Coping with COVID-19

Like many people across the United States, my wife and I have been practicing social distancing and self-isolation since the COVID-19 pandemic began several weeks ago. This marks my fifth week and her fourth week working remotely. We leave our house as little as possible.

We miss sitting in our favorite neighborhood cafe. We miss walking to the park. We miss bumping into our friends. We miss all the simple, immeasurable jobs of a community-oriented life.

Thankfully, our close friends and family remain safe and healthy. We’re structuring new routines and we return to favorite pastimes to distract us from the news and keeps us grounded.

Fig Tree 1
Fig tree awakes to spring. (Photograph by author)

Here are a few things helping me cope with this dark moment in our shared history.

  1. Books–no surprise there. Right now, I’m reading Hilary Mantel’s The Mirror & the Light and Victoria Johnson’s American Eden.
  2. Food: we’re fixing nearly every meal at home and experimenting with recipes and dishes. Once a week, we order takeout as a treat and to support local small businesses.
  3. Family & Friends: I’m texting or talking with one of my four siblings and my parents on an almost daily basis. A change that I hopes sticks after the pandemic.
  4. Films & Television: my tastes range from funny sitcoms (Schitt’s Creek) to cult favorites (John Carpenter’s The Thing) and to classics (Orson Welles’s The Stranger).
  5. Gardening: the improving weather allows my wife and me to enjoy our small yard. Yesterday, I unwrapped our fig tree.

I hope that you’re finding new activities and rediscovering old pleasures to manage your own self-isolation and to stay healthy. I’d love to learn about them.

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