Holy cow, 2020. WTF? Since this is *my space I’m not going to sugar coat things. This past week has been completely weird. 2020 is full blown bat shit crazy and we’re only three months into the year. *(Speaking of myspace, can we bring it back since we’re all bored at home right now?? I’d like to update my top 8 and play around with some new coding tricks I’ve learned).
I told Cooper that someday his kids are going to learn about what’s happening right now and this experience in school, and if they want to interview their super cool grandma for a school project, I’d be happy to share my personal story of how I literally spent an entire day driving around town in search of toilet paper. No matter where I went, shelves at stores were completely bare. No soap, no canned goods, and certainly no toilet paper. I ended up finding Lysol Disinfectant Spray at a local Menards, only to be rushed by a crowd of people who cleared the shelves in 2.2 seconds after I grabbed one. (Don’t worry, during the trampling I was able to grab a few more; I figured I might need these bottles to work out a trade deal with someone who might have TP).
I hate to make the comparison but things haven’t felt this strange since 911 happened. I remember going with my friend to fill up her mom’s car with gas, and there were lines extending into the street at every gas station we passed. There was mass hysteria (understandably so), and there’s mass hysteria now (in my opinion, not understandably so. Maybe only moderately understandably so. I mean.. people need to cool their jets a little with the TP hoarding and leave some for the rest of us who are just genuinely out of the stuff…)
But all sarcasm aside, things really are crazy, and even I have to admit that it’s getting a little stressful. While I may be an introvert, and the idea of “social distancing” doesn’t necessarily bother me, I do think now more than ever it’s important that we make a genuine effort in reaching out and checking on our neighbor. Physically, virtually, and metaphorically. We need to stand united and show that we care, because the truth of the matter is we’re all going through this effed up episode of Punk’d together, and none of us are exempt.
how to stay connected despite social distancing during
Send a letter or e-mail to a friend
I love the idea of writing a letter and sending to a friend, but, if the idea of sending germs through the mail fills you with anxiety then opt for an e-mail instead (although, they’re saying that most viruses don’t live on surfaces for longer than 3 days, tops, so I would think mail transport would be okay?) Check in and let your friend know that you’re thinking of them and their family. Share some goofy photos, or a funny memory that you have. This is a guaranteed way to brighten someone’s day and let that person know that they’re in your thoughts.
Send a meaningful book to someone
I’m a huge reader, so if someone sent me a book to help occupy my time and thoughts during this house arrest, I’d be thrilled. Pick a personal favorite or something that you know that will be meaningful in this person’s life. Some great uplifting options are Girl Wash Your Face, Big Magic, or Daring Greatly, OR, opt for something thrilling and spicy like Gone Girl, No Exit, or Sometimes I Lie (all personal favorites of mine). If you have a mom friend who you know is going to be at home alone with the kiddos a lot, send a couple children’s books to them. I’m sure she’d love a good distraction for them that’s also educational.
Check in with someone elderly or immunocompromised
If you know someone who is elderly or has a compromised immune system, make it a habit to check in with them once a week. If you’re healthy, you can offer to run to the store or run a few simple errands for them. Showing you care and that you’re willing to help and ease some of their fears is huge, and it’s a great way to help your fellow neighbor (literally).
Spend quality time with family
Spend some QT with the fam. Play games, learn something new together, have a movie marathon, and go on safe little mini adventures. A lot of schools have been closing, which means the kids are going to be home. Mamas, I feel you, and I’m about to be in that same boat. But instead of stressing, I’m choosing to look at this amazing opportunity that’s been handed to me to spend time with Coop and to have fun. I don’t want him to look back on this time when he’s older as one where he was stuck at home with his anxiety-ridden mom. Instead, I want him to look back on the time we spent together and laugh at all the fun memories.
That’s it. Just be kind. To everyone and anyone you come into contact with. Be patient with retail employees; they’re stocking shelves as fast as they can (and it’s not their fault all the toilet paper is gone). During one of my stops yesterday, a woman actually gave me a four pack of one-ply toilet paper because she told me she had 12 rolls still at home, and she knew I needed some (I might have mentioned it while we were talking about how crazy the world was getting). That simple act of handing me a package of toilet paper in a Walgreens line almost made me cry. She was kind. She didn’t push me, or try to steal items out of my cart. She didn’t make a beeline for the last bottle of Lysol Disinfecting Spray. She smiled, she laughed with me, and she offered me some toilet paper. Be more like that woman: be kind. Offer someone some TP.
Natasha Funderburk is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com.
Natasha Funderburk is a wife, #boymom, NASM-Certified Personal Trainer, Certified Nutrition Consultant, and ACE-Behavior Change Specialist. When not watching her son play baseball, she can be found on various writing platforms, coaching her clients to live their best lives, drinking all the coffee, and conducting living-room dance parties.