Not discounting the seriousness of the current pandemic, it may actually afford some opportunities for positive reactions.


If you find yourself quarantined at home with your family, one diversion you might try is something called conversation. Older folks might remember it as a time when people gathered and discussed (not argued) about the weather, current events, what produced best in the garden last year, and many other non-combative subjects. It was a pleasant, relaxing exercise sometimes accompanied by tea and cookies.


Nowadays you’d have to ban electronics or it would be difficult to hold people’s interest.


And how about those antiquated things called books? When was the last time you actually read a book?


While I can’t recommend a lot of the current fiction offerings (if I see the words "erotic" or "serial killings" on the flyleaf, the book is quickly returned to the shelf), there are wonderful nonfiction writings about nature, the history of the world, the future of space exploration, and many others. A comfy chair, a good lamp, and a stool on which to prop your feet are all you need to lose yourself (and all the worries of the day) in a good book.


Involve the whole family. Drag out those old board games from the closet shelf, fix some snacks, and have a friendly competition with Scrabble or Pictionary. Rediscover what it means to be a family, get to know each other again.


I’ll bet you’ve missed out on a lot amid all the frantic hustle and bustle of daily life. Like writing letters. A distant elder relative, a grandparent or great aunt, or maybe an old friend from school would be thrilled to receive a note from you, something actually handwritten on paper and sent through the mail.


E-cards and texts and Facebook will never brighten days or bring tears to eyes like receiving actual mail and recognizing the handwriting of a loved one.


The current Maker Movement should give you some ideas too. Poke around in those catch-all junk drawers and investigate some of those boxes up on the shelf. You’re bound to come across something that will spark your imagination. Maybe the first spark in a long time.


Most of you may not remember the great polio scare of years past. Our town swimming pool was closed that summer and people were terrified of "catching it." But staying home wasn’t such a big deal.


We weren’t yet addicted to smart phones and tablets and sporting events and concerts. We were pretty much used to playing make-believe games in the yard, reading comic books, helping in the family garden or riding our bikes around and around the block, trying to learn to ride with no hands.


Hours were spent learning to do cartwheels, playing hopscotch or hide-and-seek, or some other games made up on the spur of the moment using whatever we had available. If you were lucky enough to have a grandma and grandpa available in your home, you got to hear stories about "the good old days" and were taught to embroider or crochet doilies.


When I reached 7th grade and was taught "Homemaking," I was the class star because one of the requirements was crocheting a doily and my grandma already had taught me that skill several years prior. I remember she just beamed with pride when I brought home my certificate with the big gold star.


So, if you are staying home because of the current pandemic, why not take advantage of the opportunity to re-introduce yourself to your family. You might just learn something new about them.


Since retiring from careers as an insurance executive and a senior management executive of a large multi-use entertainment venue, Emily Price keeps busy as an activist and community advocate for social and political causes.