It’s official, our state is now on lockdown. It’s been less than an hour since it was announced and already people are freaking out. I don’t get it. Why are you freaking out? Did you not see this coming? Italy warned us. The governor warned us. It happened. There was no broadside.

Maybe, being an introvert, this is just not scary for me? Maybe, living an hour from any kind of “city” makes this easy for me? Maybe the fact that we are all still so incredibly connected thanks to phones, texts, and the internet makes this seem like a pretty simple demand of me?

I realize I am showing my privilege here. I recognize there are people who will not be drawing a paycheck, who will be worried about their next meal, their children’s next meal, that are worried about being in lockdown with an abuser. I get that. That is not my reality and I will not even pretend that it is.

I think there are many ways to help make this a wee bit easier and I’m going to lead with the one that will probably piss a lot of people off but may actually prevent a lot of insanity and panic:

One: Play Ostrich

Stick your head in the sand. Use your internet for nothing more than Netflix, Hulu, Disney+, AmazonPrimeVideo, etc. DO NOT PAY ATTENTION TO THE NEWS. Live in the bubble that is your home and don’t come out until August at the earliest…even then maybe just peak at a headline or two and then decide whether or not to go back into your forced hibernation…which I guess makes you a bear, not an ostrich.

Two: Stay Informed

The complete opposite of option one here folks. This requires that you be on multiple platforms and keep appraised of the situation and ONLY LOOK AT LEGITIMATE NEWS. Do you realize how many nefarious things are going on right now? Senators dumping stocks right before everything crashed! The Chairman of the NYSE is married to a senator and was using information to also dump stocks. Stay informed. Hold them accountable. Don’t lose sight of the political in the personal.

Three: Stay Social Via Internet

Do not become suicidal because you’re an extrovert and this is literally killing your will to live. You can still be super social (you weirdo, you). There’s FaceTime, Zoom, Google Chat (or something?), GoToMeeting, Skype, and probably lots of others I don’t know about because I’m really just not that cool. People are literally dating in all this. You can do it!

Four: Volunteer

Bear with me here, you do not have to break lockdown to help others. You can write letters (COVID-19 dies on paper in 24 hours) to:

You can volunteer to foster an animal in need. Lots of shelters are losing their volunteers right now. There are tons of critters that need a dedicated foster home. You can start by asking at your local Humane Society and they will most likely be able to direct you if they are not in need themselves.

These are my top suggestions but if you Google “how to volunteer without leaving home” you will be inundated with more options than you could possibly get through in one lockdown.

Five: Get Out

Yes, you’re not supposed to leave your home unless it’s to get groceries, fuel, or medical. That doesn’t mean you can’t supply your brain and your body with the outdoors they need to stay healthy. You must have at least one window in your home you can open for twenty minutes a day. Look out that window, even if you’re looking at a brick wall, smell that outside air. Obviously the further you can see out the better, it’s actually super important for your brain and eyes if you can focus on a distance for fifteen minutes a day. If you’re lucky enough to have a balcony or patio or backyard use them. This may seem small but it’s actually huge for your mental health.

Six: Humor and Beauty

Search for the humor and the beauty during all this, they exist, I promise (it’s helpful if you’re on Twitter). Humor is going to be very important in the coming months.

You got this America. You are not alone. The entire world is gonna have to be mad COVID strong, y’all. We are all in this together even when we’re apart. Stay connected with your friends and family. Sit in your scared moments together. Laugh in your happy moments together. Remember to be extra gentle with yourself and others, extra forgiving. We are all simultaneously fragile and stronger than we previously thought.

~~~That’s one hour~~~


It’s astounding to me that Italy has effectively shut down, no school, no businesses except groceries and pharmacies, shut down. I’ve been to Italy twice in my life, and been grateful for each visit. It’s a country I have a heartfelt kinship with although I don’t believe my DNA test revealed any Italian in my ancestry…hang on while I double check that. Whew, I wasn’t lying, no Italian. So, even though I’m unrelated to the people of the country, it’s a place where I’ve always felt at home and me, a person who can get lost in my own neighborhood, has never once gotten lost in Rome. It’s like a map of the city is written somewhere in my bones and becomes accessible the moment I arrive. Sigh.

My first trip to Italy I met a friend in Rome who did some touristy thing with me one day, and then we went our separate ways. The touristy things were cool, some would argue necessary, but my favorite parts of Rome were the things I bungled into: a piece of art on the outside of an apartment building that looked like a window with a woman peeking out, the cafe that made absolutely phenomenal coffee and beyond perfect cannoli, and my all time favorite, the crazy middle of nowhere restaurant that was practically empty when I arrived and where after the very best meal I have ever eaten in my life I thought I was going to be murdered or raped or sold a slave when the waiter/chef/owner insisted I follow him downstairs and where I was then shown an unbelievable train set of the entire city in perfect and minute detail.

I can’t imagine how many people had plans to travel to Italy in the next few months and now won’t get to go. I can’t imagine what will happen to the US when we eventually succumb to the same lock down, because it’s inevitable. The thing is, the entire world is going to be exposed to COVID-19, there’s no way to avoid it. We will all be exposed and we will all die or become immune, and then COVID-19 won’t be a problem for us until the next generation comes along, the generation that wasn’t alive when this first swept through and therefore isn’t immune. It won’t happen right away, but at some point, there will be enough new generations that haven’t been exposed that we’ll be primed for another outbreak. Unless of course a vaccine is developed before then.

What You Can Do

I was texting with my family about this today and the point I was trying to make is that we will all get it eventually, so there’s no sense worrying about getting it, you will, accept it. The point is that right now everyone is getting it all at once and there’s currently no way to treat all the cases erupting exponentially each day, so your best bet is to do all you can do for yourself and your family and your community to delay getting it as long as possible. Give the medical community a chance to figure out what we’re dealing with and how best to do so.

Take care of yourself:

  • exercise
  • eat well
  • sauna (if you can)
  • keep your immune system up
  • wash your hands
  • stay home as much as possible to avoid contracting the virus or spreading the virus (since you may already have it but not yet be symptomatic)
  • keep abreast of the truth by visiting only vetted sources of information, this is an excellent one: CDC Website on COVID-19

I was speaking with a friend today who, like my husband, has a weakened immune system, and we were saying how important it is for people without weakened immune systems to be aware that just because we can quickly and easily fight off an illness it doesn’t mean that others can. We have a responsibility to ourselves as well as to others not to go out when we’re sick expecting that others will recover as we do.

Mister Rogers’ mom said something beautiful like how even in the worst tragedies there are always helpers and to look for the helpers. I’d like to take this a step further and say look for the humor. Yes, this is a tragic turn of events, especially on the heels of all our political devastation recently, and still there is humor. There are brilliantly hilarious memes circulating and laughter is an important part of keeping your health and your sanity. Some of my favorite memes are the hand washing ones, like this from Imgur and DilligafDiva:

Labyrinth Hand Washing Meme Courtesy of Imgur and DilligafDiva
Labyrinth Hand Washing Meme Courtesy of Imgur and DilligafDiva

I wish you all the best of health now and always. Keep your chin up, and sense of humor intact.

~~~That’s one hour~~~