Danger! Danger, Will Robinson!

Danger everywhere. Deadly virus on the loose. Quarantine in place. Stay away from everybody.

Drag yourself to the grocery store no matter how bad you feel. Infect as many people as you can.

Quick, buy as much toilet paper as you can fit in your car. Consider renting a trailer to carry more toilet paper along with lots of bread and more milk than you typically use in a month.

Consider buying whatever is left on the supermarket shelf even though you have no idea what to do with a butternut squash or a bag of fresh kale. Aren’t those things considered healthy?

I know it is tempting to stock up on our usual supplies. After all, none of us knows for sure exactly how long this paranoia will last. Is it paranoia if people are dying?

All we can do is to keep washing our hands and stay away from each other.

The disease will run its course and life will go back to normal.

The last time I was at the supermarket I was searching for flour and yeast. I intended to make bread if we ran out.

There was a traffic jam ahead of me. The space where the flour should be was bare.

A youngish guy holding a list was clearly upset that there was no flour. He was not angry, just at a loss as to what to do. I think he was having a very bad day. The older gentleman in front of me offered the guy one of the two bags of flour that were in his cart.

The younger guy practically cried with gratitude. I held back because there was no way to get through the traffic until several people moved.

There are dozens of scenes like this that occur every day. For every difficult customer there are ordinary people behaving in ways that make my heart proud.

A little kindness goes a long way.

For every person who is behaving like a two-year-old in need of a nap, there are many more who are distributing what I call “blessings.”

Blessings are those little things that make us realize that life is ultimately good.

A blessing is giving up a bag of flour to a stranger. It is the sight of a heron taking off in flight mere feet from you. It is watching a grandson’s pleasure at opening a present that was exactly the thing they wished for.

A blessing is finding a bucket of chicken outside your apartment door when there is nothing left in your cupboards to eat. It is being very pregnant, running out of gas and having a truck full of boys put enough gas in your car to get you home before going merrily on their way.

It is listening to angel stories from my father-in-law and realizing that his angel stories were the same as what I call blessings.

It is looking out your window and seeing a fox looking back. It is having a black squirrel stare you down from your own front porch.

It is a child’s first smile. It is hearing from a long lost relative. In short, blessings are the universe’s way of telling you that this, too, shall pass.

I do not mean to trivialize this disease.

People, real people will die and we will mourn for them.

In the face of the pandemic, it may seem that it is all gloom and doom.

Television and other media concentrate on bad news. The latest on the disease, while causing worry, is a welcome respite from the political blather that has dominated the news for what seems like forever.

Blessings will help us get through these trying times. Maybe, just maybe, after all this is over, we can remember the small and large kindnesses that we experienced and truly make this a gentler, kinder world than it was before.