Well, that went fast! Here we are, already at Week Seven, so that must mean it’s almost over. We’ve learned many things in our confinement and . . .
Um. Ok, slight miscalculation. Apparently it’s DAY Seven. That seems impossible, because my carefully calculated stash of baked goods that was supposed to last for a month is almost gone. It is possible raccoons have gotten into the house again. Oh, good . . . company!
Everyone is trying to find new ways to be positive and to keep their spirits up during this very stressful time, so today the emphasis will be on Silver Linings. Let’s think about the good things that have come out of this quarantine, as opposed to the fact that many of us are out of work or home with too many snacks (and if you’re home with small children, may I suggest something that worked for me as a hands-on-mom: Benadryl!*)
Make your bed in the morning when you get up! Shake out those sheets and make four nice tight, military corners so all the wrinkles are smoothed out. Then do a quick once over with some duct tape to remove most of the visible pet hair on the duvet, and voila!, your bed is ready for your nap! (never take a nap on an unmade bed—always sleep on top of the spread with a cozy afghan or pashmina you have laying around for just such an occasion. Napping under the covers signals to your body that it is okay to stay under there for eight to ten hours, and a nap should never be longer than four.)
Take a walk! One of the best things about this quarantine is that we can actually go outside and commune with nature and other beings who try not to cringe when we get a little too close. But we can still smile and wave and compliment each other’s dog outerwear. Here in Chicago, it’s still pretty cold, so the pets are really getting good usage out of their winter outfits. Most look adorable, but I have to wonder: do dogs really want to wear hoods? Discuss.
While on the subject of walking, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon. When I come upon others out for a flaneur under the age of thirty, they are either on their phones or will not make eye contact. This seems odd to me, as most people who are in quarantine are on their devices nonstop while inside their homes. I would think maybe looking up every once in awhile and getting some sun on your face or establishing human contact might be a good thing, but what do I know? I still use voice mail.
Yesterday on my walk, I took some extra books with me to distribute to the Little Libraries scattered around my neighborhood. These are the free-standing boxes where people can take or leave a book for anyone who might want something new to read. I was mostly interested in getting rid of my copy of Stephen King’s The Stand, because that is definitely not something I want in my house right now. Today I read that people are going a step beyond that and filling the boxes with non-perishables and canned goods for anyone who might need them, and now I feel bad that I crammed them full of books so there won’t be any room for macaroni and cheese. Sometimes it’s hard to be a mensch.
Creativity! I’m sure by now everyone has heard that Shakespeare wrote King Lear while he was in quarantine during the plague, and boy, talk about putting pressure on all the writers and artists out there! Interestingly, one of the books I found in the Little Library was a copy of this classic, no doubt cast aside by some blocked blogger who can barely put a sentence together right now. Calm down. It’s okay to endlessly watch West Side Story and Ten Things I Hate About You right now. Those are based on Shakespeare, and that certainly counts.
By the way, to anyone who does manage to write anything significant during this confinement, the new genre will be called Apoca-Lit. You heard it here first, so let’s make this new word go viral!
Oh, God, I didn’t mean viral! I meant spread it around in the vernacular – no, DON’T SPREAD IT AROUND! Don’t even think about sharing it! Ack! Stay inside! Don’t go to a beach! Run!
I hope these positive thoughts have helped.
*I am adding a disclaimer that seems unnecessary but you never know: of course you shouldn’t give your children Benadryl to help them take a nap! Who would do that?! Not me!