The city might be shut down, but look on the bright side, heed expert advice, and we’ll get through this—while doing really weird stuff—together.
Let’s take a break from all this talk of the various “stages of quarantine” and the current “social recession” to accentuate the positives. Glorious springtime is in full bloom around Atlanta, and while we might not have Braves baseball or the Masters, we’ve got plenty of space and a pretty good sense of humor—and Zoom, the new bar and wine room.
Sure, if this keeps up too much longer, most Atlantans will have the alcohol tolerance of Ernest Hemingway on MTV Spring Break, but you’ve gotta do what you’ve gotta do. And part of what you should do is look on the bright side, and consider what’s happening from the perspective of editors, who’ve been taking a few notes.
Nothing is particularly great right now, but these are a dozen highlights so far.
1. A commute-free lifestyle
Think of all the money you’re saving on gas by not driving to work. All the carbon you’re not emitting. And all that stress you’re not feeling while traffic-jammed on the Connector or Interstate 285. That allows for more time to argue with your roommates or yell at the children for being annoying again.
2. The party don’t stop
By now, every Atlantan has probably seen it: the responsible, socially distant “gathering” of friends. It happens at parks, in driveways—like people playing a giant four-square game with no ball. Is it necessary right now? Of course. But these “parties” are so awkwardly spread out they make eighth-grade slow dances look sensual.
3. Spring blessings
With Daylight Savings and the 58-degree doldrums of January in the rearview, Atlanta is blessed in that the weather has cooperated, by and large, with all of this bullshit. Plus, when it comes to those ubiquitous insects of spring, like carpenter bees, they’re not pests this year—they’re company! Go ahead, talk to the bees!
4. We go big
Atlantans should consider themselves fortunate in that, relative to some cities, our homes and apartments are fairly large. (Property Shark once pegged the average Atlanta house at 2,074 square feet.) That should come in handy when storing next week’s pandemic beer supply atop the stash for April and the bulk remainder from last week, near the back-up beer supply for next week.
5. Pocket-park epiphanies
Who knew your Atlanta neighborhood had so many wonderful green spaces—until you sought them all out in hopes of staying the hell away from everybody else.
6. We live in the streaming age
Imagine if each new movie or TV-series binge required standing in a block-long line outside Blockbuster on Ponce right now, like the old days of 2012. Keep in mind the context of that meme going around: Your grandparents were called to fight a World War—you can survive a few weeks of Netflix.
7. We’ve got hills, so many hills
No access to your spin-cycle class? Is the Peloton locked up at the YMCA? No worries. Hop aboard a Huffy (or briskly hoof it) and find that street where kids sled on cookie sheets whenever it snows. Every ATL neighborhood has that hill, or many.
8. Desperate social innovations
Nothing instills an appreciation for simple things like a lack of options. Thus we find ourselves inventing new activities and games, such as “Let’s go stand outside,” and “What can we build with all these wine bottles?” at midnight.
9. Rational rationing
Being more responsible with things like chocolate intake—rationing, even—will do wonders for our fitness with swimwear season coming on.
Laughing at yourself for eating all the damn chocolate rations in 10 minutes last night while playing “What can we build with all these wine bottles?”
11. Sibling convenience
Remember complaining in January how having multiple kids was so hard, so expensive, so tough to lug all around Atlanta? What are they now, huh? Free babysitters for each other, right?
12. DIY home gyms
You know what they say: Cabin fever breeds ridiculous yoga alternatives.
Many Atlantans have the pandemic to thank for discovering inventive ways to break a sweat without leaving home. How else would you know that bench pressing a vacuum cleaner with water jugs tied to it actually makes for great cardio? (Pro-tip for parents: squat your kids).