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Commentary: First, Do Nothing


So are you getting the hang of this shelter-in-place thing? Well, comedian Maeve Higgins says, first, do nothing.

MAEVE HIGGINS: I'm feeling more useless than usual these days, and that is saying a lot. I'm a comedian, you see, so my normal job is telling jokes to a roomful of strangers who've been drinking. Now all those strangers are at home - still drinking. I'm at home, too, back in my childhood home in Ireland. I just overheard my father ask my mother what snack he should bring me, so that's how I'm doing. How about you? Are you feeling useful or not so much?

Some people are being extremely useful - you know, nurses and delivery people and scientists and all of those "Little House On The Prairie"-style moms and dads who are home schooling and working at the same time. Now, that's impressive. Weeks and weeks in, it's difficult to accept that the best thing most of us can do right now is nothing. I mean, not nothing. On Tuesday morning, I counted 11 different clouds shaped like George Washington's head. I'm telling you, I was exhausted.

Meanwhile, a certain political leader was making me feel even worse. I'm so mad at him - the Irish Prime Minister Leo Varadkar. Not only is he leading the country through this awful time with calmness and compassion, he also happens to be a whole doctor. And he's gone back to being a doctor one shift a week. Meanwhile, I remain as redundant as a bra in a pandemic. Oh, I better go. My dad just brought me some buttery toast as my snack - yes. Perhaps doing nothing really is a good thing to do.


CHANG: Comedian Maeve Higgins - when she is doing something, she's on NPR's Wait Wait... Don't Tell Me! Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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Maeve Higgins