Wholesome Residing: We Have That, Half Two

“I’m not entirely sure why, but from a young age I used drugs and / or alcohol to repeat a smile in a public setting.” ~ Robert Skender

Well here we are approaching summer and the pandemic is still ubiquitous in our lives. However, the gravity of the situation must be recognized. Sometimes you have to laugh at the predicaments that COVID-19 is bringing us.

This is the story of one of those pandemic-affected places I have been in.

On November 20, 2020, the British Columbia government announced that it would be mandatory to wear surgical masks in all indoor public spaces and retail stores.

On November 21, the next day, I lost my expensive partial anterior prosthesis somewhere at the bottom of Powell Lake. Most likely, I imagined, in the Shinglemill Marina, where they most likely still live.

At that moment, I thought they might have settled near a blunt 1970s beer bottle covered in green algae and broken outdated sunglasses.

When I realized that I had no manufactured, but still quite important, body part, I informed my partner about my situation. I’m an introvert, but my beast is the opposite.

Without warning, she phoned a professional diving friend before I could tell her the teeth might be elsewhere. I wasn’t entirely sure.

I’m the type who misplaces things so often that I have an evolving science-based theory of another universe that my things regularly fall into.

On the dock someone shouted a hello, “How are you?”, Greetings from a couple of dock fingers. Without a pause and with higher decibels, my partner replied: “Rob let his teeth fall into the lake, I’ll call the diver!”

I’m 5’9 ”but in that moment I saw life from the perspective of a really short Barbie doll. At least that’s what it felt like.

To get back to the mental health of my article quickly, smiling has never been my strongest attribute in life. I’m not entirely sure why, but from a young age I used drugs and / or alcohol to repeat a smile in a public setting. I know that there are many people who have had or have had similar experiences.

A smile with a mostly toothless scenario in the front part of my mouth would be like trying to make a snowman on your sun-bleached lawn during a high summer heat wave. it just won’t happen.

Well, this is where the provincial order of wearing surgical masks in public re-enters the scenario.

As you can imagine, behind the government-mandated surgical mask, I can smile as toothless and big as I wish without much effort.

Current brain mapping technology shows that a sincere smile is a physical manifestation of a sane mind. Good things happen to the 86 billion neurons in your excited brain when you smile.

I’m still smiling behind my government-mandated mask and without front teeth. I think like taking off training wheels on a child’s bike, I’ll be smiling alcohol-free, drug-free, and mask-free in the not too distant future.

The pandemic has taken us to places we would rather not be. Sometimes you just have to laugh at everything. It won’t make everything better right away, but it will lead you towards better times. That is a certainty that is backed by science.

Robert Skender is a freelance writer and health commentator for Powell River.

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