Corona Chronicles: Missive 10

Hello! How is everybody doing? I'm not gonna talk about Coronavirus today. Well, not directly, anyhow. I've been hearing a lot about strategies for containing the spread and reopening indoor public spaces and the one word that keeps coming up is "filters." Apparently, we need masks that filter out more particles, we need HVAC filters that remove scary spores from indoor air, and, it seems, some of us need better filters on our mouths to prevent some thoughts in our brains from spreading into society these days.

This is not meant as a lecture. But it seems like everyone is so on edge, with everything going on in the great big world out there, that maybe if we remember just a little more of what our third-grade teacher told us: "If you don't have anything nice to say, don't say anything at all," and forget just a few of the aggravations that are pushing us to spew our worst words onto each other, we might all be a little calmer, and maybe even a bit happier.

This can extend to casual interactions as well. For instance, today I was walking on the boardwalk, a short drive from my house. As I strolled along with my baby, I noticed a woman walking towards me wearing the best t-shirt I have ever seen. It said "Nah, I'm good." As in "Do I want you soliciting me to buy whatever you're selling? Nah, I'm good." "Would I like to hear your list of complaints about life today? Nah, I'm good." "Am I interested in your thoughts about my t-shirt as I try to take a nice, quiet walk with my kids? Nah, I'm good." And just like that, I activated my internal filter and kept my mouth shut. Even though her t-shirt was awesome. And we both continued on our ways and everyone was happy.

And these days, filter-supported happiness is a pretty great thing to have.

Until next time, wishing you good luck, good night, and good health!

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