Stay home: pandemic principles

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relaxing on the couch

So, what’s everyone been up to? Anything new happening? I kid, I kid. So we are all aware of the pandemic we’ve been having? Everyone up to speed on that?

For the record, my columns are filed roughly five to seven days in advance, so anything I type today is based on the news as of March 21, 2020. If this is all a moot point by the time you read this, that should explain why.

Like most people, I have taken the advice to stay home. As a person who has worked hard to craft a career in which I am not ever to be considered essential, I realize I am blessed to be able to do so. However, like toddlers everywhere, the moment you say that I have to do something, I want to do the exact opposite of that.

Then I remember that I’m a grown person, and I don’t act on that feeling. Instead, I look for fun ways to break up the monotony. Today, for example, I shook things up by choosing to sit on the other end of our couch. As I type this, our state has gone into near lockdown.

Time out

This is primarily due to all the people who normally want to do nothing but Netflix and chill who cannot follow instructions, all the people who chose the only weekend they were asked to stay home to save lives to go out and exercise their right to breathe on everything in sight.

While the Florida videos of frolicking spring breakers are a snippet of one crowd, it is not the youth flocking to Hobby Lobby and Home Depot because they are “bored.” Middle-aged and old folks seem to have the most trouble with staying home and with backing off.

As a friend noted, while we’ve been lecturing to our kids how important social distancing is to protect their grandparents … their grandparents have been going out and about. It’s all very confusing to them. Why can’t we go out? Grandma is? We have all been asked to stay inside, isolate and practice social distance. Basically, pretend you are a house-cat.

We are in a global time out. If those of us who can sit still and do what we are supposed to do, we will be out of here when we are supposed to. The longer some of us keep acting the fool, the longer we are going to have to sit here. Knock it off to knock it out.

Family

Trust me, my college-aged offspring are not thrilled to be stuck at home with us. We are close, but nobody at that age wants to play board games in a TP fort with their parents forever. This is a short-term solution to save lives. It is the very least we can do.

We aren’t a board game-playing, puzzle and sing-a-long family. I am more a binge-watching, bookish, dog walking, yoga and snacking type of survivor. I don’t know if cookies are the cure, but I am conducting extensive testing nonetheless. For the first time in history, we can do our patriotic duty by staying home and doing nothing. Let’s not screw it up.

I am kicking myself as I realize my Beloved Great Gram survived the 1918 flu (she was 16 years old at the time). I asked her many things about growing up in the first half of the 20th century, yet I never, not once, asked her about surviving that pandemic. I bet she had stories.

On that note, I have a great distance learning idea! We need to set up online classes where the Greatest Generation can conduct cooking classes, gardening, sewing, knitting and “how the he#$ did you survive the depression and wars without internet and Netflix?!” classes. Someone please #MobilizeTheElderly. We need their wisdom!

Essential

We are all in this together. I have a family that contains essential workers in essential industries. We are not panicking. We are doing our jobs. We are coming home. We are doing our best. We ask, implore and pray that others do the same.

When this has passed, let us no longer believe that celebrity determines “worth.” Let us remember the supply chain workers from trucking and retail, warehouse and farmers. Let us, of course, thank the healthcare professionals in all walks of life.

Let us remember that celebrity and pro athletics is not what is called upon to save us in time of real crisis, although we do salute them for their entertainment value as we all binge-watch. Netflix, for the time being, assume we are still watching. I hope this ends the cult of celebrity worship. To my knowledge, not a single person has been saved or supplied by a Kardashian lately.

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Warm, witty and just a wee bit warped, Kymberly Foster Seabolt is a native of Kent, Ohio, who survived childhood exposure to disco and grew up to marry and move to the country. Her column weaves her special brand of humor with poignant, entertaining, and honest portrayals of parenting, marriage, and real life. She currently lives in northeastern Ohio with her husband, two children, two dogs, two cats, and numerous dust bunnies who wish to remain nameless.

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