Flush It Friday: The G/B/U of Covid-19

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Near the end of 2019 one of my co-workers would look up, and read aloud, the number of COVID-19 cases in the world, along with where it was spreading. Back then I wasn’t afraid at all; I figured it would never get to the United States. Oh, how foolish I was! Then back in February of this year, once it was labeled a pandemic, I became terrified. In the first two weeks I was continually in trouble at work for not having perfect numbers (I work at a children’s hospital FYI)—which wasn’t my fault, but that didn’t matter. Shit rolls downhill no matter where you work. Because I had multiple bosses breathing down my neck, I was chain smoking cigarettes before and after work. I was so afraid of leaving the house that I group texted all the neighbors asking if anyone would like to trade some household goods for other goods. The thought of visiting a grocery or convenience store was completely alien to me at the time. Alas, after months of news stories, research, global scientific data, and knowledge of general precautions I was ready to slowly re-enter the world.

Jimmy Note: This isn’t going to contain any controversial or hot takes on COVID-19, nor will it contain solutions or home remedies to the serious disease. We’ve all read/heard much of the known information about it; plus I don’t want Big Tech to flag this article with “fact check” warnings 😉 This is about one man’s experiences during the pandemic…

Good (given the gravitas of the situation, it sure feels odd starting with the ‘Good’, but I’m going to honor the tradition): since most of us are obeying the stay-at-home orders, a few good things have come to life. Sure there’s a giant reduction in pollution across the globe, mass shootings have settled down, [some] people have become more vigilant with hygiene, etc. there’s one good thing I can personally claim has happened due to the pandemic; and that is a general increase in sense of camaraderie among friends and acquaintances, both IRL and online. The Toilet ov Hell Discord server has become more active. Our respective Facebook IM groups are being utilized more. We started calling our relatives and friends for voice or video chats more often. Once we are collectively faced with the real dangers of a global pandemic (a redundant term, I know) we have, through various methods, become closer to friends and family! One might even claim that our friends have become our family. Another benefit is that those of us who are engaged in various hobbies have been presented with the opportunity to become more involved with said hobbies. I’ve played more video games, listened to more records, and sharpened my culinary skills during these uncertain times.

Bad: this one pretty much goes without saying. Some of us have lost loved ones. Some of us have become unemployed. Some of us are proprietors of businesses which have collapsed. There are no words to comfort those who have lost something or everything. During this Flush It Friday, we collectively must pour one out for our homies who have suffered more than ever before. So to them, I giver a somber *cheers*.

Ugly: the fact that a pandemic can be politicized. I am in utter disgust that in the Tron-like world of the Internet, it would appear that right-leaning people want to re-open the economy (casualties be damned) and left-leaning people want to keep the quarantine orders in place for a while longer. Here is the one hot take I will administer to everybody: THIS IS NOT LEFT VERSUS RIGHT. This is about public health. When the catastrophe of 9/11 happened, it seemed like all Americans wanted to band together to overcome its collective tragedy. I had assumed, back in the early parts of 2020, that Americans would again join together with the common goal of combating this invisible enemy… and I would be proved incorrect. For some f**ked up reason, it has become yet another Us Versus Them scenario. Do you want proof? Sign onto Twitter or look at Facebook posts from popular chains like Costco, when they declared that patrons must wear face masks in order to enter their stores. I cannot stress this enough: Americans love to fight on social media, more than they do solving problems. Heck, I don’t see many Americans on social media even trying to come up with a solution! And not a single soul wants to extend an olive branch with the intention of gaining solidarity in solving this public health crisis (it has even invaded Instagram, a platform in which people post pics of their cats).

And so, setting all politics aside, I want to share with you all that I am now unafraid of getting groceries or hanging with the occasional neighbor, because of the knowledge I have ascertained over the past few months. In those first two weeks I finished off my small supply of remaining cigarettes and have not purchased another pack. Bosses be damned, I took care of the aspects of my job that needed addressing, to get them off of my back. The online “pen pals” I had before have become good friends due to an increased amount of communication. I have embraced – and therefore increased skills in – my dorky hobbies of video games and cooking. Prior to the pandemic I didn’t have much time to invest in these hobbies, nor did I spend enough time strengthening the online relationships in which I was engaged, because just about every night and weekend I would go out and party with friends.

By no means do quarantine orders spell the demise of the human race. It may sound overtly optimistic (a label I have been awarded multiple times in the past decade) but there definitely exist instances of a silver lining on this seriously dark cloud known as the Covid-19 pandemic. I completely accept that there are unspeakable horrors which are a direct result of a this coronavirus; while simultaneously embracing different side effects which came in without warning. In fact I highly recommend everyone get caught up on pandemics which have littered modern history, such as the following: Smallpox, the Spanish Flu during World War I, and the Hong Kong Flu of 1968.  That may help one appreciate how well we actually are doing in modern times, even with the numerous amount of setbacks we now posses. In 1918, American troops were being decimated by the Spanish flu.

My goal today is to hear people post their Covid-19-related G/B/U’s. But also, you don’t *have* to do this: feel free to post any combination of G/B/U that you wish! Flush-it-Fridays are a place of free therapy. We’re all here for ya. It’s a beautiful open swim. I will be at staying at home on Friday night, engaging with others on Disqus while listening to the new Oranssi Pazuzu on vinyl. But first let’s go over a few of this week’s highlights:

Is there anything which makes you more hungry than Mini Reviews?

Mini-Reviews From Around the Bowl (5/28/20)

Does the mere mention of the premiere from a Transcending Obscurity band “get your goat”?

Premiere: Death Courier – “Necrotic Verses”

Have you ever envisioned life at an age before Juul vaporizers existed?

Check Out This Live Converge Set From 1995

This week, the Monday News Press got my vote! It might not have been on a Monday, but I am willing to give Joaquin Stick one of my three life-long forgiveness tokens for posting his news update on a Tuesday (you’re on thin ice pal):

TMP: Enslaved, Exocrine, Lesser Glow, and More!

Feel free to post your G/B/U here in the Disqus comments section.

(image via Forbes)

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