This quarantine would be an ideal time to work on some new jewelry designs but instead I spent four hours on-line looking for dried lentils and responding to posts shaming people for buying a lot of toilet paper.

The lentil reconnaissance was undertaken on behalf of my picky teenager, who covets lentils, and resulted in a stocky ten pound purchase because that was the smallest quantity available. I swear. That's all I could find. And I did opt out of 25 pounds so that's something. I must confess to being worried we will simply run out of the food on the checklist of this ethereal fairy child, and she won't even notice. Our breatharian. Although my husband and I will eat just about anything, the kid is another story.

As for the energy I expended pleading with people to stop shaming other people for stocking up and/or being concerned during this unprecedented modern day crisis, well, the snarky comments and endless toilet paper jokes went from being mildly funny to hypercritical to calling for verbal and possibly physical intervention. In one post on a Martha's Vineyard Facebook page, a commenter encouraged readers to openly harass anyone in a grocery line who had more than a few of one item in their cart and demand they put it back. Block the sale if necessary?

And to those who are ordering others, from their self-imposed, lofty perches, to calm down or get a grip or stop being hysterical: you're not helping. 

I've got an idea. Let's stop shaming people and call or write them instead. Ask them if they need anything. Remind them we are all in this together. Put that hammer of judgment down and reach out. Our current president has made shaming a national pastime, like baseball or county fairs, but we don't have to participate. We can be better. For older people, this must be so frightening. For people living alone, it must be very lonely. For people who are homeless and the 114,000 homeless school-aged children in New York City, it must be a crushing weight, on top of an already crushing weight, that few of us will ever have the misfortune to understand. No matter what we are going through, many people will have it worse. 

We need humor and humor should be one of the survival tools in our arsenal. In the last three years of Trump, comedians have become our therapists and saviors. But without compassion for others, jokes are more mean than funny. I vote for funny. Make America Funny Again.

In the meantime, if you're short on lentils, let me know.