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Just taking things one day at a time
NO NEED TO BE COOPED UP just because the COVID-19 pandemic has the world on a seeming lockdown. The Department of Health Services continues to emphasize that it is perfectly okay, and even encouraged, to get outside and get some fresh air and exercise. Citizens are urged not to congregate when enjoying the outdoors, however.

VIOLA - I can’t help but wonder about how you are doing. 

How does it feel to be socially distancing, sheltering in place, and self-isolating? Are you taking precautions to help stop the spread of COVID-19 seriously or are you playing Russian roulette with your family, friends and neighbors?

Are you working from home? Or are you on the front lines, working in health care or at a business that is still open? Are you suddenly homeschooling your children?

Is your refrigerator full? Are the dogs feeling lucky you’re home or are the cats wishing you’d go away for a while? Do you have a pot of soup simmering on the stove? Are the children sitting around the table putting together a puzzle? 

Have you checked on an elderly neighbor or a family member? Have you set a dozen of your chickens’ eggs on someone’s doorstep? Maybe repotted your aloe or spider plant and delivered it to someone you know is scared about making next month’s mortgage payment? Did you take time today to pen a handwritten note of encouragement to someone who needs it?

Have you had to sit down with pencil and paper to work out what not earning an income will mean to you? Have you broken down and cried for what is happening, what may come, and how this will change the economy—and your life—ever after?

Are you taking time every day to find something to be thankful for? Have you made your pandemic to-do list and, if so, are you taking delight in crossing off items you’ve being meaning to get to for a long time?

Are you managing a chronic condition, an acute disease, or a mental health concern right now? Have you called your doctor to get answers about how COVID-19 might interact with your condition and get your prescriptions extended? 

If you’re well, have you called someone with a health concern to check in on them? If you listen, you’ll find a way to help—maybe the phone call itself will be help enough. 

Are family members with health challenges temporarily staying with you? Are you caring for a loved one? Maybe you’ve opened your doors to a close friend or two, or to family members whom you can comfort during this time of uncertainty.

What are you doing differently? Are you starting your day with meditation, the sun salutation, or a poem read out loud to your family or dogs?

Have you buckled in for the duration with a few good books, your favorite movies, and the Scrabble board?

Have you been able to create something new, something that will add beauty to your home or to you? Have you gotten out your sketch pad, paints, scissors and glue, your pencil and notebook, or your mop and dust rag?

Are you planning a bigger garden? Adding more ducks or chickens to your flock? Or stirring up the sap from your maple trees knowing you’ll need more this year for sharing?

Have you gone outside yet today, in your own backyard or on your porch for a bit of sunshine, or for a soothing hike in the woods, or even just a walk to get the mail?

Have you noticed the skunk cabbage poking out its purple head? Or the yellow of daffodils waving hello? Have the snow drops dotted your yard with their lovely grace? Or maybe you’ve hiked to that one secret spot where every spring a purple pasqueflower is sure to grow.

Have you breathed in, taken a really deep, belly-uplifting breath of peace and released it slowly through your lips with love and forgiveness?

If not, try it. And then do it again and again. We can all pull together and do our part, while watching out for our community and our neighbors. And while we do, the earth can begin to heal and we can, too.