BC’s Tales of the Pacific | Tips for a productive quarantine

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SO, your workplace has shut down, the school is closed, and most recreational activities are not available. You’re looking at some serious down time. Don’t think of it as wasted days; instead, look at it as an opportunity to get some things done.

You can only argue over whether this is a conspiracy made up by toilet paper manufacturers for so long. With ol’ BC at your side, as long as you have internet access or a copy of the newspaper, we’ll get through this. So, refill your coffee, put off shaving one more day, and enjoy this list of things to do during quarantine.

Email old friends: Open your contacts and look for people you have not talked to in a long time. It’s a great time to get reacquainted. I recently started a group email chat with friends in five different countries. Some of them did not know each other before, but they do now.

Spend quality time with your favorite hobby: Woodworking, sewing, archery, whatever. Get back to the neglected hobby that you used to enjoy so much. Or get into a new hobby. I know a guy who inherited an entire wood shop from his grandfather, but he never had the time to develop his skills. I’ll bet he’s out in the shop now. Another friend of mine was given all the tools of leatherworking by a co-worker. Now is his chance to try his hand at it.

Read a book: My personal favorite, with so much time stuck in the house, it’s a great time to make a dent in that pile of books to be read. By pure coincidence, I am currently reading a book on the role of disease in history. I have a nice history of the Texas Rangers (law enforcers, not baseball team) and the Pacific novel “Melal” behind that. If you have read “Melal,” can you let me know what you thought of it?

Listen to an audio book: For those who struggle to sit down and read, you can still enjoy books through one of the many audio book websites. I personally like librivox because it’s free and they have thousands of titles to choose from, representing every genre. I recently listened to “Lord of the Flies” and Mark Twain’s “Life on the Mississippi.” Audio books are nice because you can listen to them while doing other things, like…

Clean: Not only is this a great time to disinfect your home and vehicle, it is a great time to do a deep cleaning. In the northern hemisphere, this time of year brings Spring Cleaning, when we pull out the furniture, scrub the carpets, clean the spaces behind the oven, and even defrost the freezer.

Fix something: If you are like me, there is a constant list of things that need to be fixed. I need to locate a water leak in the camper, replace a cracked glass in my lantern, fix the potholes in the driveway, and repair the broken number on the mailbox. I won’t bore you with the rest because you have your own list. Isn’t it strange how that list never gets down to zero?

Take an online course: When the economy gets moving again and we all go back to work, you can be a better employee and put yourself in line for a raise or promotion if you take this opportunity to get certified in something. Find an online course that interests you or can help you at work. Many can be completed in a day or two. Then you can boost your resume and be more valuable to your boss.

BC Cook, PhD taught history for over 20 years. He lived on Saipan and travels the Pacific but currently lives on the mainland U.S.

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