Find a book to read, letter to write, reason to smile

You need not be particularly religious, spiritual or faith-filled to have heard of them.

You don’t necessarily have to be predominantly good or bad, either, BT dubs.

They are likely as identifiable in the secular world as the pious one. So, surely you’ve heard of the seven deadly sins, right? If not, you can easily look ’em up. After you do, be sure to avoid ’em because they no bueno, yo.

And in today’s you-know-what laden world, I have grown EXTREMELY weary of certain terms, references and phrases.

Listen to me, friends: Your pal Chatty Patty is a words girl, always has been, always will be. Not to mention a platinum-level germaphobe and Olympic gold-medalist worrier. Ahem, I digress.

If anyone knows that words matter and / or is concerned about COVID, it’s yours truly. Truly. But even a first-class fretter / verbal vixen such as myself can only take so much. As Popeye always said, “That’s all I can stands, ’cause I can’t stands no more!”

Without further ado, I give you a COVID-19 version of those icky sins: the seven toxic terms.

You know, topics, expressions, remarks, etc. that’ll push me straight into tailspin mode if I hear them ONE MORE STINKING TIME. Stuff that, prior to March 2020 we rarely, if ever, spoke or heard.

UGH…Enough! From now on, just for giggles and our own flippity floppity lucidity, let’s strike these from our daily vernacular: COVID-19 / coronavirus, (or any iteration thereof), pandemic, lockdown, new normal, quarantine, flattening the curve and social distancing,

Clearly there are more but let’s start small; besides it’s not like we don’t have time to ponder others…sigh. Anyway, as incentive, here are some ways to make the challenge interesting:

l Create a COVID Cuss Jar. Same theory as a regular, old cuss jar, only instead of paying a dollar every time someone utters a dirty word, toss in a five whenever one of the forementioned gets mentioned. Save up for a vacation (it’s coming!)…or for your kid’s college fund (computers and meal plans and dorm fees, oh my!).

– Play the COVID Drinking Game. Now, this one is for at-home fun to be had by legal adults who are NOT DRIVING anywhere. Which, hello, we’re all s’posed to be avoiding, anyway, duh.

– COVID Cash. This is sort of a spin on the cuss jar, only it’s a pre-emptive strike. Instead of waiting around to hear someone say “mask mandate” (a bonus term), give your isolation mates money to NOT talk about…ya know.

– Pandemic Purging. Use some of your copious free time (other than by baking, cleaning, finishing DIY projects, or constructing 8 million piece puzzles), go through your smart- phone, tablet, laptop, PC or any other informative device and delete all bookmarks, alerts, notifications, breaking news notices, and all other notifications — blah, blah — on any electronic gadgets that immediately spit out headlines that will be negated 74 seconds later.

Stop the madness, people. Read a book; with like you know, a binding and pages. Write a letter, with a PEN to a HUMAN. Call an old pal who’d love to discuss anything BUT impending doom.

And pray. Just right there in your chair works fine. Or in the garden or the shower or…wherevs. Pray for your family, for your community, for our nation and world to heal in every way we so desperately need.

Now go watch “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” and do something you haven’t in months: smile, capisce?


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