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Stop Your Whining!

People are so entertaining! When I was a regular working stiff, everyone dreamed about having time off to just sit at home and do nothing. Some of the common desires were to catch up on reading, practice a musical instrument, fix up things around the house, etc. Now, everyone’s home watching Netflix, complaining about mind-numbing boredom. I understand some people are struggling because they lost their income, but this is a different topic. I’m only talking about the ‘being trapped at home” part.

The “lockdown” is supposed to be for two weeks, and may last longer, but people can still go to the grocery store for food and supplies. You may not be able to eat in a restaurant, but you can still pick up some tacos or sushi for dinner.

I might have a different perspective because I’ve been deployed on Navy ships for months at a time. It’s not much different. We had food, television, and for better or worse, a job to do. If we were at sea for a month or so, we’d have a barbecue up on the flight deck. We managed to stay busy, and even so, sometimes we’d get a little cabin fever. I read a LOT of books! That was my escape from boredom.

Think about folks who lived in cold climates back in the pioneer days. Whole families lived in a little, one-room cabin with the canned food and salted meat they stored earlier in the year. They huddled around their wood-burning stoves, and entertained each other with songs, and stories. Now THAT is a cause for cabin fever! I remember watching Pa Ingalls take down the fiddle once-in-a-while to the absolute joy of Ma, Mary, Laura, and Carrie. They were the happiest family in Walnut Grove.

These days, we have video games, cable television, televised concerts of nearly every band you know, podcasts, movies, and unlimited books online. You can talk face-to-face with anyone with a phone or a computer (which is just about everyone). Watching politics on YouTube is simultaneously nauseating and the best entertainment available. You can go outside, as long as you keep a reasonable distance from others. Some people even have the luxury of being able to continue to work from home and earn a paycheck.

The amount of privilege afforded nearly all Americans is mind boggling. Things are much the same here in Thailand, except there doesn’t seem to be any hoarding going on here. Movement is more restricted, and the situation for some people without work is tougher here. Many families in the provinces are supported by one person working in the city, and without that income (sometimes as little as $300 per month), the whole family suffers. I’m sure there are people in the U.S. in similar situations, but there are more resources available to them.

If you want to take it a step further, start that novel you always wanted to write. Learn something new by signing up for a class online through Masterclass, or Udemy, or one of those sites. Catch up with relatives and old friends through Messenger, or some other free phone/video application.

I’m pretty lazy when left to my own devices, and for some reason, I always end up staying awake all night and sleeping all day. However, even I have managed to pick up my guitar once in a while and find a lesson on YouTube. I’ve done some cooking, and taken care of some cleaning and maintenance I’ve neglected. I’ve even managed to write posts for this silly blog a couple of times.

Please take this in the tongue-in-cheek tone it was intended. I understand people are struggling, and we all need to take care of each other, and follow the rules - if not for you, for your more-susceptible family members. There’s nothing good about a world-wide pandemic, but all we can do is make the best of it, laugh occasionally, and try your best to make the most of your situation. Hang in there, because soon, all this will just be a memory.

Stay safe, and wash your hands!