A Kinder Approach to the Corona Virus

I have to honestly say that I’m absolutely so proud, so thrilled, so smiling at the world right now. There was no mass panic, no fighting at the supermarket. None. As a matter of fact, everyone was actually quite helpful with each other. I saw a young man, perhaps about 25, let an elderly woman with one hundred million items in her cart go before him, even though he only had about 5 things in his cart.

Of course, the shelves were almost bare, but not as bad as I thought they would be. Yes, total loss on toiler paper and cleaning supplies. But, the lovely woman at the Citgo that I see almost every morning had quite a few and was selling them CHEAPER than a gas station normally does.

You know how it is at a convenience store. You pay for the convenience, right? So, a roll of toilet paper will probably cost you about $1.50…..for a single roll. She was selling them for 75 cents. I was paying with quarters.

She then asked when I bought that roll if I was totally out of toilet paper. I said yes and she gave me another roll for free.

(I think she could see that if I was only buying one roll, I probably didn’t have an expendable amount of money to buy all the toilet paper she had…..like so many people are doing. This was when I was going through the penny jar searching for quarters to pay for our apocalyptic stash).

So, shout out to the lady who owns the Citgo! She tends to homeless people all day, they live behind her store. She doesn’t run them off. She makes sure they have what they need. She is a compassionate woman.

I knew that a stack of quarters weren’t going to cut it. So, I put up a photo, you all saw it, my picture of my empty pantry with two bears tucked in. And I was blessed with all of your kindness.

I am a truly blessed man. Now, I have quite a few staples to work with. It may not look like much to you, but I always work with an excel spreadsheet when it comes to food supplies….That comes are from my old days of being alone in the woods, only able to get groceries once a month. You have to plan out every morsel, every meal if that is all you have for a month.

When I went to the store yesterday, I kinda giggled a few times. Canned goods? GONE! I went to grab a can of tomato soup. If Phillip is going to be working late and not home for dinner, I’m always up for a grilled cheese and tomato soup with my knitting and an episode of “Murder, She Wrote.” They had plenty of tomato soup….but every imaginable variety of chicken soup was long gone. Funny! Even the organic crap that is WAY to expensive was long gone.

I keep forgetting that I have a phone now and can actually take pictures. Or maybe it’s just the simple desire to journal with words everything I see, feel, do….I like to describe. Pictures are fine, but I think I’m awfully good at  “spinning a yarn.”

The only thing left were fresh fruits and vegetables. Carrots, celery, onions, grapefruit, oranges, lemons (heads up, lemon is nature’s bleach, keep that in mind if you’re out of sanitizer). So, I bought them all! You can freeze or preserve them. As far as I know, unlike a hurricane, we’re still supposed to have running water and electricity.

I’m going to be just fine. I am, thanks to all of your beautiful kindness. But, if you are able to help someone else, please do. Please think about your neighbors, especially the older ones. They may not be ABLE to get supplies and food. They may not have the physical or financial means to get what they need during this wild time. Leave a small bag of provisions outside their door with a little note saying, “Thinking of you!” It could be anything from a roll of toilet paper and a few cans of tomato soup to something as delightful as a home cooked meal.

And think about the homeless, as well. They’re already “socially distant,” so this instance of everyone in the world suddenly vanishing before their eyes and not knowing what the hell is going on or where to go, isn’t the best situation for them.

And I have to say I get angrier and angrier that with so few testing kits, only “special” people are getting tested. Name brand people, famous people….and not the least of us. Ok, Tom Hanks was tested in Australia, so that doesn’t count. But, an entire basketball team can get tested because one guy got it?

“As a follow-up to yesterday’s positive COVID-19 test, Oklahoma health officials tested ALL members of the Utah Jazz traveling party, confirming one additional positive outcome for a Jazz player,” the Jazz said Thursday.

That was a report from CNN.

Sorry. This blog post was intended to go positive, stay positive and leave you feeling better about my situation and yours….I couldn’t help myself. I needed to make it perfectly clear that leaving the homeless out of this conversation of a potentially deadly virus that will kill countless people just…..BOTHERS me. I’m sorry. The term “socially distant” just sounds so pretentious and First World.

Like I said before, I may no longer be homeless….but, I still have this strong attachment to them.

I have decided to self quarantine because I don’t have the best health. I had pneumonia two years ago for about 9 months. I almost died. And I feel I’ve never ever really gotten over it. That combined with other underlying problems, and my being near 50, makes me quite susceptible…. What a shitty time to be a recovering agoraphobic.

I am hopeful, though. I really am. I feel we’re going to be ok. All of us. If we find ourselves blessed with feeling some kind of safety or comfort during this time, then we really have no choice throughout these two weeks (or longer) to find ways to make OTHER people know that they’re going to be ok, too. Especially those that are most likely to be really REALLY impacted by this.

Do what you can to keep yourself well, be mindful of what is happening right now…..and be thoughtful of others not capable enough to do the same for themselves.

I love you all.



  1. Thank you for this uplifting post. You inspire me. I head a group of ladies who crochet/knit for charitable organizations including the local homeless shelter. I am going to share your posts with them each week. Thank you again.

  2. It is rather amusing to see the whole TP obsession unfold. I will admit that I stocked up on some luxury items like TP early on – because I have the storage space and means to do so. But if I run out of TP I know what to do. I also know how to cook up a mess of dried beans, etc. This is where coming from humble roots has it’s advantages. Beans and rice and a few bathroom rags – we’ll get on. You take care.

  3. Well, being a fortunate knitter with a (ahem) substantial stash, I figure if worse comes to worst, we can use yarn as TP. Or I can knit some re-useable cloths.
    Thanks for being positive and being here.

  4. Thank you for your writing Gregory, for your courage to share from the heart whether it’s “positive” or “negative.” Your words about your thoughts & opinions, your feelings & experiences, are a gift. So many times I start to write to “inspire” but then reality butts in… -so you bless me with your honesty. Life isn’t all sunshine and roses. I’m severely immunosuppressed and this is a very scary time. Thanks for sharing the happy stories without whitewashing the more painful side of life.

  5. You are amazing. Here I have been scared. I worked in the medical field for 25 years and I know this won’t be easy. But hearing your optimism and outlook was a great comfort. Thank you, Amy

  6. With all the ways to communicate online, we shouldn’t feel too bad. When hearing from you here, we can all benefit somehow learning from you. Your spirit shows on your face every time you include a photo of you. Maybe I am sensitive that way. Plus I do spin yarn, real physical yarn so I laugh a bit when I hear that you “spin a yarn”. Worth a little chuckle at least.

    Lastly, every time I saw rice on sale and same for some canned good, I would buy extra even when it was a scary sacrifice. I knew it would help someday. Now, someday has come. i

    Love you, Gregory. And every time I see the orange monster on my bed, that love goes to Phillip, too.

  7. if you see that lady again, please tell her if i could i would give her a hug…whoever helps the homeless, its tops in my eyes..those are the neglected people of society and a lot of people have no compassion for them…Happy she helps them..

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