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It’s day 14 of Italy’s nationwide Coronavirus lockdown and things are looking pretty grim. As we struggle to digest the barrage of statistical grafts with redlines climbing upward and social media posts spreading false information faster than the virus itself, it’s important to acknowledge some of the positive by-products of living through a global pandemic.

In the last two weeks, I’ve heard from former neighbors, old school chums, and complete strangers. I’ve chatted on the phone. I’ve had my first “virtual” aperitivo with friends on Zoom. It helps to know you’re not alone.

As work evaporates, we need to replace that time with productive activities. I found a DIY video for making surgical masks at home. I don’t have a sewing machine, but I was able to MacGyver the operation using new tea towels, iron-on fusing, embroidery thread, and shoelaces. They aren’t medical-grade, but I’ve gifted them to friends to limit the number of death stares they get at the grocery store and pharmacy.

I’m becoming a better cook and I can now make a decent cup of coffee.

Silver linings.

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