These are different times and we have different rules to adhere to, this doesn’t mean our life has to go on hold, it just means things are a bit different.
The new virus is very problematic but that doesn’t mean we have to go into immediate panic mode. When we see pictures of panic buying and stripping store shelves of necessary goods, it makes us think that we also need to jump on the band wagon and also amass a mountain of supplies. But just think about that for a while and you realize it is a rather foolish notion.
Toilet paper and other paper goods are made right here in B.C., and there is no reason to think our supply will dwindle. This virus does not increase our toilet activities so why on earth do people want to gather a huge supply.
If, for any reason, there should be a shortage, we could manage without this commodity. Many countries still use rags for self cleaning with a bucket of bleach-water to dispose of the rags, although not a pleasant way of dealing with our needs, would this really be so dreadful?
Surely a food shortage would be a much worse problem but if we have a few extra cans or boxes of staples, we can get by for a few weeks. Most of us have a freezer to keep several weeks of protein safely stored, but gathering a year’s supply of meat is unnecessary, not to mention, ridiculous and downright selfish.
Misinformation causes this bad behaviour and the rumour mill always stresses the worst possible scenarios, however any crisis also brings out the good side of people. My condo block has phone numbers posted of people willing to shop for older residents who do not want to risk going out. This is such a simple act of kindness that each of us can manage to do. If we are going to the store, ask a neighbour if they require anything to be picked up. This reduces the number of people needing to go into a store and cuts the risk of infection.
By reaching out to those who you previously only nodded to in the hallway, may also help us to get to know our neighbours a little better, if only by telephone. Self isolating is not a comfortable thing for many of us, we are social beings and enjoy company so a phone call can make the long day less lonely.
Personally, I have a very busy life which I thoroughly enjoy, I usually go out to eat, with friends at least once a week and |I also belong to several groups so staying indoors for days on end is not my normal behaviour. However, this past few days I have sat on my deck for several hours each day and enjoyed the glorious afternoon sunshine. I have time to read books, which is something I normally only do on vacation and I am really feeling the benefit of having some time just for myself.
Having a dog makes walks along the river dike not only a necessity but also a pleasure as we both enjoy our exercise and the fresh air. I speak to people on passing but do not linger to share the same breathing space, so feel I am still self-isolating while enjoying being outdoors.
Working people can use the enforced leisure time to catch up on all the things they normally cannot manage, due to job commitments. Work in the yard, clean out those overstuffed closets or work on an art project that you never have time to complete. Families can start a project like turning the rec room into a nicer place to hang out together, so many things we have been meaning to do but didn’t have time for.
Kids at home soon get bored so get out the family bikes and pedal the dikes, light a backyard fire and roast wieners, things you don’t normally have time for now can be shared. Painting a bedroom is a great way to get your teenager to take an interest in his or her room and really turn it into a place they can enjoy. Let them be creative and do their own thing, if they want black walls, with glow in the dark butterflies painted on, let them do it, it is their space and do you really care? Be the ‘coolest’ mom on the block and let them be creative.
Take this time to create meals that you can freeze for future use, so when you go back to work, you will have some ready made dinners. Teach the kids to cook and bake, they will thank you for it when they have a home of their own. Restaurants are closed but do your own version of a Chinese buffet or a big Italian feast, you can even try your hand at Sushi
Self isolating is a new idea for us as we are basically a social group but if we treat it as a time to do things we want to do, it can be a bonus, not a chore.
Lets make the most of it and enjoy being creative.