Father David Scotchie, pastor of Nativity Parish, Longwood and a Florida Catholic Sunday Word writer, sent this list out to his parishioners. He gave us permission to share it with our Dose of Faith readers.

Our kids in online school are not the only ones learning through this pandemic. Here’s the definitive Top Eight Things We’ve Learned from the Pandemic:

8.     God likes introverts. While extroverts mourn closed bars and canceled parties, rallies and concerts, the introverts are on holiday. Who needs to go out to eat? Leftovers are delicious. All of those mandatory fun social events had left half the population exhausted. Just give them a good book and a quiet evening. The introverts will inherit the earth.

7.     Half of toilet paper use is not at home. Now we finally know what schools, work, and restaurants are for. They supply half of America’s toilet paper. No wonder the March lockdown saw a run on toilet paper.

6.     High tech, high touch. We knew this before, but the pandemic has pounded home the truth that Instagram and WhatsApp are at best a tool for keeping in touch. We are human. We need to touch and be touched. “I’ll be home for Christmas if only in my dreams” does not cut it.

5.     Old TV shows without masks are freaky. Habituated by our mask-wearing population for months and months, it is now strange to see actors without masks casually banter in a cab. “Six feet! Six feet!” I urge the TV. “At least roll down the window!” Even weirder, the lawyer characters in a recently produced TV show wore masks and passed the coffee at arms’ length. Big desks and conference tables separated them like force fields. Tune in to the next episode to see our heroes scrub hands for twenty seconds while singing Happy Birthday. Twice.

4.     The real winners in this pandemic are the shelter dogs. Seriously, dogs have become more popular than home exercise equipment. Yes, corporations like Amazon, Wal-Mart, Publix have been big winners. Yes, the stock market, oblivious to countless bankrupt small businesses, is breaking records. We know that airlines, cruise lines, restaurants, child care centers, cafes, clothing stores, theaters, movie theaters, theme parks, and hotels are big losers, and millions of workers, with few savings and non-living wages and poor health care, are falling into poverty and despair. Dogs, though, have found the sweet spot in the hearts of a locked down population desperate for a best friend.

3.     We have yet to come up with a better name than, “In These Uncertain Times.” How many more car commercials must intone the deep voiceover, “In this Time of Uncertainty…,” before we hit on a better name? What will historians look back and call this year? The Black Death? The name is already taken. The Spanish flu? It did not originate in Spain. My vote? The Rise of the Introverts. See #8.

2.     On the other hand, we have learned how to make yeast. Carl explained to me that he was down to one packet of dried yeast in his spice cupboard. The store shelves were as barren as if the Grinch had swept through. Like millions of others in lockdown, Carl and his wife had discovered the primordial comforting smell of bread-making. (Britain reportedly ran out of flour for home use. Mills had packaged flour in large commercial flour bags for restaurants and bakeries, but soon found the demand had outstripped the supply of household-size flour bags.) Thanks to YouTube, Carl learned how to grow yeast in flour. We have turned back the clock to become like the sourdough-loving pioneer homesteaders of old.

1.     The “19” in COVID-19 is the pounds gained. Staying safe at home except a weekly forage at the grocery store, who can resist the gravitational pull of the refrigerator humming relentlessly in the background?  One potato chip snack leads to a binge. Everyone has discovered the therapeutic value of bread-making. (See #2). Hey, it could have been worse. We could have been plagued with COVID-40.