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JANICE WELLS: Fighting COVID-19 with humour

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Living through all the changes in the 20th Century, my Grampy Poole, born in the 19th, would often shake his head and say “the world is bottom up.”

I said that the other day and then I realized that, having lived through the Spanish flu, this is one time he’d be in familiar territory.

Another wise person, Erma Bombeck, said “when humour goes, there goes civilization."

A third wise person, me, ha ha, agrees with both of them.

A few weeks ago I was thinking I should give up Facebook. I found I wasn’t reading actual books as much as I used to. I couldn’t watch TV without a book to read during commercials (when I wasn’t cleaning ha ha). Now I’m spending/wasting too much time looking going down the Facebook rabbit hole.

I’m so glad I still have it.

That’s where I get my COVID-19 laughs every day.

I look for the latest jokes before I turn on the news.

On flying; “this is your pilot. I’m working from home today.”

On hand washing; “I’ve washed my hands so much I’ve uncovered exam notes from 1985.”

On home schooling: “two students have been suspended and a teacher fired for being drunk.”

I love that one.

On missing Starbucks; “make coffee, call out your name wrong and light a five dollar bill.”

One of my favourites isn’t funny at all.

“This shutdown is bad for everyone in the economy, but it especially sucks for men: they’re losing a dollar for every 70 nine cents women are losing.”

Another way men are hit hard; “I’ll do that when I have time” doesn’t cut it anymore.

Ha ha.

On that note, if Newman and I don’t get the furnace room cleared before this is over, it will go in the category under the Serenity Prayer.

I will say though, if I have to be cooped up with someone, I’m glad it’s Newman.

We muddle along fine, we’d both rather stay home than go out and we make each other laugh. If F.U. and I had been cooped up together the children would have been scarred for life.

Which is why calls to divorce lawyers are already on the rise.

I am surely a joy to be cooped up with.

I am a glass half-full kind of person, and not just for wine.

I won’t need to fret about my grey hair growing out and I am perfectly capable of cutting my own bangs with dull scissors.

Some day, just for fun, I’ll try to persuade Newman to let me cut his.

I can do crazy impulsive things. Last night I actually tried a new recipe. It was really good and when he got over his shock Newman was quite appreciative.

Tonight (Wednesday) we are having Sunday dinner (ha ha) complete with pease pudding and salt ribs.

Tell me I don’t know how to keep the spark in our relationship under trying circumstances.

I am aware every day how lucky we are.

We live on an island with a small population. Our federal and provincial governments understand the seriousness of this plague and are doing what they can.

Newman and I could afford to stock up a bit and we have our children around to pick up, groceries, prescriptions and orders from the liquor store.

(We haven’t had to do the latter yet but last night I did open my last bottle of gin).

We have lots of soap and hot water so the only problem with washing my hands often is that as soon as I turn on the water I have to pee.

However we have lots of toilet paper, because I always buy a big pack when it’s on sale.

I can’t imagine living in the States.

Except for Hawaii and Alaska, they make up a huge heavily populated land mass. The federal and many, if not most, state governments just aren’t getting the seriousness of a pandemic and are responding/not responding accordingly.

And in the beginning we may have had a few long lines for groceries but none for guns that I’m aware.

Some places are more bottom up than others.

Stay home out of it.

Janice Wells lives in St. John’s. She can be reached at (or


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