Making the most of ‘Corona Time’

Published 10:00 am Thursday, April 16, 2020

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I have to say that this spring has been the strangest of my entire life. I daresay it has been for you, too. Everybody’s being homeschooled; the bleachers at the ball parks are empty, no crack of a bat or exultant whoops heard. You can hear crickets in restaurant dining rooms. The stage at the Ritz, well—it’s downright lonely.

And yet, in the absence of all the normal hustle and bustle and  general crazy-busy spring schedule, if you take the time to stop, look and listen . . . some very cool things are happening.

People are getting reconnected with their kitchens, embracing their air fryers, getting ingenious with their InstaPots and channeling their inner Betty Crockers. And some of those delectable dishes are being carefully wrapped and delivered to the doorstops of friends and neighbors. Social distance is maintained, but the comforting food makes it all a little easier.

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People are finding time to plant gardens as they rediscover their green thumbs and find pleasure in the prospect of fresh vegetables grown in the backyard. They are stopping and smelling the roses—and all the other flowers, too, and offering to share cuttings.

People are picking up a good book, or two or three; they are talking about favorite reads, and classic films and the music that formed the soundtrack of their lives. And in the process, they are discovering new facets in familiar faces.

And they are singing, not just in the shower or the confines of their bedroom. No, they are videoing and live streaming their performances from their living rooms and front porches, making ingenious music videos, sometimes clowning around, always entertaining us. The Ritz stage may be empty, but its players keep on putting on the Ritz, social distance-style.

People still worship. Oh, it may be from inside their pickup truck or on their couch instead of a pew, but they still sing the much-loved hymns and recite the scriptures. They still pray. The sanctuaries may be physically empty, but the spirit is still in the hearts of the believers, no matter how scattered they may be.

They are sending cards and care packages to children who cannot have a birthday party this year, and to adults who are serving in the frontlines of the pandemic. People are rediscovering the art of sending snail mail, writing letters, brightening someone’s day when they open that mailbox and see something other than advertising circulars and bills waiting for them.

And they are doing what they can to keep everyone safe and healthy.

They are rediscovering that seemingly near-lost art of sewing.

These modern day Rosie the Riveters are making masks for our heroes in scrubs and for those most vulnerable.

When are our schedules are not so overcrowded, we have more time.

Time to dream. To ponder. To laugh with our kids. To make good memories during a peculiar time. To do something positive to make a difference.

I want to share the words of Amber Anthony of the Alabama Facemask Project on Facebook:

“This whole project started 3 weeks ago as an idea to start a group for our great state. I never imagined it would grow to over 1,100 members and counting. We have volunteers all over the state fulfilling the request for masks that we receive daily. Anyone can join the group. Once they join they will be able to see our online mask request form where they can request specific masks. We have a volunteer sign-up form as well so we can track how many seamstresses we have, and where they are located, to better assign them a request based on their location. We have donors who have donated supplies along with monetary donations to our PayPal account Our donations go to those who are volunteering their time and money to sew and ship masks across the state.

As of to date we have donated over 3000 masks and are supplying more daily.”

So make a donation. Make a dish. Make a date of the virtual kind. Make someone half-way around the world smile. 

Make the best of this long, strange trip we are all taking right now. This, too, shall pass. The thing is, do we want to return fully to normal? Think about it.