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  • Writer's pictureEric Knabel

Thoughts From 6 Feet Away: Lessons Learned

Random Thoughts:

If you bought toilet paper and the start of this and haven’t opened your second case yet, you are the enemy.

Drinking Diet Coke after you’ve dropped in a few Mentos is not a “challenge,” and you deserve what you get. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, picture drinking from a fire hose.

No, COVID-19 is not a judgment from God, and stop arranging letters to make it the Number of the Beast. HIV wasn’t, either. To me, God has a lot more flair when it comes to smiting fools like us.

When you vote this fall, remember the members of Congress who sold off their investments before the market tanked. There was enough of it on both sides of the aisle.

I got my eye on you, Florida. So does the rest of the country.

If the rule gets passed that a restaurant can only operate at about 25% of capacity, how many places will continue carry out only? I can’t see the profitability in having a place that’s 75% empty.

I’m working on my facemask game now, just in case it becomes required apparel in the future. I wonder if I can add it to my Stitch Fix preferences.

One of my biggest regrets is not learning how to sing properly.

Teachers, be patient with your parents. Some of us didn’t excel in the topic when our minds were young and otherwise free from other obligations. And don’t get me started on “new math.” They’re going to be carrying the ones in my house.

Insulting me on my own social media pages is akin to coming to my house and telling me what a crappy housekeeper I am, or how badly I cook. If you don’t like what’s being served in my kitchen, don’t visit.

If you’re looking to the government for protection, remember that the Mafia also offers protection.

A lot of people are having health care arguments that are actually political arguments in disguise.

AMC Theaters just said that they’re boycotting Universal movies. Shouldn’t they be playing as many movies as they can to sell more $20 buckets of popcorn? Try that crap with Disney and see how far you get.

While we’re at it, I don’t miss that defeated feeling I get when I have to go to the bathroom in the middle of a movie at the theater.

You know what you don’t hear about any more? Car wrecks.

Random Thoughts, music edition:

One of the people I follow on Twitter just asked what my go-to Beatles song was, as well as my go-to Stones song. I think I’d have an easier time answering what finger I’d like you to cut off.

I have the whole world of music at my fingertips and the time to listen to it, yet here I am, exploring the Jonas Brothers catalog with my daughter.

On a related note, the chorus of Nick Jonas’s “Jealous” may be the vilest, wickedest ear worm that exists.

Before you question our musical tastes, my daughter chose Limp Bizkit as her ride music on Rip Ride Rocket last summer, so she’s still cooler than most of you.

Not sure if it’s the pandemic, but man do I miss Michael Jackson and Prince.

And speaking of Prince, it’s great to see the look on the face of younger people when you tell them “Little Red Corvette” isn’t about a car.

I thought I was annoyed when my kids dressed up like a neon aerobics instructor for “80s day.” Turns out, I’m more annoyed by Pandora thinking that 90% of 80s music was Journey, Michael Jackson, or Madonna.

Is Aerosmith the greatest living rock band? Before you say the Stones, they’re aliens – they don’t count.

I just saw an advertisement for Tom Morello’s Master Class today. Tom Morello teaching me guitar would be the equivalent of reading Psalms to an atheist – a colossal waste of time.

If “Thriller” comes on the radio, you don’t have to ask – yes, I do know the moves.

Buy the latest album/merchandise from your favorite band. They make most of their money touring these days, and I’m sure there are plenty of well-known groups that are struggling right now.

Was there a greater gesture of loyalty than Def Leppard not replacing their drummer after he lost his arm? I mean, that’s kinda essential equipment.

I remember when “Tik Tok” was a song by Ke$ha, and I was embarrassed when people heard me singing it.

Remember when the soundtrack to the movie you just saw had at least one song on the charts? Were 80s movies nothing more than glorified musicals?


We have been given an unprecedented opportunity to slow down and think. What has this whole process taught us? What lessons have we learned? I know one thing for certain – even when faced with a hidden enemy that does not discriminate, we are still completely incapable of setting our differences aside. Outside of that, we have been able to glean some truth from our “new normal.” I’ve even learned some lessons too.

Virtual backgrounds on Zoom have become the new SnapChat filter.

Turns out, it could be covered in an email after all. Has the office meeting been served notice?

I better learn to smile for the camera, because now that patients have gotten a taste of virtual visits, they aren’t going to go away.

When I have to stay home, it appears I can pay things off faster.

The quest for truth is a slow and arduous process, which can be maddening when you’re trying to make progress with a deadly disease.

Turns out, my mom isn’t becoming a crazy old lady – she just needed to stop working for a woman who: thinks COVID-19 is a fabrication of big pharma, decided to keep her non-essential business open with zero precaution, and took advantage of an opportunity to fire a 73 year-old during a huge economic downturn. Welcome back, Mom – and I’ll work overtime until the Second Coming if it means you never have to deal with that witch again. (I really wanted to say something that rhymes with “witch”)

I am blessed – blessed that my home is a safe environment, blessed that I could continue to work, blessed that I am healthy, blessed that opportunity was available to me.

Although most of us profess to hate people, we desperately need social contact.

The greatest emotional reaction to this difficult time has come from the unlikeliest of places – my autistic son.

Virtual Q & A sessions are only as strong as the agenda of the person who asks all the questions.

Economics has a poor grasp on public health. And public health has a poor grasp on economics. (Yay – something else for us to argue about)

Speaking of arguing, there is nothing better than being able to have an open discussion with someone who disagrees with you. You’re far more likely to change my mind by explaining your position than insulting me or otherwise making me feel small.

You can stream just about anything – including, apparently, a movie that was supposed to go to theaters first.

We’ve learned that we rely on China for an AWFUL LOT of things.

Hope you’ve had a laugh and escaped reality (however grim you think it to be) for the time being. Next week, I’ve decided to put my psychology degree to use and develop the "Archetypes of the Quarantined." Should be fun! Until then, be excellent to each other, and…

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