Thursday, March 19, 2020

Future Family History: Living through a Pandemic

Putting the pieces together
March, 2020
Dear future generations: I'm writing today about everyday life as the novel coronavirus spreads worldwide.

The public-health outlook at this moment is decidedly uncertain. Although my New England area has few confirmed cases, testing is not yet widely available here and therefore the pandemic is likely to be more widespread than we actually know right now.

Around the world, infections and deaths continue to increase, I'm sad to see. It's a worrisome time. As I wash, sanitize, clean, and repeat, I'm trying to follow the UK's WWII mantra: "Keep Calm and Carry On."

Social Distancing for Safety

Social distancing is not a phrase I'd heard in the past but now hubby and I have been doing just that. We've curtailed outside activities while public places and social events shut down, day by day. We're calling and/or videochatting and/or texting with friends and family to keep spirits up and be sure everyone is safe.

Last week, I was in my local public library several days in a row, borrowing books, puzzles, and DVDs. By the weekend, the library had closed its doors to protect both staff and the public. So did all other community places (senior centers, fitness centers, theaters, movies, schools/colleges). No concerts, no book clubs, no school theater productions, no classes, no nothing.

Local supermarkets have struggled to keep up with demand for cleaning supplies in particular and some foods too. Within a few days, these stores rebounded to stock their empty shelves, and some are offering early-morning shopping hours for people 60 and over.

My pantry is currently filled with shelf-stable foods in case hubby and I need to shelter in place. The fridge is full, and I removed my ice-cube trays to make room for actual food in the freezer.

Daily Life Has Changed Dramatically

Cleaning. Cleaning. Cleaning to keep ourselves and others safe. Also, hubby and I are planning meals more carefully, thinking about what has a shorter shelf life and what will be good for a longer period. Cooking and eating together is a time for conversation and listening to NPR.

Puzzles are a good diversion. At top, one of the three puzzles we have in the house and have been assembling little by little. Sis tells me she has a puzzle or two on hand, and is enjoying the challenge.

We watched a live Facebook concert by the Jolly Beggars to "celebrate" St. Patrick's Day, instead of attending their live concert (cancelled). It was very uplifting and we even sang along to "Charlie on the MTA." I bet lots of the 700 viewers did the same!

As a mystery lover, I have lots of printed books in the house and my local library gives me access to digital books. I bought, downloaded, and devoured Nathan Dylan Goodwin's latest genealogy mystery, "The Sterling Affair," which I recommend. It's his most complex to date, entertaining for anyone interested in genealogical methodology AND mystery.

Happily, with spring bursting out, we can enjoy buds and soon flowers as we take walks outside and greet friends and neighbors from a safe social distance. This is the new normal.

More Time for Genealogy

There's more time for genealogy than ever before. I've caught up on some Wood family branches that had not been fleshed out on my Ancestry trees (2c1R, 2c2R, and beyond). Also I've looked for newspaper articles to help a friend whose two daughters are suddenly interested in their ancestors!

This is an excellent opportunity for me to take the deep dive into DNA Painter, which requires a learning curve on my part. I've registered but not put enough effort into using this wonderful resource, which I find a bit intimidating. I do intend to learn more!

That's about it for today's future family history. I'll write updates at a later date, and keep at my regular genealogy blogging.

Please stay safe, readers! 

1 comment:

  1. Lots of good Ideas for using this downtime. Thankful for NPR too, the voice of sanity!