As Dr. Amy Hicks said in BJU President Steve Pettit’s podcast episode, the novel coronavirus outbreak and the social distancing measures being taken to contain it is an opportunity to show love to our neighbors. We do so by taking steps to not spread the disease (self-isolation and quarantine) and by noticing the needs of those around us.
Breath Fresh Air
Working from home is fun for the first couple of days. You can wear comfy clothes (did someone say pajamas?), sleep in a little later, and not fight traffic on the way to the office. But after a little while, the walls start to close in, and you need an escape.
Get outside. Take a walk around your neighborhood. Weed the flower beds. Do that yard work you’ve been meaning to do but just haven’t had the time.
Take a hike. While many of South Carolina’s state parks have limited their hours, they are still available for socially distanced hikers. Lake Conestee Nature Preserve is also still open, and the staff have created maps for self-guided tours through the park on their website. Many nearby waterfalls are also open for hikers, though Dupont State Forest has closed due to COVID-19 precautions.
Grab your discs and fling them at Timmons Park’s 18-hole disc golf course. With concrete tees and three holes 300- to 400-feet long, the course is the home of the Upstate Disc Golf Club’s annual Upstate Classic tournament. Be forewarned, though; all Greenville city park playgrounds and public restrooms are closed. (Check this webpage for the latest updates on Greenville parks.)
Staying in one place is not just hard on adults. It’s hard on kids, too. Many businesses are finding innovative ways to help customers beat boredom at home.
Make a craft from Hollowed Earth Pottery. Owners and BJU grads Mark and Sarah Batory (‘05 and ‘04, respectively), are offering Clay to Go projects. Right now, they have three projects available: monster pots ($15), cardboard helmets ($20) and pinch pot mugs ($20). Kits are delivered via curbside pick-up, and instructions are provided through a link included in the packet.
Take a cooking class. Plate 108 is offering virtual cooking classes in addition to at-home baking activities. The at-home activities are available for either pickup or delivery and are $25 each. The virtual classes have three price tiers: class only for $10, class with ingredients for pickup for $25, and class with ingredients for delivery for $35.
Get creative with one of AR Workshop’s DIY To-Go Kits. Visit their website, select your kit and design, choose your paint and stain colors, and then go pick it up. Pick up times are 10–1 on Fridays and Saturdays.
Read a book from M. Judson Booksellers. The local bookstore is offering curbside pickup and shopping by appointment from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. during the coronavirus crisis. They have also partnered with Bookshop.org to sell books online and ship them directly to customers for free.
Learn something new. The Greenville County Library, though all physical locations are closed, has many resources available to help cardholders learn new skills including Lynda, a website that offers courses in writing, Photoshop, marketing and more. Download and streaming services are also available for cardholders. Hoopla, the most diverse of the four services, allows access to seven audiobooks, comics, ebooks, music, TV or movies each month.
Tour national parks and museums virtually. Google Arts and Culture has created virtual explorations of five national parks. Climb down into the fissure of a glacier in the Kenai Fjords in Alaska, or go inside a lava tube in the Hawaiian volcanoes. These famous museums also offer virtual tours or online exhibits:
- British Museum, London
- Guggenheim Museum, New York
- National Gallery of Art, Washington, D.C.
- Musée d’Orsay, Paris
- National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art, Seoul
- Rijksmuseum, Amsterdam
- Van Gogh Museum, Amsterdam
Watch opera online via the Metropolitan Opera. Though they have canceled performances through the end of the 2019–20 season, the Met will be streaming one encore performance a day from the Live in HD series beginning at 7:30 p.m. EDT. The on-demand videos will be available online and through the Met Opera on Demand streaming apps. Broadway shows are also available online via BroadwayHD, which is now offering a free 7-day trial.
Ride Walt Disney World/Land rides in virtual 3D on YouTube. These work best with a virtual reality headset, but can also be enjoyed on a traditional screen. Attractions include classics such as Thunder Mountain Railroad and Splash Mountain as well as newer rides like Slinky Dog Dash and The Incredicoaster.
This time of crisis is an opportunity to show love to our neighbor. Even though we can’t interact closely with others because of social distancing, we can still find ways to reach out and show we care.
Keep in contact with your circle of family and friends. Technology has allowed our society to become the most connected it has ever been. Use these tools to stay in touch with loved ones and to make yourself aware of their needs.
Meet the needs you can. If you know of someone who is quarantined to their house and can’t leave to get groceries, drop a box of essentials on their doorstep. If they have children, include some activities for them. Have cleaning supplies delivered to someone you know is unwell or homebound because of a weakened immune system. Be creative in meeting the little needs and loving those around you.