Caronavirus Ideas By Patty LaRoche

Patty LaRoche

A friend emailed me to say how bored she is. Covid-19 has forced her to become a recluse, and she has nothing to do.
“Nothing to do?” I respond. Really? Nothing? I ask her a few questions.

Have you checked your spice rack? If yours is like mine, your basil, sage, tarragon and thyme expired in 2016. How about your photos? Do you seriously recognize the people in each picture? (No, you don’t.) And why do you need multiple snapshots of the same redwood tree—yes, we applaud you using multiple angles–from Yosemite National Park? Trust me, these are not slides your friends want to watch at the next get together. Correction: make that ANY gathering. What about tax statements held hostage since 2010? (According to the IRS: “Keep records for 3 years from the date you filed your original return or 2 years from the date you paid the tax, whichever is later…”) Buy a shredder. On line. But don’t bring the package inside.

For those of you who are Amazon freaks and daily are visited by UPS, pretend your gift is filled with bed bugs. Open it with plastic gloves. Outside. Discard the box immediately. In your rude neighbor’s trash can. (I’m funny.) Clean your file cabinet. (My kids would have gone nuts, had I died and they had to deal with all the irrelevant paperwork I’ve accumulated.); clean out the garage (although this virus will have to last a decade for me to finish this task); dance to praise music; smash old hard drives from laptops you have replaced but not discarded; rake those leaves you ignored since last spring; and pray. More than you ever have.

Don’t waste an opportunity. Wash your hands multiple times a day to the tune of “The Lord’s Prayer” (exactly 20 seconds, unless you try to break the speed of sound like I did when I was in elementary school). Or be creative. One of my friends is keeping entertained by pretending to do lawn work every time a realtor brings a possible buyer to her next-door neighbor’s house. (Hey, don’t judge. You know, that “sin” thing.)

Each evening, our California friends are staying in their front yards, playing charades with their neighbors across the street. Should you want to remain inside, check out your accumulation of unread books. And then read them! Recommend great ones to friends. Send an encouraging email or text to someone who is alone and discouraged. The other evening, one of my friends texted five of us a great Netflix movie to watch: The Shadows of Motown. Then we group-texted, sharing our fun memories of that era as we danced to the greatest songs of all time (my opinion, yes). As for those puzzles long overlooked, start one, and if pieces are missing, work on another to see if the runaways have relocated (spoken from experience). Should the prodigal pieces not appear, bid your puzzle goodbye. Trust me, the pain is short-lived.

Pack up clothes that last fit in 1995. If you haven’t lost those 45 pounds by now, chances are slim—even if you aren’t—that you will benefit from them before the moths do. Join the local group of ladies who are making masks for the health care workers. Stop calling your financial planner asking for advice; he/she has no crystal ball. Thank those people who stock the shelves with needed supplies—you know, the ones we all have taken for granted. Support local restaurants and businesses that are offering curb-side service in order to survive. Go through your church directory and make calls to those without a support system. Offer to pray for them. And then, do it.

Anyway, you get the point. God has given us this time to reevaluate our priorities. We all must use this time for good. I hope this article has given you some ideas, should you be one of those claiming to be “bored.” And if worse comes to worse, come to my house to de-weed my yard. I promise to keep a six-foot distance.

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