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A text message from October 2020

I've been getting text messages and emails from every conceivable place I've shopped in from Crate and Barrel to Home Depot.

Every entertainment venue from AMC to the local community center. Every doctor I've visited. Every magazine I've ever read. Every website I've visited. Every contest I've entered.

Every beach I've walked on. Every sidewalk crack I've skipped over. Every piece of toilet paper I've wasted.

"Due to the Coronavirus, we are taking all necessary precautions to ensure the safety of our patrons. We are sanitizing everything around us,offering our bathrooms in order for you to wash your hands, hydrate...or whatever (leave it to your imagination).

If you wish to pick-up food,our employees will set your food down and back away while you retrieve your beverage or meal.

We are sanitizing all the shelves in our grocery store and since they are empty this is a manageable task.

We are offeringfree webinars, free coloring books, free WiFi, free movies, free spiritual guidance, free virtual wine, free exercise lessons, free images, free music."

Everything but freedom from your home.

Every morning a new message.

The one message which surprised me the most was the one from my future self. I received this text early this morning.

Dear Janie,

I'm glad you are taking all necessary precautions during this time. Please don't forget to wash your hands and try to stop touching your face. I know your eyes are dry due to your recent cataract surgery and touching your hair has always been one of your annoying habits. But resisting will benefit you greatly.

I can assure you, you will be fine. I'm here in the fall of 2020 and everything is back to normal.

We are all in Dayton, sharing stories of our quarantined days, and laughing until our tears fall.

The stock market is up. Restaurants are crowded. Movie theaters are open. Cruise ships are sailing across the seas. If you're traveling by plane, book your flight early to ensure a low fare.

You can touch your loved ones. You can hug strangers. You can wrap your arms around your mail person and thank him for keeping the mail alive. You can carry on as before.

There are a few changes I have noticed. The air is cleaner since less emissions have been polluting the air. The fish are thriving. Mother Nature is in a great mood.

Life is a bit slower. But face it. Everyone was always in a rush to get somewhere. We had so much impatience and intolerance for one another. And there was so much waste. Not so much anymore. Even 7-11 has discontinued the Big Gulp.

Everyone is much nicer than before. There is more caring in the world, more love, more sharing. There is an abundance of kindness.

And one more thing, there is no shortage of toilet paper.

So, just hang in there and keep your loved ones close.

See you in October.


PS Feel free to text back if there is anything else you want to know.

- Jamie Emaus

Janie Emaus believes that when the world is falling apart, we're just one laugh away from putting it together again. She is the author of the young adult novel, Mercury in Retro Love. Her debut picture book, Latkes for Santa Claus, will be published this fall from Sky Pony Press. She has essays in the humor anthologies,You Have Lipstick On Your Teeth, Feisty After Fifty and Laugh Out Loud: 40 Women Humorists Celebrate Then and Now...Before We Forget. She was named a 2013 BlogHer Voice of the Year and won an honorable mention in the 2016 Erma Bombeck Writing Competition. To learn more about her crazy life, visit her

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