Nobody really knows how this will all end for Oak Park. No doubt somewhere between Y2K and Hiroshima. There are different views based on the indecipherable interplay of our individual natures and nurtures. Somehow I’m both an optimist and a skeptic. I’ve come to realize that for me, emotion may play a bigger role in my life than I ever imagined.
These are fascinating times. Character is revealed. Values are clarified. Old truths are questioned.
I will leave for another column my impressionistic musings. Like our president, I haven’t a clue how this will all end. But I do I have lots of tips on how to survive our captivity. Please feel free to tape these tips to your refrigerator.
1. As your toilet paper supply diminishes, consider rationing the squares based on gender and nature of waste. If it becomes necessary, use newspaper, then magazines, then leaves and as a last resort, corn cobs.
2. Eschew massage, lap dances, kissing booths and mosh pits.
3. Increase alcohol and marijuana consumption, but only by 25 percent.
4. Listen to happy music like The Beach Boys, or the blues by Otis Redding or Wilson Pickett. I wonder if there will be songs about the pandemic. It will be hard to find rhymes for COVID-19.
5. Stop watching the news 24/7 until it gets better. It is obviously going to get worse for a while, and sad to say, there is nothing you can do about Italy or discovering a vaccination. Remember, you can control what goes into your brain.
6. Get outside every day no matter the weather. Nature is good for the soul. Ask the Romantic poets.
7. Arrange to talk on the phone with friends and family on a scheduled, regular basis. You are not alone.
8. Get in the car for a drive. Chicago highways will never be so open. Drive to Kane or DuPage County and walk around.
9. Manage your expectations. Determine your best-case scenario and add a week or two.
10. Come up with activities and experiences to look forward to. Anticipation is a balm to a depressing stasis. Imagine the first thing you are going to do when this is over. Make a list.
I suspect most of us will survive these difficult times. An older generation survived the Great Depression and World War II. And they didn’t have Netflix or Grub Hub.