Finding the good in a time of coronavirus

Make no mistake, I am long ready for it to be over.

And I know there is no way to diminish the loss, sadness and hardship coronavirus has created for so many of our neighbors here in eastern Connecticut.

My best wishes to all of them.

But I can't help but linger a bit on the positive.

On a personal and trivial note, I've lost a few pounds, a combination, I suppose, of pantry rationing and a lot of walking. I expect it to continue.

I'm not the only one walking. I've seen you all out there, too.

Anything that gets us outside, moving around and greeting one another is a good thing, right?

On a walk through a wet, cold and deserted downtown Mystic on Monday, I ran across inspiring messages scribbled in chalk on sidewalks: "Every little thing is gonna be ALRIGHT," "This too shall pass!" "Joy," and "Flourish."

They made me smile, as I suppose they were meant to.

Perk up, someone was suggesting.

The dogs I've seen on my walks also look happy. If they could, I'm sure the dogs would keep this all going, endless walks and families home all day, as long as possible.

It seems like everyone you pass makes a point of smiling, even while stepping aside to make room on the sidewalk.

Smiling at strangers is a good thing. We're in it together.

I feel sorry for all the closed small businesses I walk by. I am grateful for the messages of hope and thanks many have posted on their doors. It's inspiring how much optimism and resolution I see in those notes.

I'm grateful the world has so far been so orderly and peaceful in sorting this out.

The bars are closed but people have moved to virtual happy hours.

I'm grateful for the chance to connect with old friends, some I haven't heard from for a while. I hear this from others. It seems to be the complement to physical social distancing, renewed long-distance socialization.

Let's be thankful that we can see more clearly now what's important in our lives and what's not, and do better at keeping them balanced. I don't think any of us has much patience now for the trivial or petty.

There has been what seemed like a political truce for coronavirus response in the short term, and that's been good. I fear it won't hold. Indeed, a new fissure seems about to open.

I've also decided to shrug off some surprising news that came with coronavirus, that being over 60 makes me elderly. I thought I still had a long time before someone slapped that label on me.

It's OK, though. Every little thing is gonna be ALRIGHT.

I'm sure about that, because I read it on a Mystic sidewalk.

This is the opinion of David Collins.

d.collins@theday.com

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