Things To Do During Covid 19

Acknowledge our Humanity

Ok, we are humans going through a very strange time. This situation is one, most of have never experienced. Let’s face it, we are experiencing a wide range of emotions – fear, anger, boredom, confusion, anxiety, loneliness, and feeling adrift. We are up against something we can’t see, we don’t know where it is and this can make us feel vulnerable and trapped. At a time when we would feel comforted getting together with family and friends we must practice social distancing. These are some ideas about things to do during Covid 19.

However, also woven into this big ball of emotions we also feel gratitude, the value of connection and serving others, getting back to basics and slowing down, how to enjoy each other’s company, and maybe even personal growth. We also feel a connection to people all over the world because the humanity of all of us humans has been opened and laid bare for all to see. We are all struggling on some level, but the message we hear over and over is that we are not alone in this. I believe this is true, we are not alone and we are all interconnected. Our humanity is showing and we can grow from this and come through it stronger.

Whew, OK, on a lighter note, here are tips and ideas to help get us through this.

Get off the TV and get out of your head for a while each day. Meditate. There are a ton of free meditation apps out there. I personally really like Insight Timer.

Also, please check out my friend, Beth Freschi – A Time For Expression – as she takes us on a relaxation journey.

Connection during a time of Social Distancing

Even though the Covid 19 pandemic has limited us from actual, physical visits to friend and family members, there is no reason to lose touch.  Connect for virtual lunches, coffees, or garden show and tells. This has been a lot more fun than I thought it would be. I’m an introvert and general mediaphobe, so I have been WAY behind the curve on this one. I didn’t even know what Facetime or Zoom was.

We are all working from home (for my 9-5 job) and we recently celebrated the end of the fiscal year. We normally have a pizza party to celebrate our hard work during the past year. I joked with my boss and asked him if he needed my home address for the pizza delivery guy. He liked the idea so much he ordered us all pizza to be delivered to our individual homes and we all had a virtual pizza party where we turned on the video feature of our computers and chatted about everyday things. I have also picked up the phone and actually used it as a phone to say hello to people I had been remiss in keeping up with. It was good.

Visit a Museum

During this time of social distancing, most museums are closed to actual visits, but you can visit an international or national museum and glean a bit of culture.  Take this opportunity to experience some amazing art and go inside some of the world’s best museums, all from the comfort of your sofa!

Museo Frida Kahlo also known as The Blue House or Casa Azul

This museum is where Frida was born and where she passed away. The museum is located in Coyoacán, a wonderful neighborhood of what is now Mexico City.

Frida Kahlo

As one would expect the Smithsonian Institute has not only stunning exhibits and tours, they also offer a vast quantity of opportunities for all tastes and desires.

Have you ever dreamed of visiting the Lourve or the Uffizi? Here is your chance. No lines, no crowds.

Van Gogh Museum

The British Museum

The Metropolitan Museum of Art

National Museum of Anthropology, Mexico City

Museum of Modern Art – Mexico –

The Anne Frank House

Take a virtual class

With the newly acquired time on our hands, take this opportunity to invest in yourself, either in the form of enrichment or entertainment.

There are also classes that may present a barrier to enter if they were in person, but being virtual lowers that barrier to entry. These are things like body consciousness or feeling too much like a beginner. I say – Go for it!

There are free and paid courses online.

YouTube- you can learn all sorts of things for free on YouTube from cooking to yoga to changing the oil on your 2014 Sonata

I made this killer stuffed meatloaf mmmm mmmmm

Udemy

Coursera

Also, consider taking an online course to help support local businesses – there are a number of local Yoga studios offering online classes, for example.

Take a Car Date with your significant other and/or kids

You can order take out to support your local businesses and hop in the car and go for a drive. You can head for a lake or park and eat it there.

Think of the things you would recommend to a visitor and see if you can do “drive-bys” of those things in your city or area.

I am ALWAYS up for a Corny Roadside Attraction Tour. Think of things such as – The World’s Largest Crow in Belgrade, MN, or Rock On The House in Fountain City, WI that we visited on our trip around Lake Pepin.

Please follow social distancing guidelines.

Take the opportunity to purge, declutter, and work on the Honey Do list!

This is the perfect time to do fix-it projects and declutter your space.  Decluttering will help you feel lighter, you’ll feel like you are putting your newfound home time to good use, and your future self will really thank you.

Wash and detail your car, even change the oil. Lube that squeaky hinge. Hem those pants. Attack that mysterious black hole in the garage or basement.

Get Some Exercise and release some of the Anxiety you may be feeling over Covid 19

Getting exercise is good for your body, mind, and soul. We know we have to keep our bodies moving – move it or lose it! Exercising often gets us out of our heads and gets us more in touch with our bodies. Exercise releases endorphins and dopamine, helping us to feel good. Exercise can help us feel gratitude for the abilities we have. Some people have more, some less, but jump in where you are and incorporate some movement in your life.

If permitted, go for walks, walk your dog, take a run.

Yard work – get out there and rake leaves, dig in your garden, look for Nature’s assurance that all life has cycles and growth and rebirth are part of that cycle.

Audio Books and Podcasts

I love listening to audio books and podcasts while I do other tasks such as chores. Here is a chance to look for new books and podcasts that have previously been off your radar. You can test them out and if you don’t care for them, well… no real loss, but you gave it a try.

Take a (Virtual) Vacation Anywhere in the World During Covid 19

While actual travel may be suspended there is no reason you can’t take a virtual trip. Pick a location you have always wanted to visit, or pick the destination for your next vacation after the Corona virus restrictions are lifted and crank out the YouTube videos on that part of the world. You could visit Spain, Bulgaria, or hike the Superior Hiking Trail!

Consider heightening your experience by cooking a recipe you find online from that country.  Learn to say key phrases such as “good morning” and “thank you” in the language of the country you would like to visit. Have your kids make a collage and find the country on a map.

Helping Others During Covid 19

  • Helping others during this time need not be complicated or jeopardize your safety.
  • Offer to read virtually to someone’s kids (who may be driving their parents a little crazy)
  • Sew masks for healthcare workers. Make donations, if you can, to causes you think are doing good work.
  • Order a no-contact pizza for someone.

Take Care of Yourself

Besides the obvious advice – you may want to have a nice tea or coffee and really enjoy it.  Break out those teas that Aunt Lucy buys for you, but you don’t take the time to brew loose tea. Get out the French press that you don’t use very often.

Take your beverage of choice out to your deck, patio, balcony and enjoy the view, make a list of who to call, listen to the birds chirp, soak up a few rays of sunshine, even just daydream for a while.

Post or Jot Down 3 Things You Are Grateful For Everyday

Focus on the things you CAN do instead of the things you can’t do. Take inventory of all the good things in your life. Look around and see all the people and organizations who are coming together under these trying times. Feel gratitude towards the front line workers, feel gratitude if you have good health and a job. Feel gratitude that you have been given an opportunity to slow down and take inventory of the positives in your life. Feel deeper love towards your loved ones, your neighbors, for those who are suffering around the world, and towards yourself for exploring your own humanity in the many forms that it takes. 

Golfing with Phil

How it all started

I have a friend. I should say, I had a friend. His name is Phil. Phil introduced me to the game of golf when he and I were both 13 years old. His father had taken him golfing a few times before, so it was determined that he was the expert on the subject.

I didn’t know anything about golf. I knew that my mother had a set of clubs in the basement. In her golf bag was a bunch of plastic sleeves that the clubs went into. Those sleeves were great for “sword” fighting with my younger brother. That’s all I knew. Years later, I apologized to her for destroying nearly everything in her house, including the club sleeves. We’re all good now.

Phil invited me one day to go golfing with him. I asked my mother for $3.00. $2.50 for the green fee, and 50 cents for a Coke. She was kind enough to hand me the cash and said I could use her clubs. Cool! I guess she didn’t know yet what my brother and I had done to her bag.

With 3 bucks in my pocket, I grabbed a few clubs, laid them across my bicycle handlebars, and rode to Phil’s house.

Phil and I rode our bikes the 5 miles or so to our local par-3 course. I had 4 clubs with me. A putter, a couple of metal ones, and a wooden one with a number 4 on it. Phil said the wooden one was the one to use first, so I did that. He was the expert.

My first birdie!

I don’t remember much about the first 3 holes, or the last 5 holes. Hole number 4 though, is the hole that addicted me to the game for life!

Hole number 4 at this course is a 157-yard par 3 with an elevated green and no real hazards. If you really mess up, as I had done many times since this day, you can put it in the water, way over there, which is supposed to be a hazard for hole number 6.

No water today though. I used my wooden club with a number 4 on it and swung it with everything I had. I could not believe what was about to happen. The ball landed on the green and rolled toward the hole stopping a mere 6 inches from the cup! I was hooked! My first birdie!

Little did I know at the time, how elusive the birdie would continue to be for the rest of my life.

For the next 3 summers, Phil and I, and various other friends, would take a few clubs and ride our bikes to the par 3. Eventually, we ran our parents out of golf balls. We knew where to find them though. We developed a habit of sneaking into the water at hole 6 before every round. We’d swim around until we had found enough balls to play that day. We usually ended up putting some of them back into the same pond they had just come out of.

A quest defined

Now, I liked Phil. I was competitive though. No matter how hard I tried, or how much I cheated, I could not beat his score. It became my quest to beat Phil at a game of golf. It never happened. He wouldn’t win by much, but it was enough to drive me crazy!

Reunited

That was 1984. Phil and I had gone our separate ways after my family moved out of the neighborhood sometime later. I would never beat him in a game of golf.  In 2005, I returned to that course to introduce my son to the game. I’ll be damned if I didn’t hit the water on hole 6!

Fast forward to just a few seasons ago. I ran into Phil at an uninspiring social event in our hometown. After some small talk, the conversation turned to golf. Duh. We laughed until we almost cried when we remembered pulling the leeches off our legs after ball hunting in the pond all those years ago.

We decided we would play a round together the following weekend. Relive a little of our youth.

This is my chance!

Phil thought we were going to play golf together. What he didn’t know was that this was going to be the single most humiliating loss that he has ever suffered! I’m not a good golfer. I will find a way to win though, dammit! I’ve wanted this moment to happen since I was a child. The biggest golf event of my life was about to take place and I would be victorious! I would finally beat Phil at golf.

Phil’s late. Our tee time is at 7am. I start to think he’s chickened out. What an ass!

He shows up at 5 minutes to 7. He is forgiven.

I had already rented a cart. I drove and would keep score. We brought our own clubs this time as well. We even had golf balls that we had purchased legally. My first drive was as straight as always, which is not at all. I was right of the fairway. Phil went left of the fairway. We would tie the first par 4 with sixes for each of us. He’s going down!

Teeing up for hole number 9, I was four strokes ahead! Yes, I was counting. I had 45 to his 49.

The back nine

I’ve mentioned that I’m not a great golfer. A four-stroke lead at the 9th probably sounds pretty secure to most of you. Good for you. I’m the kind of golfer who can blow a four-stroke lead on a par 3 hole without even thinking about it. Phil parred hole 9, a par 3. I did not. At the turn we were tied at 52. Shit.

The lead changed hands several times on the back nine. Going into 18, I was leading by two strokes!

Hole 18 is a 490-yard, dogleg right, par 5, with a six-foot wide stream that passes 5 yards short of a postage stamp sized green. I have honors. I’ll put it in the trees first. Phil didn’t do much better. By my fourth shot I was still 150 yards from the pin. 150 yards is not a good distance for me. My 6 iron is too long and my 7 would land me in the stream guarding the green. I need a six and a half iron someday.

The WIN!

I decide to lay up with my 8 iron. A chip and few putts will give me an eight for the hole. Phil would need par to win. I consider pulling out my phone and ordering myself a green jacket from an online store! I’m going to beat Phil! At golf! This is my green jacket day!

As I line up my short chip to the green, I can barely think. In my head, the entire gallery is on its feet, cheering and yelling! “Congratulations, Deane!” “You’re the best, Deane!” “We believe in you, Deane!” “You’re way better than Phil, Deane!” They were relentless!

I can’t believe what is happening! This is a dream come true! 30-some years in the making. Phil missed the green. No way for him to win now. Life is worth living!

I putted out in two for a 7. Phil got a 7 as well. I won. I won! I won!!

Stay cool

I have to sit down. I need to stay cool. Phil still doesn’t know this was the game that would define him in my memory forever. Just relax.

“Let me buy you a beer and we’ll count up the scores.” I say. Calmly.

The scorecard

We head to the clubhouse, order a beverage, and I act like I’m counting. I already know exactly what the score is.

The card shows me winning 105 to 107. I slide it over to him. “Well, it looks like I just barely beat you.”

“Oh, that’s cool. What’s the score?” he says.

“It’s right there on the card, Phil” With just a hint of a smirk on my face.

“I can’t read it. What does it say?” says Phil, my now, ex-friend….

“I got up too late this morning. I didn’t have time to put in my contacts.”

Get On a Kick

I look at it as a chance to develop a new skill, enjoy something new, and dabble in things that may lead to true passions…..

Do you ever get on a kick?

We sure do. We love them. Get on a kick, meaning discover a new hobby or dedicate some substantial time to an endeavor can be very enriching. It can often lead to learning new things about yourself and sometimes making new friends.  I used to get on kicks with the thought that they were going to last forever, then I felt bad when they didn’t. I used to think when I lost interest that I was lazy or lacked stick-to-it-ness. Not so.

Kicks are the opportunity to really immerse yourself in something and take it for a test ride. If you don’t let yourself have these kicks you are robbing yourself of the opportunity to learn and grow… and have some fun! Some things just run their course and they were fun and now you are open for something new. Granted, we should be responsible and mindful in our choices, but I’m talking about harmless kicks that are affordable and add joy to your life.

I look at it as a chance to develop a new skill, enjoy something new, and dabble in things that may lead to true passions or just be with us for a season. These kicks bring us joy, give us something fun to try and talk about, and cultivate mindfulness because your brain is more in the moment with new things and less on auto pilot.

Get on a kick? What is one of newest kicks, you ask?

I was recently gifted a panini maker! A coworker had one that she used a couple of times and decided it was too bulky to keep for the amount that she used it. Her panini kick that ended was my gain!  I love to cook and invent flavor combinations. I especially love to try to make foods from other countries and/or recreate a meal I had/saw at a restaurant.

Here are the panini combos we came up with on our first try.

Ham, tart apple, cheddar

Italian – salami, ham, provolone, peperoni, chopped mixed olives, banana peppers

Italian Panini

French toast made with cinnamon swirl bread

French Toast

Then Deane took the reigns. The silly/fun level always goes up when Deane is in charge.

Next we had-

Spam™-inis! – made with sliced Spam™ scrambled eggs, cheese, and onions

Spam(tm)-ini

Weenie-inis! With wieners, cheese, and condiments

What would you make? Which combos would you experiment with?

Then there are kicks that come and go, but they come back again because they have gained a special place in your heart. Searching for and visiting Corny Roadside Attractions is one such kick. For some reason I have always enjoyed visiting big things, little things, and especially quirky things. Abandoned places too.

Muffler Man
What prompted this to be a thing?
South Dakota

We have gone both ways on our approach to Corny Roadside Attractions, sometimes they were the reason for the road trip and sometimes a serendipitous reward for going just a bit further. Always enjoyed, no matter the path that got us there.

We’d love to hear about your kicks and quirky finds!

Tell us on the Your Voice page.