Anne Endicott is a member of Pamplin Media Group's managing editors desk and a longtime journalist in Oregon.
Across Oregon, people are rolling up their sleeves and getting to work, helping one another through this pandemic.
They do it in big ways, and in small ways.
Businesses have retooled to manufacture protective masks for first responders and healthcare providers, often donating what they produce. Local nonprofits are maintaining a steady assembly line of volunteers filling food boxes for those who have suddenly found themselves unemployed. Lots of folks are checking in with their senior neighbors, ensuring they are safe and well supplied.
I made an essential mercy mission recently, when my semi-retired 80-year-old mentor and co-worker was running low on vodka.
During a time of uncertainty and fear, it's heart-warming and uplifting to see how humankind comes together in a crisis to take care of each other.
Despite being housebound, people are also discovering creative ways to generate entertainment and remain social with friends and loved ones.
Some of my friends established a standing virtual Happy Hour, connecting via video chat, toasting each other, solving the world's problems and commiserating over adult beverages.
One of my co-workers traded books they enjoyed back in their childhood with a friend down the street. The visual of this 30-something father reading old Nancy Drew mysteries to his 1-year-old daughter at bedtime makes me laugh.
How are you handling the governor's stay-at-home order?
I wish I could say things are going as smoothly at my place.
My house is populated by a retiree, our adult child and a frenzied journalist, both working from home, and an old dog. The only one non-plussed by this change in routine is the dog.
The boys and I viewed the governor's stay-at-home order as an opportunity to reconnect. Initially, we bonded over movies and TV shows we hadn't had time for pre-quarantine. We enjoyed home cooked meals together. We started playing card games. Jigsaw puzzle pieces littered the dining room table and we tackled a deep clean around the house as a team.
But what started out as friendly poker games for pretzels at the kitchen table, disintegrated to cut-throat competitions for whatever loose change was found on top of a dresser. Stakes were fueled by a lot of whiskey and Diet Coke.
The retiree, bored with moment-by-moment TV updates on the coronavirus, switched to even happier viewing with true crime stories. My son, once so generous with his streaming service passwords, has suddenly forgotten everything except his name. I've learned the only way to stifle the male sniveling is to keep feeding them.
So, how are you getting through these unusual and unprecedented times? Have members of your household all laid claims to separate areas of the house? Have you taken up a new hobby (no, plotting homicide isn't considered a "hobby"), read any good books? What are you doing to stay occupied, distracted and mentally positive?
We'd love to hear how you're coping and what you're doing to pass the time. Future editions of this column will spotlight the funny, helpful, sad and heartwarming things we're doing to spend the time while we wait for this pandemic to be over.
Send us an email with a description of a day in your life that we can share with other readers. Send a photo, if you'd like.
We promise not to pass judgement nor question your motives for survival.
Balancing a sense of normalcy, amid doom and gloom news reports and remaining on speaking terms with those around you, is proving to be a challenge while under quarantine. How are you managing?
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