Hunker Down During the Pandemic
The coronavirus pandemic certainly has the world in its grip. And it is time to hunker down. Stay safe, wherever you live.
It is encouraging that President Trump has finally declared this a national emergency. “Coronavirus is ten times more lethal than the flu,” according to Dr. Anthony Fauci. If you’re sick, follow your doctor’s advice. And of course, wash your hands frequently.
Many schools, colleges and universities are shuttered for 2 weeks (or through the spring semester). Professional sports teams are halting their seasons. Disney theme parks closed. Cruise ships are docking, until further notice. The stock market is a mess. No one wants to fly, take a train, or ride the bus. Events are generally cancelled. Closed signs are the norm for the ballet, book fairs, museums and concerts.
We are entering a strange dimension of the Twilight Zone.
A bit of creativity is vital during this time to keep ourselves and our families occupied at home, while we limit exposure to coronavirus.
Of course, reading is our first suggestion.
Hopefully you have a stash of books at home. Get comfy in your favorite chair, feet by the fire, hot cocoa, coffee or tea nearby, and for a few minutes at least, escape in the chapters of your book. If you have little ones in the home, have a reading party – they pick a favorite picture book or two, and everyone gathers on the sofa. When parents act out the story (or at least exaggerate in the reading), even better. You could also join an online book club. Some local libraries have online materials, too.
Maybe you journal. Have your youngsters create a one act play to perform. Write a story, a haiku, a list of things to do (which might include deep cleaning your home or catching up with laundry).
Check in with your Relatives.
Call your parents, grandparent, and other relatives to check on them every few days. Especially if they are older, go on Amazon (or a similar site) and send them some bread, rice, canned veggies, and a couple of sweet surprises to let them know you are thinking of them. Or arrange with one of their neighbors to drop off some milk and eggs on their next grocery store run.
Listen to audiobooks.
If you prefer to “hear” books while you go about your daily activities, great! Usually I listen to audiobooks on my 3-hour commute, and here are the last three audiobooks I thoroughly enjoyed:
- The Lost for Words Bookshop, by Stephanie Butland
- The Bookshop of Yesterdays by Amy Meyerson
- Grace Space, by Robin Merrill
Board Games and Cards
There is something to be said for playing engaging (or irritating) board games of Sorry, Ticket to Ride or Apples to Apples, to name a few; or, get out the dominos and play Chicken Foot. Or, play solitaire, pinochle or cribbage.
Presumably, many of you have been stocking up on supplies over the past week or so. Clearly, many food stores are running low on supplies because scared folks are hoarding. To some degree, you might need to prepare some food and freeze it. Or get your kids in the kitchen and make some cookies or brownies. There are also plenty of cooking videos online. What better way to distract yourself than to watch a chef prepare a scrumptious meal?
You Tube Video Tours.
Below is a list of virtual reality and walking video tours, that might be of interest when you and your family need a distraction. Travel virtually from the comfort of home.
Washington, D.C. Field Trip: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iK3GsAcwKaI
Smithsonian Air & Space Museum: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IzMZni2Avqk
London Guided Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=m9EClKA1VeQ
Vatican Master Works: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RBge3yyGDbo
Top 10 Places in Paris: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fJOMrKfyOrw
Ancient Greece: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gFRxmi4uCGo
Ireland – A Tribute: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FJpVBWxVHls
Vienna City of Dreams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AFZBOTgL_Hk
National Museum of African American History: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cgmKAuwj3dM
Walking Tour of Amsterdam: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LsXPFOKdjSI
Royal Tyrell Museum Canada: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=HsWM3y4LI0g
Roman Forum Walking Tour: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hWHr-RlJqWU
Caves of Lascaux: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3_aTEcsksZI
Other Fascinating Videos:
English Afternoon Tea: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vKA7b7Zxi7A
Maggie Smith as the Dowager Countess on Downton Abbey: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CkbBXE9ZNAk
Civil War: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xuVHe-0r-BE
Again, stay safe. Don’t panic. Help your neighbors, especially the elderly. Don’t be that person at the grocery store who pushes someone else out of the way just so you can grab the last paper towel roll.