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COLUMN: COVID positives . . . and not in a negative way

Little fingers, active feet, laser eyes — COVID makeover

I think I speak for many people when I say my pinky fingers have never been stronger. The same goes for the dexterity of my feet and the accuracy of my vision. 

What part of a door handle gets touched the least by "hand-traffic" going into the gas station convenience store? I know you think it these days every time you reach for a surface that could have been touched by others. I bet it's that little space in the upper right corner, the tiny spot right by the bend in the metal.  And what's the least contact I can make to pull open that door from that tiny point? Pinky finger to the rescue.  Normally just a willing traveller on most of my hand's excursions — hooking into a loose curl like the ring finger beside it, but knowing full well it's the middle and index power-lifters' who do most of the work — the little finger is like the tiniest person on your tug-o-war team ... there  mainly for show.  But during COVID, the little fella's got a whole new role. He's gone from back-stage roadie to first contact performer. 

He's now the power lifter, levering open large doors all by himself while the others curl away from COVID dangers.

You might laugh, but take a look at your hand right now.  See anything different? I bet you're sensing a little more purpose, a little more confidence from the outside member of your finger family.  Maybe you're seeing some new muscle tone on the outside of your hand. The little guy's been getting a workout. 

Your feet are also working new routines. No slight door opening is too small for them to wedge their way into these days. If they can save a pinky being forced to strain on a handle, they're the ones ramming ahead and pivoting for a foot-first door flick. And remember, they're doing these new tasks under a significant amount of pressure — and some might say oppression. Your feet are now being told to stay in the red circle, keep in place on these crudely drawn pictures of other feet. Don't move. And when you do, only go to the next restrictive circle. That's the thanks they get for learning new skills, twisting in new ways and helping to reduce the spread of the virus?  That's a shame. Treat them to a pedicure, or a new set of shoe inserts. 

But when you go to buy those inserts or book your mani-pedi (you know your pinky fingers need some love too), you have to keep a watchful eye for coronavirus dangers.  And that's another part of the body getting a workout from the pandemic: The eyeballs. I watch people now like a superhero uses x-ray vision, or the alien Predator follows its prey. Is that dried booger by her left nostril? Is that a Kleenex in their jacket pocket? Ok, remember, her hand touched the railing at the top, then went to the back of the seat, then she grabbed that pen and then put her hand on the door knob ... clean them all. Did I just see him pull up his facemask to lick a finger so he could get the plastic produce bag open? Is that a pack of Halls in his pocket.? Didn't I see her car at the health unit yesterday morning? 

Normally eyeballs do what they have to so you can avoid holes in the ground, unwanted conversations with people half a block away, and spikey things at face-level. Now they are being called on for a more forensic look at the world around us.

If you let it, this there can be some positives from this crappy pandemic. So instead of raising the middle finger to salute the virus that has affected global life, raise the little one at the end. He's ready. Look how strong he is now.  Then put your best foot forward — they're ready too. And look for the positives with your powerful new vision. Work on other areas of your body that need exercise. Smile. Thanks to this terrible pandemic, it's been a while for those muscles to work as well. Hopefully this article helps.