No Holds Barred: Fighting to adapt

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Clearly, we have reached that Churchillian moment; “If you’re going through hell, keep going.” The problem is we are all geographically going through vastly different experiences — but all equally intense to those experiencing them.

In epicenters like NYC or LA the feeling is anger and rage, in Phoenix it is fear and anxiety, and who knows what people feel in North Dakota. But for sure, we all have the viral “side effects.” This is what makes this crisis so different from 9/11. We were united then; not now! So being in total lockdown, or partial lockdown, we have all just begun to fight to adapt — location location location! I understand hearing sirens all day and walking by body refrigeration units is horrifying, but nobody has a moral high ground anymore. We ALL get it!

I was recently chastised by a NYC blog editor for not watching Chris Cuomo’s Covid survival video the moment he posted it. Frankly I am on a 3-hour delay and my computer has been freezing up with all the internet activity, but this editor was irritated with me. He blamed it on his plague fatigue and my lack of not getting the horror of it all. Who can compete with “who has it worse?”

Sorry Chris!

Last week I got too many cheery masked dog videos and well-meaning but tired toilet paper jokes. And please, enough with the drone videos of all the empty-streeted major cities set to funeral music. We are now “in the hell” and this may take more than a few months and maybe a whole lot longer if we can stand each other that long. The virus may morph into bad attitudinal behavior. After all, no one can “fake it till you make it” and it is way past “grin and bear it.”

I think we just have to put “one foot in front of another,” or as the Zen monks say, “Chop wood, carry water” (if you can find the wood and the water online). And while you are at it, watch out for Instacart’s “cart” stealing and Amazon’s “Prime-less” price hikes!

Quarantine essentials via Amazon Fresh.

Supposedly we are at “the peak” of the death curve and now we are looking to “flatten.” I am already “curve” exhausted. I hope if we flatten long enough, we open! People are clearly going crazy and broke and my financial advisor told me honestly last week, “We don’t look for U curves or V curves, we are looking at a two-year W.” In other words, a steep rollercoaster ride.

Pass me the Dramamine!

The problem with being “teched up” at home or with our petri dish “handheld” devices is the TMI rhythm which changes hourly. There are the medical experts, the business experts, the President, the Treasury heads, the Feds, the TV pundits, and now they all sound like a cacophony of leaf blowers.

My Mom came to breakfast the other day and announced “We have no real leaders in the world anymore. Where is a Roosevelt? A Patton? A Churchill? No one except the Queen has delivered anything with gravitas and direction.” And Mom should know, she’s lived through it all.

Sure, the afternoon Corona “pressers” are needed, but now it feels like too much face time for all the players, and it might not be working. Exposure works in a funny way — too much and people tire of you. Remember, two weeks ago (it seems like 10 years ago) how we all loved Dr. Fauci. Now we are all kind of sick of him and he had to hire security (It didn’t help when he recently joked he wanted Brad Pitt to play him – believing in your own stardom is a doomed sign). Dr. Birx has great scarves and chic outfits but her script on “viral modeling” is now a robotic bore. And suddenly I am turning the Number One rated afternoon TV show off! We need more than Pence just holding up the directions for Corona self-isolation. As I said, people turn perverse if the message gets old.

Onto the masks … everyone is making them and that’s great since it is the Covid trademark and for many the only thing they can do to feel proactive in quarantine. Maybe Anna Wintour can finally resurrect her Met show with “A Covid Mask” extravaganza. Chanel closed all their stores and most factories, but they are manufacturing masks. I wonder if they will use their double “C” status logo for Chanel, Corona or Covid? I wouldn’t want to be “branded” Chanel No. 19: perfume by this pandemic.

Speaking of brands … companies like Johnny Was are putting out a set of 4 floral printed mask styles (not great for real protection, but at least they are all in there pitching SOMETHING). The great Norma Kamali just released a video of her showing you how you can turn her washable fashionable turban into a mask. Accompanied by her matching leopard gloves – all 25% off.

Norma Kamali suited up.
Johnny Was floral masks.

My problem is $75 – $80 is a lot to ask in this challenged economy. Even with all the emergency stimulus and bailout bills. It’s nice to look “chic and safe” but what if you’re “broke and busted.”

Then there are the scary but humorous face shields of half mask / half neck warmers — in ‘V for Vendetta,’ ‘Joker,’ skull and American flag designs. Big with the motorcycle gangs.

Drawing inspiration from cult classics ‘V for Vendetta’ and ‘Joker.’

Or how about a take on Lucha libre?!

My absolute favorite mask is the one made from a B or a D molded bra cup — now that takes a brain and some boobs.

But I think the Walmartians ALWAYS have the last say on any and all trends. They were into masks way before Covid!

Recently I found two new Covid personality highlights. There was a WSJ interview of Laxman Narasimhan, the new lead of Reckitt Benckiser who makes Lysol and other major products like Durex condoms. Watch out, Narasimhan may become the Covid era’s Tom Cruise. He has already accelerated (with heartfelt dedication) the production strategy of Lysol distribution in stores and online ASAP. He also upped this Dettol hand sanitizer line and he has become the real Covid Mr. Clean!

The other great Covid feature was a new video (now old since going viral) from Dr. Sarfaraz Munshi on how to reduce or ease Covid symptoms via serious breathing techniques. Apparently, author J. K. Rowling had the virus and fully recovered with the help of his method. Now everybody is following his suggestion of 5 deep breaths holding for 5 seconds, then follow the 6th deep breath with a strong cough.  My problem was I overdid the routine (every hour) and I got too dizzy and my ribs started to hurt, plus I couldn’t rest on my stomach and breathe for ten minutes at the end of it. But it definitely has merit over all the dog videos.

Reports have it that China is now slowly recovering and opening, and people are sort of shopping again. The hope is that there will be a huge flow of “revenge shopping” (after being shut down for so long). I say, “fat chance.” And who believes anything coming out of China anymore anyway.

The truth is in post WW2 and even after the Depression the go-to item purchased was a cheap to moderate priced lipstick. That may have been the case in the good old Revlon days, but with today’s masks becoming the mode, good luck with lipsticks, makeup or even the injectable mouth pouts (what will Kylie Jenner do since she became the multi-billion dollar baby of all those gloss lip “lip kits”).  Maybe a decent $25 “immunity boosting” face cream with a sanitizing hazmat-like feature will make it. Definitely a decent hand cream after months of disinfecting our hands to shreds. But one wonders.

In the meantime, remember to inhale deeply 5 times and hold for 5. You’ve got it made!

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