Hodgepodge by Charlie Hodge – Double edged sword of covid-19


by Charlie Hodge

In these difficult times it does not hurt to put a positive spin on things. It is one of those choices we have full control over – the old half-full, half-empty scenario.

As a proverbial ‘positive energy’ guy even I admit to now facing waves of depression and frustration. I’ve even got tired of hearing myself talk.

So I have decided to start a list of all the good things about being locked inside our various personal bubbles, recognizing that each of us have our own factors to add into our attitude menu. My half empty – half full factor (let’s call it the HEHFF) includes facts that I’m married, both of us now work at home in a split level house, no children at home, large yard, five cats.

Those basic factors mean my HEHFF perspective may be skewed completely from someone else such as a single person, retired senior, an apartment dweller with no yard, or a house full of children or relatives. Each of us have a plethora of personal indicators impacting our HEHFF.

Of course attempting to find the positive (half full?) side means I must acknowledge any half empty negatives to the same subject. So here’s my initial Half Empty Half Full Covid-19 list. (Perhaps you can send me yours).

The number one positive thing about social distancing and being quarantined inside our homes for several weeks is … you know you are not missing anything.

You need not worry about getting a facebook message, email or phone call from someone telling you what a “great concert” you missed or “awesome party” you were not invited to.

Not  getting ‘not invited’ eliminates one more reason to feel depressed or one less reminder that you are weird and no one likes you.

Saving gas. I’m not sure about you but Tez and I have saved a bundle not driving around to work or play. (The half empty angles suggests while we are not needing gas – the price has plummeted and we can’t take advantage of it).

Another reason we can’t use gas is to travel to that meal out. You are saving a bundle of money by not eating out. Tally up how much you are saving by not eating lunch regularly at a restaurant while working, your regular pub night out, or your weekend ‘deserved’ dinner out.

You are eating healthier (see above). Such culinary culling hosts a whole other series of positives or negatives such as – can you cook?

No one ‘pops in’ to see you and expects to be invited in to drink your beer or bend your ear for hours and hours. This includes not having to have long lost relatives come for summer holidays or the mother in law from coming for a visit. (On the other hand – if someone phones or attempts to reach you there is no pretending you are not home. You can’t record a message saying you are “away on holidays” or “not at home right now”. If your job is not an essential service the “at work – not home” excuse is now invalid).

If you have a yard then your garden or lawn has never looked better and your yard has never received such a thorough spring cleaning. The yard offers a place for some space, fresh air, exercise – even potential long distance conversations. (HEHFF – no excuse not to cut that lawn, paint that fence, fix that gate …)

Your house has never been cleaner. If you have no yard then your partner/family has no excuse to not help clean inside: their room, office, kitchen … House work is now an absolute shared responsibility.

(If your partner worked and you did not then suddenly your daily routine is rocked. Your partner is probably discovering how little you actually did during the day while they were at work).

You can now grow a beard and have several excuses for it. Can’t go to barber, no one can see you anyway, don’t want to cut yourself with razor blade cause the hospitals are full…This growing a beard may not be seen as a positive for some women.

Quarantine carries a certain sad but sweet sort of negative karma or revenge factor for those who already live alone or as a shut-in. Now the rest of the world knows how you feel. Even the popular chicks and groovy guys are alone.

You’re getting to know your navel and other body parts better. (Hmm).

You are getting to know your family and partner better. Hopefully this is a good thing however if not, remember that what does not kill you will only make you stronger… (Sometimes I like to believe that line)

Of course there is one profession that is thrilled with the potential increase in work due to the virus. As soon as the quarantine is lifted lawyers will be up to their ears in divorces cases.

Okay – send me your list. Smile, breathe deep (if you can) and be good to yourself and those you are (stuck) with.

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Charlie Hodge is a best-selling author, writer, a current Kelowna City Councillor, and a Director on the Regional District of the Central Okanagan Board. He spent more than 25 years as a full-time newspaper journalist and has a diverse background in public relations, promotions, personal coaching, and strategic planning. A former managing editor, assistant editor, sports editor, entertainment editor, journalist, and photographer, Hodge also co-hosted a variety of radio talk shows and still writes a regular weekly newspaper column titled Hodge Podge, which he has crafted now for 41 years. His biography on Howie Meeker, titled Golly Gee It’s Me is a Canadian bestseller and his second book, Stop It There, Back It Up – 50 Years of the NHL garnered lots of attention from media and hockey fans alike. Charlie is currently working on a third hockey book, as well as a contracted historical/fiction novel. His creative promotional skills and strategic planning have been utilized for many years in the Canadian music industry, provincial, national, and international environmental fields, and municipal, provincial, and federal politics. Charlie is a skilled facilitator, a dynamic motivational speaker, and effective personal coach. His hobbies include gardening, canoeing, playing pool, and writing music. Charlie shares his Okanagan home with wife Teresa and five spoiled cats.


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