I need to go to the store to buy dental floss.
Three weeks ago, in the era I will call B.C.-19, this type of errand was an afterthought. Now it requires careful consideration and strategy.
What store is most likely to have the floss in stock? Is it open? When is the ideal time to go when I will encounter the fewest number of people? What else do I need at that store that I could get at the same time? When I go, should I wear gloves? Should I be wearing a mask?
We don’t have any masks at our house, so that last question is just a random thought that floats in and out of my consciousness like a ghost from the land of Unknown Future Consequences. I want a mask; there are many others who need one more than me. But who knows? By next week I may be stapling rubber bands to paper towels to wear. Things are changing fast.
A pandemic spreads like a fire, and it is easy to be sucked into the spectacle of alarming statistics and tales of calamity. If you choose to dwell on fear and negativity, those are contagious, too; there’s a term for it, “social contagion.” Norma Staaf writes about that in a column this week offering a perspective on the situation from rural northern Idaho.
Like many of you, I’m working from home with constant interruptions from my “coworkers” (i.e. children). Area teachers come to the rescue in this issue with advice for parents on relaxing expectations and looking for opportunities to teach life lessons during this uncertain time.
Many of us have discovered that getting out into nature is one of the best things we can do to ground and heal our psyches. As more people take to area trails, encounters between hikers and horse riders are on the rise. Horses have the right-of-way for good reason, and a Lewiston horse expert explains what to do if you encounter a rider while out and about.
If using a can opener is your only kitchen skill, you’ll want to check out this week’s column by Keely Garrity, owner of Ampersand Oil and Vinegar Taphouse. It provides tips for upping your kitchen game and going gourmet with a few simple ingredients.
Those are a few highlights from this week’s edition. Find more inside and keep looking for the silver linings as our lives take on new and different shapes.