"Staying At Home" - Breaking Routines

April 24, 2020

Posted by D. A. Burns

"Staying At Home" - Breaking Routines

How many times have you heard “unprecedented” or “in these uncertain times” recently? What began as phrases to describe scientific unknowns about a virus became part of an explanation for those struggling to make the best decisions they could, given those unknowns.

We’ve had to learn new ways to do a lot of things, from hand washing and social distancing to working at home, or not working at all. We’ve been frightened, angered, amused and perplexed when seeing empty store shelves and people shopping in protective gear.

Some businesses that could stay open have had to decide if the benefit they provide would outweigh any risk to their employees or customers. Even non-essential services are missed, and although we can get by without a restaurant meal or a haircut, we’ll be happier when they’re back.

I needed a change of scenery and maybe a nice drive to the coast, with a walk on the beach, would be a good way to get out without impacting others. Unfortunately, the ocean beach was closed.

This must be serious.

People are resilient though, and creative ways are being found to keep going and stay positive. These are a few of the things people have suggested to make the best of the current “stay at home” order:

Home Projects

Finally knock a few items off of the to-do list. From the looks of home center parking lots, this is a popular idea.


This is a great time to finally clean out the garage or organize the craft cabinet. Thrift shops aren’t accepting donations currently, but a free online ad can find a match between your unwanted stuff and someone that has a use for it.

This applies to your electronic storage as well. Looking through old photos might be both fun and combat the loneliness that some people feel.


Want a haircut when no hair salons are open? Try an online tutorial quarantine home haircut. Or, admit that looking like a renaissance fair character in a few weeks won’t be so bad.

Find Out What TV Watchers Are Talking About

Watching otherwise cringe-worthy cable shows is now acceptable, so go ahead and finish the series. You can always follow up with a documentary to reactivate your thought processes.

Read A Book

Everyone has that hefty book they’ve never found the time to read. Maybe even start sketching out a storyline of your own. We may not have time for an Oprah-worthy novel, but the pilot for a cringe-worthy cable series?


Always wanted to play music? Get started! After all, playing an instrument makes you smarter! Learn how brain changes from playing an instrument.

If you didn’t find an instrument when you cleaned out the clutter, you can go online to find and download a virtual instrument that can be played with your keyboard or phone. Once you feel ready to collaborate, find an online jam site to play with others.

Virtual Travel

Even without a virtual reality headset, these tours can be the next best thing to being there, and you can get a peek at places you’d like to see once the lockdowns are over.

If you get a headset, you can virtually throw up on an amusement park ride!

Get Together

Virtually, of course. Millions of people have been using Teams, Zoom and other group messaging platforms to have virtual family gatherings and parties. Imagine a costume party that no longer involves an embarrassing transit to the party venue. Be careful not to overserve yourself!

Video is also allowing people to visit relatives in nursing homes and even attend memorial and church services. In the news, one church pastor posted photos of church members in the pews to have a full house when he performed his online service.

Getting Out

Virtual tours are a fun substitute for travel, but at some point everyone feels a little cabin fever. Going for walks seems to be a favorite, although talking to your neighbors requires breaking the habit of getting too close.  Closed golf courses have become in-city trails and outdoor gear like family-sized canoes are hot sellers.

Staying Connected

It seems that we’re doing a better job of calling old friends and checking on elderly neighbors. We’re video chatting and keeping our physical distance. Websites have been set up to allow able people to help those most vulnerable get groceries and other needed items. We’re taking care of each other.

And, now that the details of touchless pizza delivery have been worked out, it’s obvious we’re going to be OK.

Here’s a sampling of what some of our service team members have been up to during the current “Stay At Home” Order.

I have started playing the drums again after taking a break for three years (our poor neighbors!).


I had to make several things with my son for school projects. A door stop for one. Seems like no big deal, but when you are not a craftsy type, it can test the skills. That was the easy one.

Next we had to build a Fort from Popsicle sticks. I YouTubed it and felt it wouldn’t be a big  deal.  3.5 days later, we finished it and my hair is a little thinner. If you are not naturally craftsy and don’t have all the best little tools, this can be an extreme challenge for even an adult … let alone a 4th grader. It’s probably worth a C grade at best. Between crooked/slanted walls, glue all over the place, a glue gun that was worthless and hard-to-cut popsicle sticks, I hope to never have to be challenged like that again.


After completing every odd job around the house, my son and I started building some raised garden beds and a fire pit for an outdoor hangout.

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I’ve been walking around most of the day in my robe and slippers. Now I know what it was like to be Hugh Hefner.


I've been finding things to cook for the family with random things we have in the pantry and renaming them with Covid-19 ___?___.  This helps us from going to the grocery store too much.

For example, I made chow mein with left over grilled chicken and instant ramen noodles and called it Covid-19 chicken chow mein. It's kind of fun getting creative in the kitchen. 

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I've been keeping busy during the “stay at home” order by reading, walking the dogs, cooking, and (my most time consuming 'hobby') getting my kids used to homeschooling! 


Stay safe and we hope to be of service soon.

                             … The D. A. Burns Service Team


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