April 11th, 2021


What Are You Going To Do?

Greg Crosby

By Greg Crosby

Published April 3, 2020

Staying home is making many people go stir crazy. Lots of people, it seems, really can't deal with the day and day confinement and I can certainly understand that.

What gets to me more than physically staying at home, is the idea that I am forced to do it. I can always find something to do in the house, but the fact that the government is REQUIRING me not to leave my home is what is so upsetting. Can you say, "authoritarianism?"

Much of what our local and state leaders are mandating is overreach and even unconstitutional, in my humble opinion. Sure, I get the distancing thing, I understand not gathering in large groups and protecting oneself from infection by washing hands, not touching your face, and using common sense when we venture out.

But closing golf courses, tennis courts, public parks and beaches? What's that about? Some places in our country are even threatening stiff fines, arrest and jail time to those who violate their mandatory orders.

Last week Los Angeles County Sherriff Alex Villanueva ordered the closure of all gun shops to the public, saying it was a "public safety" concern. I guess he never heard of the 2nd Amendment. Thankfully, due to a lawsuit by the NRA and other gun-rights groups and because the Department of Homeland Security has since recognized gun and ammunition dealers as "essential critical infrastructure workers" the sheriff was forced to abandon the order. Idiot.

I could devote the rest of this column to the reactionary, inequality, and stupidity of overreaching restrictions placed on people across the country, but I'll leave that to others, and in fact many social commentators have written on that very thing.

Instead, in the interest of those who are experiencing "cabin fever"Ó and anxiety over this situation, may I suggest a few remedies?

1. Read books. Hopefully you have some lying around somewhere. Find them and read them.

2. Play board games with your family. Monopoly, Scrabble, the Game of Life, Sorry, and Uno are a few good ones.

3. Teach your kids the things that they should know which will help them build character and make them better people. Take this opportunity to educate your children on the really important things that will shape their lives and future. The Ten Commandments, the importance of G od-based faith in the founding of our country, and the difference between good and evil are a few things that might fill up a week or two. Teach your kids good values, manners, civility, self-reliance, discipline, American history, patriotism, and citizenship. In short all the stuff they weren't getting in public school.

4. Do a jigsaw puzzle, if you have one. The Wall Street Journal did a story this week on how jigsaw puzzles have been selling out, so it might be tough finding one but if you do, itÕs a great way to pass the time.

5. Watch classic movies. Pick good old-fashioned pictures that don't have political agendas and allow you pure escapism and entertainment. Try musicals, film noir mysteries, screwball comedies, and westerns for a good start. For musicals it's hard to beat the Fred Astaire/Ginger Rogers pictures of the '30's. Great film noir of the '40's includes The Big Sleep, Murder My Sweet, and Double Indemnity but there are many dozens more. Hollywood made some wonderful films once upon a time, before social agendas and political correctness got in the way.

6. Spring-clean your house. Now you finally have the time to really clean under and behind the furniture. It may not sound like fun, but it will keep you busy. Vacuum the upholstery, wash the windows, clean your car, and throw out the junk you don't need.

7. Build something. Be creative. Plant a garden, build a tree house, paint a fence.

8. Pick up a telephone and TALK to friends and family. Don't do texting, really talk to them, you know with your mouth, and see how they're holding up and what's going on in their lives.

9. Cook for yourself. Make a meal you've never had before. Work with your spouse and let your kids help too.

10. And for your peace of mind, don't listen to the news that much, it will only depress you. Tune in once and awhile to keep yourself informed, but most of the time, just keep away from it.

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JWR contributor Greg Crosby, former creative head for Walt Disney publications, has written thousands of comics, hundreds of children's books, dozens of essays, and a letter to his congressman. He's been a JWR contributor since 1999.