• Leslie Crews

Is Coronavirus A Hidden Blessing?

What Covid-19 is teaching us about priorities

The world is in crisis. Thanks to our collective inability to focus on what’s truly important, the COVID-19 Coronavirus has people across the country buying all the toilet paper, and oddly, lamb shanks.

Yes, according to the empty shelves in the meat department, someone is preparing to cook a rack of lambs, duck, and baby back ribs during a non-holiday. I’m awaiting the sweet aroma of barbecue in the wind; someone is undoubtedly out grilling, in the midst of the pandemic.

The media would have you think that we should be preparing for the zombie apocalypse. Every quarantine movie and graphic novel has prepared us for this. But this isn’t a movie. People are scared, and scared people panic.

Because I’m a fan of the weird and creepy, some part of me has always been prepared for a crisis like this one. Coming from a big family, there were at least two jumbo sized packs of toilet paper in the house at any given time. Seeing empty shelves and store signs restricting customers to one toilet paper sale per person, is a glaring indicator that people are short-sighted.

It’s a pandemic! Must buy toilet paper.

I’ll never understand why people buy the most perishable foods like milk and fruit instead of beans and flour during a crisis. Why spend loads of money on water stockpiles (plastic breaks down over time, be sure to rotate your stash), instead of reusable filters. People were trying to trade hand sanitizer like bitcoin. While I stood in the threshold of the warehouse store, growing increasingly frustrated with humankind, I questioned if everyone had simultaneously lost their minds. Then I thought, yes. Yes, they have lost their minds, but maybe it’s because people have been deprived of their real lives.

Maybe we’ve spent too much time working to build a stable and fruitful future, that we’ve forgotten how to focus on what’s truly important; living a full life. For spiritual and analytical reasons, I’m not with the hype. Though the light traffic is appreciated, my family life and home routines haven’t changed much. The lights are still on, the mystery leak in the dining area is still mystery-leaking, my dog still needed his 6–7 cans of grain free, chicken free food.

I geared up for a normal store run, right as my state issued the notice that schools would be closed for two weeks.

There were club lines inside the grocery store. Seriously.

Grain free, chicken free, wet dog food is hard to find on a regular day, let alone when your state has decided to close public schools, at 6 o’clock in the evening; right at the end of the business day for working parents and people who have to get home to walk their dogs. A normal stroll through my favorite warehouse grocery store ended as soon as my feet crossed the store’s threshold. To be fair, I walked far enough into the store to see, what appeared to be, every cart the store owned, filled to the brim with Gatorade, milk, and sugary cereal.

Focused parents with their children hanging off the carts. Some sitting quietly with headphones and an iPad. People circling aisles hunting for mostly-empty abandoned carts. Speed walkers squeezing between the customers standing in a line that reached a section of the store that most people wander into only by accident.

Step. Heel. Pivot. Back out the door I went.

Far be it from me to convince anyone that their priorities aren’t in order. But right then it occurred to me that COVID-19 Coronavirus, might be a blessing in disguise.