Shanti Emerson: What to do about the blahs |

Shanti Emerson: What to do about the blahs

Shanti Emerson

So I awoke this morning about 5 and thought, “Oh no. Another boring day!” Usually I have so much going on, I have no time for ennui.

So I dragged myself to the kitchen, made some chai and started my morning marathon of favorite computer games. The problem was that there wasn’t a whole lot to do after that.

I read online that both gun and cannabis (and I suspect alcohol) sales have gone through the roof. Let’s hope that people choose one or the other — not both. Also learned that Amazon is so busy they need 100,000 more workers, have raised their hourly wages by $2, and that they cannot guarantee an order will be delivered in two days. I think Zoom, Hulu, Netflix, and Amazon Prime’s new memberships are increasing geometrically.

But what about our own local businesses? Many might never recover while the big internet boys thrive.

I wondered what my friends were doing in self-isolation and sent out an email asking them how they are surviving. I got a lot of info back and many are doing the same things to combat cabin fever and insanity.

Some miss the structure of weekly meetings, events and classes that make up the bulk of our days and nights. So now they have to create their our own structure.

Here are some comments by my friends:

“We are such social animals and need the connection. I also think about how long ago this crisis was predicted by indigenous people. It is ‘the shift’ we have been waiting for and getting ready for. So enjoy the adventure and know that we are changed forever and for the good. The golden age is here.”

“I’m rewriting a news release and redesigning a poster for an event that has been moved from a physical venue to a combination of electronic media — local TV, Zoom, Facebook, website — none of which I have mastered. Too much computer time; not enough exercise.”

“We are catching up on our garden, doing deep spring cleaning inside, and best of all — we are connecting daily with our four youngest grandkids via zoom and doing “Storytime with Grammy and Popper” — reading them children’s classic books and getting them to send us drawings they make of the stories they are hearing.  The kids love it, we love it, and the parents are grateful for a break.”

“Reading, cleaning, cooking, emailing and chatting with friends and trying to only watch the coronavirus reports as needed. Watching too much makes me either angry or depressed. At some point, I may begin to write or learn to knit.”

“This has got to be agonizing for extroverts. I hear gamers in San Francisco are ‘What, I get to stay home in my basement? Cool.’ For me, less time traveling, less time at events translates to more thinking, reading, writing time and time with family. In the short term, though, lots of stress trying to figure out how we get through as a business that provides a valuable service. Fun to see Michael Jordan play basketball in classic games, and a bit more of seeing films and shows I didn’t watch before via streaming.”

“I feel at a loss with this crisis as I do not know in what way I can be of service. At this time I feel the best thing I can do is to follow the precautions and in doing so, I can help prevent others from becoming ill. I am enrolled in online school, so I am keeping busy and have been unaffected thus far. My social calendar, of course has dropped off the map. It has been very nice having peace and quiet, I am really enjoying it. I have caught up on a craft project and doing yard and home stuff. I have been in touch with people I haven’t spoken with for a while. And it is a good time to spend 1 on 1 time with individuals. We are very fortunate here, that we can go out in nature without fear of virus.”

“Reading books that have accumulated for years, calling friends frequently and organizing cooking magazines from 1998.”

“Besides social distancing I have been reading, playing board games, cleaning out my closet, desk, etc., meeting with the family in our yards, calling to check in with my list of people from Unity, forwarding uplifting and funny things sent to us via email, taking soup to our 94-year-old neighbor and checking in with him every day, doing yard work, doing Qigong and Tai Chi, meditating, watching TV, cooking healthy meals, taking drives, and playing with the dog. Slowing down has been good, since I’m usually so busy.”

Next week is different from the last three in that I am set up to go to a number of virtual meetings thanks to the Zoom app. A folk dance leader even sent links to dances that I can do at home. The funny thing is that I’m not looking forward to all this as one might think. A bit of tension after all this relaxation. I’ll have to start wearing makeup again and I’ll worry about my hair and clothes. So maybe all this free time of walking and thinking and reading and napping isn’t so bad after all!

A prediction: nine months from now, there will be a whole spate of babies born, and they will be known as the Corona Kids.

Shanti Emerson is a Nevada County resident and a member of The Union Editorial Board. Her opinions are her own and do not necessarily reflect those of the board or its members. She can be reached at

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