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Watching from home

Many of the television shows are being done as “at home editions.” We are seeing the interior of the stars’ homes as they are interviewing and interacting with others. What we are seeing is the part of their home that they want us to see.

Television newscasters are also doing their reports from at home or distancing in their studio. The newscast we watch has reporters coming from different parts of the studio. They are appropriately distancing – the new words for what is happening. Weather reports are being done from the studio’s patio area. It is different that is for sure. One ad has some lawyers appropriately distancing during the commercial.

For me it is always an “at home edition.” I do all of my work from home except if I write with pen and paper at one of my volunteer stations during my free time.

Part of the reason that I volunteer is to get out of the house and to see and interact with people. Writing is an isolating experience. I need to be able to think and create and it must be done on my own.

Volunteering has provided this opportunity. While at Warren General Hospital I was at the desk in the outpatient area. I saw many people there and could talk with them. At the rate things are going I do not foresee getting back to that at this point.

I am still volunteering for hospice — at least I am as long as I can get my clearances. One of them is proving quite difficult to get. I think the state is swamped at this time with regulations.

When I go to hospice, I never know what I will be doing. I do whatever the client or the nurse needs me to do. Sometimes I cook. Sometimes I feed. Sometimes I read. Sometimes I just keep a person company.

Each weekend I sit down at my computer to put together my column. My husband knows that I need time to do this and gives it to me.

How do I determine what my column will be about? Sometimes it comes from what I read. Sometimes it comes from what I hear.

Sometimes it comes from a discussion I had with someone who jogged my memory. This being said, I have to say here that I do not watch much network news any more. I want news– not opinions or the spin the reporter puts on it. I am tired of hearing about the new cases of COVID-19. I am tired of hearing about the deaths. Not much is being said about those who have survived.

I do not understand the importance of the testing either. People test negative one day and turn up having it on another. Why do we need to know this? How does it help us control the disease?

Recently I told someone that I am a thinker and that is what gets me into trouble. I analyze the situation and act accordingly. No one seems to know at this point what causes some people to suffer with the disease while others do not even know that they have it.

I know personally that people do not quarantine when they have been out of state on vacation. What have they brought home with them? They immediately go back to work or begin to interact with people. That is a concern for me.

Also, visitors from other states come into this area for family functions. Although our area has been fortunate so far, I see the possibility of it spreading here because of the interaction.

Now the authorities tell us if we wear masks for the next eight weeks this will be gone! OK. Mask up everyone so we can prove if they are right or wrong! School can start. Sports can resume. Life can go back to normal.

I do not consider the way we are living now as normal by any stretch of the imagination. I have always lived with germs. There are germs everywhere. They are as much a part of our lives as the flu. While I keep my house as clean as possible, I would not say I was a germaphobe. I taught school for nearly thirty years and who knows what I came in contact with during my tenure there.

My last years were spent in kindergarten. The parents wanted me to have hand sanitizer available. I told them I just needed bars of soap for the children to wash their hands after using the bathroom and before snack time.

I was proven right. The children loved to wash their hands and did so often. We had no outbreaks of any infectious diseases.

I am sure after all of this is over there will some issues with those who constantly used hand sanitizer. People are breaking out and besides all of those chemicals cannot be good for any of us.

The sense of touch is an important one for all of us. It is said that babies respond to touch and the voice as some of their first things. What is happening to all of the “old” people who are living in facilities with little stimulation from relatives and friends?

I long to shake hands and hug again. That is human nature to me. My column will continue to be produced from “at home,” but the networks can go back to live audiences and people working at the same table.

I am willing to mask up for eight weeks to get rid of this. How about you?

Ann Swanson writes from her home in Russell, Pa. Contact at hickoryheights1@verizon.net.

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