Silver Linings

By: Gail Agor

It’s been quite a year; some might even use the word “tarnished.” Complaints abound; not seeing grandchildren, closed movie theaters and restaurants and a plethora of other grumble-worthy items. Even though, sometimes, the best silver needs a bit of polish, it IS silver; as is the lining in clouds.

In the past, how often did you notice individuals not washing hands in a public restroom? Bet you don’t see that now…of course, come to think of it, I have only been into one (it was an emergency) public bathroom in the last year, so maybe my first example is less than perfect. However, people ARE using more soap, they are happily singing two rounds of Happy Birthday as those pesky COVID germs wash down the drain followed with a hand sanitizer chaser… let’s face it, it’s never been more fashionable to have clean, sanitized digits! Yep! A silver lining!

Zoom! Although it would be wonderful to sit, freezing, in the Pegasus Ballroom every Tuesday morning, thanks to our Curriculum Committee and the talents of Leslie, Todd, Sue, Marcia and Rebecca, we still enjoy a wonderful array of sessions. The silver of virtual LIFE sessions includes, temperature regulation, free coffee refills, and perhaps, a recliner that includes heat and massage…ummm…. Nice! (I wish I had had the foresight to purchase Zoom stock this time last year. It would have turned my silver into gold!… but I digress.)

Other bits of silver resulting from a year of pandemic… let’s see. Touchless ordering and pickup of gourmet meals from some of the best restaurants in Orlando. That’s a good one. I hope that remains…beats the heck out of Chinese take-out, McDonalds and/or Pizza Hut! These little packaged gems come with several chef prepared courses, delivered with easy directions… just add a bottle of wine.

Mike and I live in a wonderful “walking” neighborhood. It has been fantastic to meet neighbors, socially distancing, of course, whom we had not met before. Everyone wants to get out; walking along tree-lined streets gives release to being pent up in the house. Big silver lining…that one!

Appreciation of those we took for granted. Doctors and nurses in the emergency rooms of hospitals; cashiers and stockers at Publix and other grocery stores; Amazon delivery people and so many others on whom we depend. Being aware has led more of us to say, “thank you.” Gratitude is very shiny silver!

How about face masks? I wouldn’t mind them staying around. I used to buy huge earrings as a fashion statement, now I have a plethora of large 3M hooks adorned with colorful solid and patterned masks. Earrings AND matching masks? Huge! (Not so fashionable… those individuals who choose to wear masks with their nose out and hanging over the top of their mask… sort of makes you think of Kilroy peering over a fence…just saying…)

My favorite silver lining has to be the creativity that people, worldwide, have demonstrated as we “charge on” towards our “new normal.” LIFE recently had a presentation telling of the creative learning environment for UCF theater students. Amazing stuff! Or own Ann Barretta performed with hundreds of participants from around the world in a virtual musical presentation. Family game nights take place across many miles connecting families with fun and laughter. The list is “virtually” endless!

We’ve adapted, created solutions and accepted challenges over the last year. In closing I mention the bright silver lining of the researchers and scientists who have quickly created a vaccine that will, sometime in the not-so-distant future, bring COVID to a place in which we can, once again, feel confident in our day-to-day lives. This missive is written as we sit in a line at the Orange County Convention Center. Mike and I have 8AM appointments for our second dose. With book and computer in tow, we arrived early to be one of the first through. Some of our friends have had side-effects, none have minded because the end of this pandemic is nigh… it is time to polish all tarnish accumulated over the last year so the exterior as well as the lining shines brightly!