With graduation ceremonies taking on the look of a drive-in movie theater, a lot of people are lamenting the loss of tradition due to coronavirus.
Instead of being trapped in a hot gym with 2,000 people for hours, now people will be in their hot cars with their family. Some think this is a mistake.
I’m torn as to what the right approach is. On one hand, it’s important to celebrate achieving the bare minimum standard for functioning in society.
On the other hand, I’m not going to miss the valedictorian speeches. I know this makes me a terrible person. My mother was right.
But just consider every year the supposed gold standard of high school academia almost always results in the recitation of Dr. Suess quotes, saying they learned everything they needed to know in kindergarten and telling the world to “watch out, here we come.”
That’s not entirely fair. Sometimes they also read dictionary definitions for words like, “graduation,” “commencement” and “diploma.” Or they give long diatribes about “living your dreams,” while everyone in the audience checks their watches. It’s not that parents and grandparents aren’t proud of their graduates, they just want to get back to barbecuing hamburgers, mowing the lawn or watching “Matlock” reruns. If you’re paying $120 a month for television service, you’re losing money by spending two hours at a commencement.
While there is a lot of lamentation about the things cancelled due to COVID-19, there are a lot of things we should be thankful that we are missing —
• People not wearing masks in public — I mean come on, if the past decade of Marvel movies taught us anything, it’s that masks are cool, and now they are expected in public. Plus imagine all the ugly people you don’t have to look at while shopping now.
• Social obligations — again, I’m a terrible person, just ask my family, but it’s nice to have an excuse not to go to birthdays, missionary homecomings or Tupperware parties. It’s not that I’m antisocial, but when you spend the evening isolated in the corner of the room because you don’t want to intrude on someone else’s social group or conversation, it’s so much more comfortable to do it in your own home.
• Fully stocked toilet paper aisles in the store — there are videos on the Internet of people who hide behind toilet paper packages so they can sleep in stores overnight. It’s kind of a relief to walk by and not worry about waking a YouTube hobo tucked behind a wall of Charmin.
• Dirty hands — I see people using sanitizer all the time, and I love it. You never know where someone has put their hands or what they’ve got up to with them, so it’s nice to see people washing them, sanitizing them and not shaking them.
• Going to church— yes, again, I’m a horrible person. Just ask anyone in my ward, they’ll tell you. It’s just nice to host simple, brief religious services in my home while barefoot. The lack of ties alone is worth it. Also, when the kids aren’t paying attention, I can threaten to send them to their eternal rewards without fear of what people will think.
“Oh how awful, right in the middle of church he told that adorable little girl he was going to throttle her if she didn’t shut up.”
“Yeah, I can’t imagine what he says to his own kids.”
• Partisan politics — It’s really nice that this crisis has brought us all together. People on both sides of the political divide realize this is a difficult situation and everyone from the president on down is just doing their best to get the country through this.
Oh … oh no … it seems I’ve made a mistake.
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