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Restaurant and school closures, combined with limits on gatherings, have forced people to get creative

JASON CHANEY - The closures and social distancing mandates have encouraged some people to head outside and get an early start on their garden.

Members of the Crook County community have watched their entertainment and socializing options dwindle in the past couple of weeks as social distancing and staying home as much as possible have become the new norm.

With kids out of school and a state-imposed mandate limiting gatherings to 25 people or less, people are left looking for ways to spend their time at home. So, the Central Oregonian reached out by Facebook to find out what local residents and valued readers are doing with their time.

Not surprisingly, the answers varied, though it appears that people are not sitting around twiddling their thumbs during the outbreak. They are staying active, and they are getting creative.

"I am working my way through a dusty old reading and film list," said Sean Coleman, "which has been left incomplete and stuck to a corkboard for over two years. Ten films, 10 books. Let's call it the enrichment challenge."

Candace Wene said she is "doing an art project with (her) husband who hasn't picked up an art brush since his momma died so many years ago."

Kimberly Faile is finding time to pursue indoor and outdoor activities with her loved ones.

"We're spending time doing lots of arts and crafts, family time, and when the weather cooperates," she said, "we'll be starting a garden and showing the kids how to grow their own food."

Kaycee Robinson is spending time with her family and giving attention to her cat, but said she is also taking this newfound time at home to finish writing a book that she started years ago.

Spring cleaning is apparently another popular option as winter has recently concluded, and so is the pursuit of household projects, whether inside or outdoors. Robin Sallee said she is cleaning her house and making a list of projects she wants to get done. Michelle Lavier added that she is keeping busy doing a lot of outdoor projects, and Katrina Standley is "hopefully starting on work in the yard if the weather stays nice."

Cindy Taverne plans to indulge in some personal hobbies and family time, but she is also planning on "cleaning and purging closets and planning my garden."

Then there are others who are either continuing to work or gearing up to educate their students who are suddenly out of the classrooms for the foreseeable future.

"My kids and I are on a schedule," said Kristianna McLean. "Academics are still very important, and if we don't want our kids to repeat a grade, we must keep up with the curriculum."

Debra Koehler said she already works from home and goes to school online.

"So, for now, I am carrying on," she said.

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