While I do not want to come off as insensitive during this worldwide pandemic, I do want to shed light (not pounds) on another less serious (but still disturbing) side effect of the pandemic, The COVID-15 (Compulsive Overeating Very Intense Digestion). Similar to the freshman 15, but affects all people in its path. We can all agree that our summer bodies have been postponed, but the overwhelming inability to remember what day it is, the time of day, and even more horrific, how many calories we’ve consumed has resulted in a fast approaching trajectory of weight gain. The upward sloping curve of weight gain closely resembles that of the COVID-19 statistics at the moment.
In this article, we are going to present two different perspectives, that of myself (a 28 year old woman) and that of my father (a 60+ year old man), further proving our hypothesis that COVID-15 affects people of all ages.
My perspective begins on a Google Hangout work conference call at 10:30 am. I cheers my wine glass to the computer screen, and brace myself for a productive work call. My coworker has the audacity to call me out for drinking already. I explain that it is lunch time, and that white wine pairs perfectly with the Kraft Mac and Cheese I have prepared, and that at least I waited until noon. My coworker then reminds me that it is 10:30 am, and that is when I realized just how out of touch I am with the current reality.
While my intentions are good each morning as I prepare two egg whites, and measure out a tablespoon of cheese, and my two tablespoons of half and half to put in my coffee, by 10 or 11, all preparation and discipline goes out the window. I am too scared to enter a grocery store, so I resort to eating canned and boxed goods, or frozen chicken nuggets and justify that by the fact that I am staying home and “social distancing,” but really I am only fooling myself. I then feel so guilty that I have consumed my daily calories by noon, that I decide to go for a 4 mile hike. I managed to avoid the crowds of people that have for the first time in their lives, decided to hike as well. When I get home, covered in sweat, feeling like a productive individual, I decide to check in on my mother and give her a call, as she is in a constant state of stress and panic these days.
After hearing her horror stories of her friend’s uncle’s sister’s daughter’s husband in the Philippines who has contracted COVID-19 and that we are now even more at risk somehow, I decide that I too, am now more at risk, and thus more stressed, as I eat my sleeve of frozen Thin Mint Girl Scout cookies. My advice to the viewers during this difficult time, is mostly to avoid mirrors. If that is not an option, balance out your carrot to cookie ratio and try to check the time every now and then.
My father’s perspective is very different from mine. He is working from home for the first time in his life. So, at this point, I am going to hand this article over to him to share his story with you. It is another cautionary tale that we hope will help stop the spread of COVID-15. It’s all yours, dad…
…Thanks, Shannon. The first thing that everyone should know about me is that I have been in the Disaster Preparedness Business for over 27 years. That includes Earthquake kits with food and water rations that have a shelf life of 5 years, but no one knows for sure.The other preparedness items are fastening products, that secure items from flying across the room. So you would say I am the most prepared of all of my friends and family. Although, my wife of 35 years would argue that she proudly wears the crown as the Queen of Preparedness.
She actually knows way more than me because she watches the news. She not only prepared for this pandemic, but she prepared for the apocalypse! She stocked up on massive sized cans of tuna, soup, pasta, and everything else they no longer have in stock anywhere. I try not to eat pasta because of the carbs, but I will get to that failure later. She also stocked up on toilet paper, paper towels, cleaning supplies, and frozen foods. Apparently, ice cream is the best source of protein and vitamins during a pandemic. I trust her on this, because again, she watches the news. The main thing that causes COVID-15…JUNK food, better known as crap! If I was a kid, I would be in heaven, but I am a middle aged man with a dad bod, trying to do his best. For most of my life, I have been a dieter, but I do occasionally go off the deep end. But the junk food grocery store that is known as my pantry is starting to get to me, and my waistline.
My excuses are as follows, “Well I’m stuck here and there is no end in sight.” “The frozen thing on a stick says it’s only 260 calories so how bad can it be? What is 260 times 3? Probably not that much.” And did I mention I love Fritos? Love, love, love Fritos! Fritos with tuna, Fritos with peanut butter, and Fritos with chili. So after the first week of slowly dipping my toe into the carb capital of Del Mar, I am now a full fledged carb connoisseur. I don’t discriminate between good and bad carbs these days, and we certainly can’t let any of the carbs go to waste, so I am prepared to go ahead and let my stomach do the talking, but ONLY while we are sheltering in place.
If I gain 15 pounds…no one is going to see me and my dad bod anyways. After the government says it’s safe to go outside…I will start another fad diet and stay sheltered in place until I lose the 15 lbs. We’ll see what happens…wish me and my second chin good luck!