Don’t know about you, but I’ve found myself grasping at desperate silver linings to COVID-19.

For context, I am triply unemployed due to COVID closures, but I don’t quite qualify for unemployment benefits. (What’s up, fellow 1099-MISC gig workers!) I worry about the future of journalism and live music — two already vulnerable (yet crucial) industries. I’m also still grieving the back-to-back (December/January) deaths of my grandparents — my closest friends.

Oh, and a few days into the quarantine, my phone snapped in half. Guy at the cell store refused to activate any of the back-up phones I toted in, calling them “too old.” (Since when was 2009 old?!) So I ordered a used model; it’s still in transit. Being phoneless for weeks has really thickened this isolation stew. I’m housed and pretty healthy, but crap. Things are bleak. 

What does my brain produce when faced with such bleakness? Ridiculous optimism. Here are some pathetic positive spins I’ve tried to put on All This:

+ ‘On the bright side, three walks a day will be good for me and my dog.’

+ 'Now I don’t have to write those freelance assignments. I can write other things — without pay!'

+ ‘Crying in the shower is a great choice. No need to blot my tears with precious TP!’

+ ’Playing Boggle alone isn’t so bad.’

+ ’I’m not lonely. I have a hot date with this warm pile of clothes from the dryer! If I squeeze my eyes shut and hug the whole pile, it almost feels human.’

+ ’JUMP ROPING IS MY NEW PASSION!’

+ ‘No phone means no noisy alerts, no texts to answer, no telemarketers! If there’s a real emergency I’ll just run into the street and scream.’

+ ‘'Well at least my grandparents are freshly dead and don't have to worry about dying from this virus.'

+ ‘Even if Nana and Papa were still alive, the cancelation of March Madness alone would have killed them.’

+ ‘I read somewhere that crying is beneficial to your eyeballs because tears feed them nutrients or something.’

+ ‘So my minor biopsy surgery is postponed. So what? I’ll keep telling myself it’s definitely not a tumor. *poor Schwartzenager accent ensues* It’s not a too-mah!’

+ 'I'm lucky my neighbors’ mastiff didn't draw blood when he jumped over that fence and attacked me. Wouldn't want to burden the E.R. right now with a dog bite or amputation.'

Elissa Ball is a poet, stand-up comic, tarot reader, and dog mom originally from Yakima. She started freelance writing at age 16.

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