How Are You Doing?

How Are You Doing?

My neighbor and I were recently talking, from a respectful eight-foot distance, when we decided it is no longer appropriate to being an conversation with, “How are you doing?” Because really, what is person you’re asking going to say? Answers pretty much have to range from “Good! -  Meh. - Really?” depending on the specific life topic. Should you find yourself on a teleconference faced with this question, here’s a guide to help you pick your answer.



  • Good! I find gratitude for the things in life going well.
  • Meh. I need to spend less time looking at social media.
  • Really? Dammit, why doesn't my <insert loved one's name here> understand-  it’s not fake news!
  • My answer: I am trying to be patient and remind myself; this will end. I just don’t have happen to know when. Truth be told, my success with this is highly variable. Some days are just better than others.  


  • Good! I disinfect my phone regularly. 
  • Meh. I can stop touching my face- any time I want.
  • Really? Whatever. You can't smell me over Zoom. 
  • My answer: I shower every day. Well, most days. Wait, what day is it?


  • Good! Produce is available – salad party!
  • Meh. I eat snacks from bowls, not the bags.
  • Really? Hamburgers, fried chicken, tacos, pizza, wee!
  • My answer: Who makes a cake, in the middle of the week!? Apparently, I do.


  • Good! Rom-coms and cute animal documentaries lift my spirits
  • Meh. I re-watched Outbreak and Contagion. They really hold up.
  • Really? I scream at the politicians on the T.V. A lot. Like all the time.
  • My answer: I let my elementary school-aged children watch the 1980 classic, Blues Brothers. It has an R rating, but basically, it’s for language, which I reasoned isn’t anything they didn’t hear come out of my mouth back in the days when we sat in traffic. Besides, it’s never too young to start hating Illinois Nazis.


  • Good! I take long walks and practice yoga daily.
  • Meh. I stare at the treadmill in the corner
  • Really? I broke up with my fitbit. 
  • My answer: I’m actually doing pretty good on this one. I get out for a brisk walk 3 – 4 times per week. I think walking in the middle of the street simultaneously serves to maintain proper social distance from the folks on the side walk and says, “F*ck you, car culture! I am no longer your slave!”


  • Good! I put on clean clothes, just like any normal day.
  • Meh. No one can see my elastic waist pants on video calls.
  • Really? I lie about the computer camera not working and only wear a loin cloth.
  • My answer: Leggings have become my go-to for pants. I think I can still button my jeans. Maybe. As my husband observed, this is going to be the first time in history when the population gets fatter because of a plague.


  • Good! I take my herbs 2-3 times per day, just like usual. I feel great!
  • Meh. When I remember, which is most days.
  • Really? I lie awake at 2 a.m. and think about how there is Solid Eight in my cabinet.
  • My answer: On advice of council, I respectfully decline to answer and assert my fifth amendment privilege.

Personally, I think a better way to inquire after someone's well being in these strange, strange times we find ourselves is, "Do you have enough toilet paper?" And then, if you have a square to spare, offer some yours.

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