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Common Sense in These Days

I can almost see Papa raise his bushy, white eyebrows and hear him say in a quiet monotone, “Well, now, it’s time to use some common sense.”  Papa’s calm demeanor and patience carried our family through extremes: trials and happy events.  When one of his three daughters was a bit out of sorts, Papa was the voice of reason. 

            Bombarded with warnings and information about a contagious disease, Papa would’ve said, “Well, then, don’t get around people.  Do what you can to not get sick and make good use of time at home.”

            Like everyone, I’ve read suggested ways to avoid the coronavirus disease.  Did anyone else remember hearing all these before, many years ago?  At home?  At school?  Even in Sunday School class?

            Keep your hands to yourself.  Don’t pick your nose. Don’t put your fingers in your mouth.  Don’t rub your eyes.  Wash your hands, with soap!  Wash before you eat, after using the bathroom, after being outside, after being at a birthday party. Cover your mouth when you sneeze or cough. Use a tissue or put your mouth in your elbow, not your hand.  Aren’t these habits our parents taught us and we taught our children and teachers repeat daily?

            Because the time between catching the virus and showing symptoms of the disease is estimated between one and 14 days, it makes sense to stay away from people.  But we need groceries, so wash your hands before and after you shop.  Wipe down the grocery cart with an alcohol wipe and don’t touch anything you don’t have to touch.

             As Papa would have, I’m trying to see these days of staying home as opportunities. Time to finish a quilt.  Update picture albums.  Clean out my kitchen cabinets of things I haven’t used during the past three years since moving to this house.  Finish a few writing projects I started a long time ago.

            On Facebook, a friend listed movies for middle school age children to watch during Spring Break and I could certainly enjoy a few evenings watching some favorite movies.  And I’d really like a day to read all day.  I don’t have an excuse to not exercise because I can bend and twist and lift at home or go for a long walk outside.

            I understand the rational for cancelling sporting events and conferences and meetings, but I’m really missing March Madness.  Basketball is my favorite spectator sport and I looked forward all year to watching the games.  How disappointed the players must be and the many businesses that support the cancelled events are suffering.

            Daily life as we know it has changed, and, unfortunately, some of us will be sick.  I hate everything about the coronavirus.  The precautions.  The sickness.  The cancellations.  Its effect on the economy.             But as Papa would’ve suggested, I’m striving for common sense: trying to make decisions to live in a reasonable and safe way.  And I’m hoping for a silver lining – there must be one.

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