This year, COVID has made staying home a must for Americans. It has forced us to shelter in place and practice social distancing to protect ourselves as well as those around us while our country fights fiercely against the ravaging virus.
Like many dutiful, responsible families, we've been working and eating from the same table with the same view out the window, seeing the seasons change from early spring to summer, and now to autumn. Staying home has become our norm, while going out has turned into a defensive battle, armed with gloves, masks, and sometimes even face shields.
Who said that it would be easy to live through a historic pandemic when we cannot even see the imminent danger with our own eyes? Its microscopic size has given our lethal enemy a superior advantage to pounce on us when we least expect it. We can't win this war through bravery, but through intelligence and logic, and a trust in science.
Staying put with our immediate family is our safest bet right now and, truthfully, if we have to choose a place to hunker down, there could be no better choice than our own home. It doesn't matter whether it is small or large, rented or owned. Our home is our nest where we find comfort and strength. It is the place where we have accumulated so many of our memories and memorabilia. In normal times, we're usually on the go and seldom able to appreciate a lot of the valuables we've stored up.
With all the time we now have on our hands at home, we can liberate a lifetime of treasures from under a shroud of dust. Finding them can be like a treasure hunt, and we may be surprised by what we find. We might discover a note inside an old book, for instance, written many long years ago by someone dear to us. We finally get to read that note.
Furthermore, with our virtual world still intact, we can reach practically anyone around the world from the safe haven of our home. Our family and friends are only a phone call or a Facetime session away. As you give your elderly grandma or uncle a ring, don't forget to ask them about the life they have lived and the things they have done. It is never too late to start to record your family history, adding new riches to your lifetime collection.
There is so much we can do around our home to keep ourselves occupied and sane. As long as this pandemic lasts, we will never need to wear Dorothy's ruby slippers, click our heels together and say "There's no place like home." We're already there.
Reflections From The East Column:
By Qin Sun Stubis