there to help build homes for families in need with The Fuller Center for Housing. This look of contemplation against the backdrop of the sunset seems to fit this column.)

With all of the things that could go wrong during a pandemic, I guess I’m pretty unscathed by the coronavirus outbreak.

I got sick … with something. Who knows what I was sick with because the “millions” of tests they were touting back in mid-March sure weren’t available in my neck of the woods. Back then, the only folks they were testing were the rich and famous or people who were coughing up a lung as they were carried into a hospital by the Grim Reaper himself.

But I’m mostly better. At this point, I hope I had it and hope I can someday get a test to know for sure. Meanwhile, I don’t know anyone personally whose life has been taken by this pandemic. I haven’t lost my job, and neither has my wife. And I’ve got a decent home where I can shelter in place. Yep, all things considered, I’m doing OK.

Still, I’m tired of it. I want to believe the president when he sees a light at the end of the tunnel, but I worry his vision might be impaired since he stared into that solar eclipse without protective glasses. Now he won’t wear a mask. What’s he got against protection anyway? He won’t use protection whether is sunny or Stormy.

Like him, though, I’m ready for this to be over. When it is over, I just hope everyone emerges from this crisis as better people.

When this is over, I hope we better appreciate — and pay — the folks who have been risking their own health to make sure we have groceries, take-out, medicine and all the pandemic “essentials” like tequila.

When this is over, I hope everyone who hoarded toilet paper is buried alive when their 857-roll tower finally topples.

When this is over, I hope that folks realize that science is rather important and they don’t keep sticking their heads in the sand when it comes to climate science and wait to act until it’s too late to make a difference.

When this is over, I hope we continue to stay in touch with family and friends — and not just through comments on Facebook.

When this is over, I hope people realize how important it is that everyone has access to health care even when there is not a pandemic and that the outrage over price-gouging continues for those long gouged by private health insurance and Big Pharma, which fights to keep cheap drugs and insulin away from people.

When this is over, I hope everyone votes. I don’t care if it’s by mail or in person, but it is more clear than ever that we need to pay attention to whom we’re putting in office.

When this is over, I hope we buy less stuff. We’ve all got enough stuff. Let’s do a little simplifying.

When this is over, I hope folks in China quit eating dogs and cats. I didn’t know that really was a thing, but they just passed laws to stop it. C’mon, people! It’s not like you can’t find a Chinese restaurant somewhere.

When this is over, I hope football season goes on without a hitch. I’m in serious sports withdrawal with the loss of baseball, basketball, golf and hockey. My grandson’s tee-ball season lasted all of two games. Right now, I’d watch curling if it were on TV. But I simply cannot handle a football season without football.

When this is over, I hope I can shed about 15 pounds. I don’t know much about the “flattening of the curve,” but without my gym my gut is experiencing a serious fattening of a big curve.

When this is over, I’ll be at the beach marking a milestone birthday. In fact, even if this is not over, I’ll still be at the beach marking a milestone birthday. And if a virus tries to take that from me, I’m gonna buy a rifle from my essential gun store and shoot it.

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