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Pandemic panic can work for you

BY Will Nicholls Mar 27, 2020

Is that line at the local store a little long? A few fake racking coughs will see you at the front of it in no time! Just joking.

But seriously, the panic is evident everywhere. Visiting a Provigo in Montreal, I saw empty shelves everywhere. Store employees were telling select customers when the next truck would be arriving with replacements.

The Cabbage Patch Kid of 2020 is toilet paper. You can’t find a roll anywhere. I guess that when you are self-isolating (another word for quarantine, if you ask me) you don’t want to have to use something rougher or God forbid, your hand, when dropping a duke.

Many businesses, schools, daycares, entities and governments have either closed or are working with a skeleton staff.

Employees are being sent home for two weeks to socially distance themselves from friends, loved ones and co-workers. From personal experience this is a difficult thing to do as humans are by nature social animals. Plus, staring at the same walls day after day gives one a sense of what prison is like and a whole new understanding of what cabin fever means.

Do yourself a favour and go outside. Get a little fresh air. If you have a bush camp or cabin it might be a good time to take the family for a hunt or a little ice fishing.

Got a shed out back? Use it to build something for the family or the house. Do the repairs you’ve been putting off because you’ve been too busy. That car, truck, van or SUV could use a good cleaning. The house could probably use one, and there might be a few repairs to do as well.

What about family? Is there something you’ve always wanted to pass on to the kids like stories of their grandparents or great-grandparents? Maybe even something about yourself you’ve never shared. Perfect time as you’ve got plenty of it.

How about that internet? Is there a friend you’ve lost touch with? You’ve got the time to track them down and reach out. Is there a family member who is in another place? Perfect time to Skype or FaceTime them and see how they are doing.

How long has that book be sitting around waiting for you? Or maybe there is something you always wanted to know or read? Well, the internet awaits.

Remember the old video game you enjoyed so much but then got bored with? Look for it and play it again. Dust off the games that don’t need electricity. Monopoly will help pass a few hours.

In the end, we might find that absence makes the heart grow stronger… at least for a while.

After all, we might as well make the panic work for us rather than going stir crazy and counting our rolls of TP.

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Will Nicholls is a Cree from Mistissini. He started his career off in radio and is still one of the youngest radio DJ’s in Canadian history, having a regular show on CFS Moosonee at the age of 12. Will was one of the founding members of the Nation, and has been its only Editor-in-Chief.