Corona and me

There is always something good to come out of a bad situation. You have to accept the realities of something and look for the good in the badness. There is always good, isn’t there?

It’s what we need to believe.

Because of the dreaded COVID-19 virus, March 4, 2020, was the last time I have been with my family in person, doing something we all love and took completely for granted: a birthday get-together for my brother, Rob, for dinner and trivia at JD’s Junction Restaurant and Bar in Middletown, Pa. Little did we know it was our last get-together until well into 2021.

One year and three months of no family conversations and hugs, of greetings and good-wills. No get-togethers at all. Facetime and phone conversations fill our devastated worlds.

Something good? Well, let me think about the “good” that came of this devastation, this disaster called the great pandemic.

I was sent home from the Reading Eagle to work at home in Hershey exactly two weeks later, on March 18. I worked from home, reluctantly (I am strictly an old-school travel-to-the-office person), until I was laid off, by phone, Joe Paterno-like, on April 9.

Yes, COVID-19 cost me employment at the Reading Eagle newspaper.

Something positive?

I had time to compose more than 161 cover letters and resumes with no job offers in the ensuing seven months. That included about a half-dozen job interviews, all by Zoom, by far the longest stretch of unemployment in my history. No job offers came the first six months.

Something positive?

I had time, and plenty of it, to write the book on the death of newspapers (DEEMED NONESSENTIAL, mentioned in my editorial this issue) and a book on senior care, MARYCARE.

An overview of DEEMED appears in my editorial this issue.

MARYCARE is still under development, though a draft is finished.

Something positive? DEEMED NONESSENTIAL. OK, that’s positive.

Probably the most significant positive: I was hired as Special Sections Editor of the Butler Eagle on Dec. 14, 2020.

To me, the hiring is the ONLY positive in the midst of this pandemic hell-hole.

I won’t take anything, anymore, for granted. A cousin of mine was almost killed by COVID-19. A sister lost her job. Several of my nieces came down with the virus. There has been far too much loss, decimation and disappointment.

But for all the good things to (we hope) come back, to return to us: I will never take them for granted again. I promise.