There are surely dozens of things the coronavirus pandemic will teach us, like the fact that we need to treat the planet with more respect, and maybe stop messing with animals.
But it's hard to feel open to learning new lessons when you've been cooped up for two months without a haircut and have gone batty disinfecting everything that comes onto the premises.
However, there is one hard lesson we've learned so far: We're pretty spoiled and have taken all sorts of basics for granted, from something as elementary as getting in the car and going somewhere to the freedom to sit somewhere and be alone.
Whether you miss elbowing someone aside for a free sample at Costco, or find yourself joyously enthralled over the delivery of a roll of 2-ply, this is your list.
Here are the top 5 simple pleasures we've taken for granted:
Toilet paper. The great toilet paper shortage became the emblem of the coronavirus epidemic in the U.S.; demand skyrocketed 300 percent. As Global Trade notes, this TP situation is uniquely American: Half the planet – 4.2 billion people – not only does not have TP, they don't have toilets.
Getting down to your last roll puts you in terrifying touch with that other world. Scoring a 6-pack of two-ply, maybe smooth, maybe embossed, possibly scented ... it's hard to believe that a package of toilet paper would make you feel so prosperous, so secure.
Bartender skills. There are countless ways to fill one's days and nights while sheltered at home. It's not like you need alcohol.
But let's say you do. What is so complicated about a cocktail? It's a shot of liquor and some kind of juice or mixer, NBD.
And yet something even as simple as a mimosa tastes better when someone else makes it for you. There's more to it than OJ and champagne.
It's the authority that a skilled bartender can bring — the confident shaka-shaka. The creativity, the orange peel twisted just so. The doting: "I did this just for you."
Leaving the house. Who remembers when you could leave the house and go wherever you wanted? You could go to any store — all of them were open and dying to see you — and wander around. You could hit a matinee.
If you wanted to go into the Walmart through the exit door, no one would stop you.
It's those little things that make you feel free.
Close proximity. Social distancing requires that we stay 6 feet apart from each other, and while there are plenty of people for whom 6 feet is not nearly enough, there's also this yearning to be around someone.
If only you could once again be irritated at the lady hogging the aisle in Trader Joe's, or accidentally invade someone's personal space at a party.
It's that whole contagious thing that happens when you're cheering at a concert or cringe, doing the wave. Who would've thought you'd miss doing the wave?
Solitude. Years from now, when coronavirus is a blurry memory, people who hunkered down together will fondly recall those with whom they were forced to shelter in place. It'll be a taxing situation they endured togteher, and they'll share anecdotes about who became more bonkers and how much closer everyone became.
But for now, who wouldn't pay a small fortune for 5 frickin' minutes to yourself?