Online shopping is a different type of coronavirus distraction

by Gisele Rucker

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Lost are the days when sorting through a clothes rack in a discount store might offer some distraction from daily irritations. Now online shopping websites offer retail therapy. That is if the retailer’s site works properly. A certain major grocery chain’s on-line site drove me nuts the other night, when it crashed incessantly and did not accept my valid credit card. Customer services offered appropriate apologies citing overloaded demand. I just hope my groceries will eventually get delivered.

This is the time to stay inside, maybe sort through old recipes, get down to polishing yellowed silverware, or ring up everybody you know to check in. Hello?

If you are in good shape, you might consider taking a long walk. Today I went out, going down the elevator and out the building, making sure to push buttons and doors with gloved hands. As I was walking, I saw a crew of teenagers hanging out on the curb, not standing a meter apart as dictated for social distancing, but bunched together, laughing, hugging. The few adults walking the streets steered far away from each other. A neighbor did wave across the road and I found that gesture very reassuring. No chat was necessary.

For those who don’t have a partner or pet to talk to, it must be extremely hard. Thank goodness for video chats like Skype, Face time or WhatsApp to visit with family and friends. Today I saw my grandkids in Toronto having some art fun. My son showed me the schedule they’ve created for the kids and workbooks to keep up with schoolwork. If you are reading this post, you are obviously on a device so consider installing these video chat apps. As for other screens, watch some news but not too much if it causes you angst, but do avail yourself of free online courses, e-books you can get through your libraries, exercise videos on YouTube, etc. We’re big fans of old movies and tune into the “TCM” channel, but you cannot be on a screen all day long.

Regarding other hands-on activities, take some time off from cleaning and cooking. I told my partner to write up all his funny anecdotes from his professional days as a teacher and a lawyer, and from his 50-year “career” with the Dora Wasserman Yiddish Theatre. My abstract painting classes at the Visual Arts Centre were suspended due to the coronavirus, but my amazing teacher, Lorna Mulligan, sent all her students a lesson plan, which I will follow. How dedicated is that?

Now in my apartment, apart, I encourage all to find fun diversions which will provide relief. Stay safe, but stay busy.

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