How to Occupy Your Pandemic

Day 2 of Washington State’s “ Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order:

Take it seriously? Yep, that’s my decision. I have a comfortable, well-stocked haven and no inclination to go out into the mad, mad world. Here are some thoughts on how to spend this uncertain time.

  1. Don’t panic. Don’t be an invincible idiot or a hoarder or conspiracy theorist. Don’t spread misinformation. The World Health Organization, Centers for Disease Control, state and local health departments are probably the most reliable sources.
  2. Wash your hands with soap. Follow recommended procedures at home and if you must go out.
  3. Catch up on rest.
  4. Catch up on reading.
  5. Bake bread. Here’s my current favorite: The King Arthur Flour website is loaded with great baking possibilities.
  6. Go for a walk someplace where you can experience weather, sights, and sounds.
  7. Tackle that horrible closet/basement/shed/garage that you’ve been meaning to clean out for ages.
  8. Write letters slowly and by hand. The US Post Office states that there is a very low possibility that Covid-19 can be spread through the mail.
  9. Dig On For Victory. There are some wonderful old WW2 posters from both the US and UK that encourage Victory Gardens and the home production and processing of food. I like the jaunty fellow above with his tools and load of vegetables. It’s early for gardening here, but I have been tinkering with four season gardening and just harvested my first batch of spring greens and lettuce. Yesterday I planted a 4×8 foot garden bed with cool season crops to sell/share/barter and will continue to do so in the coming weeks. Tender seedlings are growing in the house. I’ve never thought much about how much I can produce from my small patch of ground before this, but the pandemic has me considering it. Even though the grocery stores are still open, I prefer to go there as little as possible. Here are my favorite seed sources:,, . These sites also include information about propagation and growing. You might be surprised at what you can grow in pots and small spaces.
  10. Keep in touch via email, phone, text, video but don’t overdo it. I’m fairly reclusive and have been overwhelmed by the calls and emails. It’s too much socializing, too much time on devices, and I can’t keep up.
  11. Crash the Internet. With so many of us keeping in touch, checking social media, shopping, streaming movies and podcasts and music and books, I wonder if there is a point where all the servers overheat and give up. Might be good to take a break and do some of the stuff listed above.
  12. Hunker in for the long haul. Stay well, stay patient, flexible and resilient. Do what you can for your community and the less fortunate. It ain’t over till it’s over, and looking at WW2 posters reminds me that the world will not be the same once the pandemic has passed. As my favorite historians like to say, Plan for the worst, hope for the best.

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