By Allan Wall, April 14, 2020
Thanks to this COVID-19 crisis and the way it’s being handled, millions of Americans are spending more time at home. And not just Americans, but a large proportion of persons throughout the world.
Whether one calls it a lockdown, quarantine, shelter-in-place, or just staying home, it’s a fact that many of us are … home.
It might be because we’ve been sent home from our jobs, it might be due to local or state orders, it might be our own choice.
This is really not a new phenomenon. Since ancient times there have been plagues and epidemics, and it’s been known for millennia that in such a situation you’re better off isolated.
In the time of William Shakespeare, for example, the city of London frequently shut down for plagues, and it’s believed that Shakespeare wrote some of his works while “sheltering in place.”
OK, maybe nobody today will write a classic of English literature during the 2020 Coronavirus Crisis. But, then, who knows? We can write a journal, craft poetry, or another type of literary endeavor. Even write a blog post.
We can still be productive.
There is much variety in our living situations. Some people have big houses with a nice yard, others may be limited to a small apartment.
In my case, I live in the country on a farm, which to me is a great advantage. I can walk outside and still be safe from infection. Even in the country, an infection is not impossible but the odds are lower.
So what can be done during this time of quarantine or isolation? How can we occupy ourselves and, dare I say, improve ourselves?
Such a time of isolation can be a time of intellectual, spiritual, and social growth.
If you are staying with family members, you can engage in activities you may not have had time for recently. Playing board games, for example, or simply carrying on meaningful conversations, or, at least, Twenty Questions.
For married couples, it can be a time of recharging their relationship.
If you are staying with parents or grandparents, you could use the opportunity to ask them questions about their past, if you never have before. For example, you could ask your mother how she met your father.
Most people will probably spend a lot of time watching movies or TV programs. There are so many available, it can be overwhelming. But movies are not just entertainment. We would do well to analyze and discuss the worldviews promoted in mass entertainment.
It might be possible to carry out some home improvement tasks, fixing something if you have the materials for it.
Depending on your house/yard setup, you might be able to sow seeds in your garden. But if you reside, however, in Governor Gretchen Whitmer’s state of Michigan, where gardening supplies are verboten, that might not work.
Coronavirus isolation can be a great time for reading. Maybe you can catch up on some of the books you just haven’t gotten around to.
If you’ve never done so, you could read the U.S. Constitution. It’s not that long.
Mike Lindell, the CEO of the My Pillow company, which is making medical face masks, spoke at a presidential press briefing at which he recommended we use this time to read the Bible. That’s a good recommendation.
How about practicing a musical instrument, or learning a foreign language? Or putting together a puzzle, sketching, painting, or engaging in some sort of handicraft?
Staying at home can provide an opportunity for reflection. We can reflect on our own lives and what we’d like to do in the future.
We can reflect on where our country is going and think about where we fit into that.
We can use this coronavirus crisis time to reconsider our domestic, immigration and foreign policies, and think about how we might influence our fellow Americans and legislators. Indeed, you could spend part of your time writing lawmakers.
All in all, this time of isolation and staying at home, though we didn’t ask for it, can be a time of growth, self-improvement, reflection and planning. And, of course, some rest and relaxation.
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