March 26, 2020
The country roads are pretty quiet these days with only a few farmers checking on livestock and doing chores. These days of the coronavirus warnings and status reports have made most of us decide to become “home bound” to try to stay away from the virus. Some are using the term “shut ins” but that word does not suit me. I’ll use the term “social distancing.”
We have been forced into making decisions since the virus first entered into our neighboring states, counties and towns. Government warnings seem to change every day if not every hour. Not a moment goes by that something about this virus isn’t heard or read. People are giving out all kinds of thoughts on how to keep from spreading or getting this dreaded virus. Should we go to the grocery store, should we speak to a friend whom we happen to meet while at the store, and the hardest for me and others is should be stay away from our church worship services? There are many views about all of these.
I feel for those who don’t have a decision to be made on remaining at home. Many people have to go to work. They have to return to their families and hope they don’t take the virus home. The roles reverse when grown children are telling and ordering their parents and grandparents. As parents, we remember when we gave those warnings that mostly went unheeded at that time.
The social media has a lot of warnings and reports on the virus. It tells of several businesses closing their doors. Yet, the social media is also filled with good ideas such as how to entertain or teach the children who are at home now that schools are closed; there are numerous craft making examples shown; there are those “comfort” recipes listed that will comfort those home bound; there are online free concerts, movies and viewings of museums now available; cafes, other businesses including the drug stores, are offering call in ordering and curb side delivery; church pastors are opting for online Sunday messages and there are numerous postings of Bible scriptures and personal feelings on “carrying on in faith”; there are word and action games shown; puzzles to put together; books to read. Other social media suggestions are to occupy time with spring house cleaning, rearrange furniture, clear out closets. Those ideas haven’t happened yet at this house.
Being “home bound” on a farm has its pluses, as walks can be taken near and far including down to the creek. One day I decided to clear the flower beds. I’m thankful that my farmer husband can get outdoors and climb into his tractor, or work on one of his projects in his shop.
Being a social person has been hard though. A social person enjoys being in the company of others, visiting, sharing and shopping together. Those times have been at a stand still. Using the telephone has helped by calling friends and neighbors, checking on them as well as offering to run an errand if needed, or just to visit with them for a while.
I can’t figure out why there is a shortage of toilet paper in most stores. Some say that it’s people gathering the TP in case a complete shut down is ordered, and others are calling it just plain “hoarding.” I’m not the judge on this matter but panic can create problems. Some joke that maybe we’ll have to go back to the old “outhouse” method of using cobs or magazine pages.
There is some good in every situation and some can be seen including volunteers organizing a county “Neighbor Helping Neighbor” where they offer to delivery groceries to the doors of those that can’t or don’t want to get out, or in sending cards and notes to the nursing home residents who can’t receive visitors right now. There are “Cruise Nights” held where people remain in their vehicles and cruise up and down the town streets, honkning their horns and waving to give encouragement to others and just to get out and do something fun. People are giving more to the local food pantries and funds are being given to help organizations that are offering aid where needed. Some communities and towns are having residents place teddy bears in their front windows so they may bring a smile or two as others pass by. Face masks are in short supply and so many are using their sewing skills to make some. Stay positive and look upward. There is a tried and true saying – “This too shall pass.”