We women can get through this, and we can be in a better place when it is over
Survival instructors say that when one is in a difficult situation, one should do what the women do. We are home, most of us with our families around us. We can get through this, and we can be in a better place when it is over.
This crisis won’t last forever. In the meantime here is some of what we can do:
1. Stay informed
Although the news, in the next few months will probably be difficult to hear, we all need to know what is happening.
The news will probably be unpleasant for the next several months or longer. As more testing becomes available the numbers of people reported as being infected will surely rise. Our country is poorly prepared. We do not have enough health workers and we will not be able to source health workers from other countries because they will be dealing with the virus in their own countries. Some, maybe many of our own health workers will come down with the illness.
Follow instructions. This is and will be critical.
Access reliable news sources. Reliable news sources hire dedicated reporters who check and recheck their facts before their copy is submitted to their editors. The reporting is not always favorable. At Syracuse University, where I studied journalism, we were told over and over how important it was to check and recheck. That even what was chosen to be printed influenced the reader. Viewers and readers are easily influenced by print and video.
Unfortunately, rumor, suggestions off the cuff, and downright lies are often published on the net. Dictators and would-be dictators are quick to label any negative comments about them as fake news, even when presented by reliable news sources. They also tend to give themselves credit for any improvement in their country’s situation, even if the improvement doesn’t exist.
Reliable news sources here in the East include: The New York Times, The Baltimore Sun, The Philadelphia Inquirer, The Washington Post, The Chicago Tribune, Time Magazine, PBS, NBC, CBS, and many others. Radio and TV news shows source their news information from newspapers.
Reporting from well-known, less credible publications and TV shows too often present what the viewers might like to believe.
2. Keep up your social contacts
Call your friends and talk with them. Email friends and family.
Have friends or family in an assisted living home? Write them letters. If possible add pictures. No one can come in and visit. There are few computers, and many in assisted living homes do not have computer skills. A letter can be read over and over. A letter is almost as good as a visit.
3. Go outside
It’s spring. Here in Pennsylvania the trees are blooming. It’s absolutely beautiful! Enjoy it. Say hello as you walk pass people, or stop and have a conversation, observing the distance rules of course. Or take a ride in the car.
4. Stay physically active – get enough sleep
Essential for good health and disease resistance, physical activity – even going up and down the stairs several times a day, improves mood and health. Many people cheat on sleep, but it’s essential for good physical and mental health.
5. Watch funny movies
Here are two I could watch over and over: The Hope and the Glory – The Second World War from a little boy’s perspective. When, at the end of the picture he thanks Hitler for bombing his school, I could have rolled on the floor. A New Leaf – Elaine May’s hopeless character is a riot. She wrote the script – no wonder it’s so funny.
If you are like me, your family is home. Keeping up your and their spirits is something we all can do. Here are some suggestions…
Everyone likes something good to eat. If you have a stock pile of cookbooks like I do, look through them for recipes the family enjoys, or for new recipes they might like. If you haven’t been into cooking for a while, check the net where you will find fabulous, easy to make recipes that everyone will enjoy.
Weekly, write a menu so as to have variation in the meals and to serve what the family and you like to eat. Write a list that includes what is not in the house that is needed to make those foods. Shop online from the list.
If you haven’t seen the movie Babette’s Feast, and even if you have, this movie presents just how important food really is.
When the house is picked up, vacuumed, and in order everyone feels better.
Consider doing a spring cleaning – Back in the day, spring meant spring cleaning. You have help! Everyone is home. Time for everyone to go through their things and weed out what they no longer need.
Music helps everyone. If you and or some of your family members play instruments and/or sing, do so together. Or just turn on the radio and listen to a music station.
Gardening: Good at growing things? Grow some vegetables among your flowers.
Sew: Now is the time to make the new clothes you will need when this is over. Organize your sewing supplies. Organize your closet, removing the clothing you never wear. Plan a wardrobe based on what you have in your closet, the fabrics you have in house, and your personal color palette.
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© Laurel Hoffmann, 2020.