Disclaimer: Much of the nation had been ordered to "stay-at-home" to combat the spread of COVID-19, and untold thousands are at risk of disease and death. As of now, officials say the situation will get worse before it gets better. Even so, we all share some of the same experiences. This is my attempt to find what little humor there may be in the face of this bitter situation. 

If you’re one of the millions of Americans who are working from home during the COVID-19 pandemic, you’ve got to admit that being forced to stay home isn’t all that bad.

I like my house, and I think most people like their houses.

For one thing, it’s hard to argue that people don’t like where they sleep. On weekends, they even spend extra time sleeping. On Monday morning, they wake up and grumble because they have to leave home for work. Even if they work second or third shift, they grumble about leaving for work – except I think second shifters get to go to the bar when they’re done.

Then they sleep in.

I’m not sure what they do now that the bars are all closed.

A lot of things may be in short supply during this crisis, but alcohol isn’t one of them. If you’re locked up at home, employed or not, remember the old rule: Don’t start drinking too early in the day.

I heard it first from my grandfather, an old RAF veteran of the Battle of Britain. Drinking before noon is bad form. After Tea — which is 4 p.m. — is probably a better start time. It coincides with (early) happy hour, and you don’t have to worry about driving home. You’re already there.

Better yet, try not to drink so much and get something to eat!

This quarantine has had one benefit: There’s plenty of time to cook, since there’s not much else to do. I’ve got nine loaves of home-baked bread stacked up in the kitchen right now. 

The drawback to doing all that cooking is that unless you’ve been hoarding groceries like a chipmunk in October, you’re going to have to go to the store.

Before I get back to cooking, let’s talk about the store.

Lesson one: When there’s a pandemic going on, the most likely place for you to catch it is where other are congregating. Those are places like the grocery store, the gas station, and work, if you still have to go.

Just pretend everything people have touched is covered with dog doo. Your shopping experience will be much less enjoyable, but you’ll feel much better when you take steps to stay clean, then strip off all your clothes and wash up when you get home.

In the meantime, everybody knows a lot of items are in short supply thanks to all the paranoid people who thought this is the end of the world. Hopefully, the hoarders have bought enough paper towels, toilet paper, napkins and nose-wipe to last them a while.

By my calculations, we’ve reached the peak of the paper products curve and there should be plenty of goods back on the shelves by mid-May.

To those of you who purchased enough TP to last two months, think about lowering the curve and don’t buy so much the next time you venture out. We don’t want a resurgence of shortages.

Other stuff in short supply includes butter, bacon, hamburger, chicken – simple food now developing freezer burn in millions of iceboxes across the nation.

There’s still plenty to be had, if you know how to cook or have internet access. If you don’t know how to cook, take a chance, bring home a pack of frozen octopus and check out YouTube.

Think how many of us will have improved their cooking skills after this is all over.

All kidding aside, I treat work very seriously. For one thing, I’m always on time, and I’m very productive. I may take a break to get coffee, which is about 20 feet from my desk, and I may take a break to make a sandwich. Otherwise, I pretty much work nonstop, like I do when I’m in the office.

The biggest difference is I’m not constantly running to the lobby to greet people and most communication with colleagues is by text. No more hand shakes and back-slapping.

I get up, get dressed, sign on, but I do keep my robe on and wait until the end of the day to shower. Happy hour starts at 4 p.m.

I suspect a lot of us who are working from home are working more — there’s a lot less to do and our refrigerators are packed with leftovers, so we work.

And in case you’re wondering, I wrote this on a Saturday, around 9 a.m. after a cup of coffee.

Eric Marotta is still receiving messages at his work phone, 330-541-9433, or by email at emarotta@recordpub.com