Yes, we can do this

Yes, we can do this

We are all getting a first-hand glimpse of our favorite newscaster’s kitchen as they report from home. The top half looks good and very professional, but we all know that the bottom half is wearing sweatpants.

How things have changed.

Dr. Anthony Fauci and Dr. Deborah Birx, formerly unheard of, are our new heroes. We hang on every word of the daily updates, hoping for good news.

While we are all sequestered in our homes, people are finally having time to clean out that closet and the garage.

My life has changed, as well. I plan my day and, even though staying at home, I manage to stay busy. I had four yards of compost delivered early on and spent three long days shoveling it into my gardens. The second day, my wheelbarrow collapsed and, after my neighbor put it back together for me, I continued shoveling. The third day I had run out of steam but told myself I was going to finish that day no matter what – which I did. It was a big job.

I found three N95 masks that I had purchased years ago for a painting project, and on my few trips to the grocery store I wore one, along with disposable gloves. The first time I did this, I felt a little silly but soldiered on, and am glad I did.

My neighbor, Linda Kachinsky, has a great system for keeping her family safe. She orders groceries online and picks them up, never having to leave her car. Once home, she unloads groceries at her back porch, where she has set up a table and supplies. After pulling on her gloves, she empties the bags, which she recycles on her next trip to the store. She wipes down everything before bringing it into her home, leaving non-perishables outside for three days.

Kachinsky plans her meals ahead and uses what she already has on hand. “I make substitutions and am more budget-conscious. It makes me a better shopper, and we are eating better than ever,” she said.

Many stores are staying open, and their employees continue to serve the public. For instance, Toni Gates works at the Costco depot in Sumner. The depot supplies Coscto products in five-state areas and is a busy place. Gates has noticed some changes.

“I have been in my position (as a receiver in the guard house) for 10 years, and as soon as early-March we noticed our numbers of inbound jumping through the roof,” she said.

November and December are the months when Costco ramps up for the holidays, but suddenly everyone was working overtime and extra days.

“Costco is constantly trying to adapt, and they have done everything they can to keep all employees working, even though some departments have closed,” Gates said.

Life has changed dramatically for political candidates, as well.

Julie Door, Democratic candidate for the state Senate, said when the crisis hit, running a campaign became difficult.

“The hard part is you lose that personal connection. Being able to have a conversation with someone at their door is important to me. It just isn’t the same on the phone,” she said.

Door, who is a member of the Puyallup City Council, said those duties come first. “People are scared and unsure, and my first priority is to the citizens of Puyallup right now,” she said.

One of my favorite photos is of a young man, wearing a mask, standing next to a bus. His elbow is bent and he is doing a fist pump to a young girl on the bus, who is doing the same fist pump back at him.

This photo says it all. I can just hear him saying “We can do this.” And we can.


Joan Cronk, who wrote this article, is a freelance writer and frequent contributor to Senior Scene.