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Seven ideas to help you make the most of this time
Harris Blackwood
Harris Blackwood

When we have ice or snow, we all flock to the grocery store for bread and milk. Even if the forecast is off a bit, we usually have sleet or something that is a brush with bad weather.

The coronavirus has been called an invisible enemy. There is no sinister looking character to knock on your door and infect you with it. Also, this is lasting much longer than most weather events.

The fast pace of entertainment these days has resulted in an outbreak of another kind: impatience. Nothing on TV grabs our attention, especially those who are younger. We want to get out and do something. This is especially true on a day when the sky is a cloudless blue and the sun is shining.

What follows is a top of mind list that I compiled of things that might help the time go by a little faster. It is not perfect and I would love to hear your ideas, as well.

Journaling: Find a notebook or just some paper and write down your thoughts during these days. Don’t sugarcoat it, tell it like it is. You might also write down comparisons to things that happened when you were a child, such as bringing kids together who had chickenpox so that everyone would get them and get it over with. Talk about remedies you were given, like castor oil, Vick’s Vaporub or some over-the-counter cough formula that was heavy on alcohol. Perhaps you had an old family recipe for whiskey, honey and lemon juice to cure you.

I had a neighbor who would buy me a tin of King Leo peppermint sticks whenever I had a cold. I thought it was great tasting medicine.

Read: A friend of mine has embarked on a journey to read the Bible through during the quarantine. There are all sorts of guides online to direct you from Old to New Testament. Read a classic, like “To Kill A Mockingbird,” “Little Women” or “The Great Gatsby.” Somewhere, you may have a book you bought at a yard sale and haven’t opened. Some of the stores that are open may have a book section.

A little brain exercise: Here’s an idea, subscribe to this newspaper and spend a little time doing crossword puzzles or word games. If not, you can buy a book of them at the store. Keeping your mind in gear is a good thing to do during times like these.

Walk around your yard: If you fear getting out, walk around the yard. Enjoy a good breath of fresh air. If you have a green thumb, cut a pretty bloom from a plant and take it inside.

Write letters: One of the things they know is that the virus does not carry well on porous things like paper. Write a friend or someone in your family. I don’t care if they live next door, there is nothing like seeing the fond thoughts of someone on a written page. Write a letter to your grandchildren with instructions not to open it until you’re gone.

Play games: If you have multiple people in the house, dust off a board game like Monopoly, Clue or Life. Sometimes, they can go on for hours and you might just find yourselves talking to one another.

Find a classic movie on TV: Watching newscast after newscast about the virus will bog you down. Some TV channels carry great movies like “Breakfast at Tiffany’s,” “The African Queen” or any number of John Wayne films. Movies with real plots and storylines will amaze you.

Well, there’s my short list of ideas. Keep your chin up and your mind engaged.

Harris Blackwood is a Gainesville resident whose columns appear on the Sunday Life page and on