A staycation is not the end of the world.

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Hi everyone! Welcome to spring break 2020. It was a two bomb day at our house. First came the realization that our elaborate vacation plans really are a bust and second, the announcement that schools are closed for the remainder of the year. Then came the added bonus of the unanswered question if any of the work my kid is doing right now is even going to count. Awesome! Yes! Let’s heap that on as well. This is when it is time to take a step back ( and inside) and reflect on what is actually that important.

Are you on a staycation right now? 1) CONGRATULATIONS! You got to get away from work and more exposures unlike health care workers that are either being asked to volunteer to stay or being essentially drafted. 2) GOOD! You should be! It’s just the right thing to do right now….and it could actually save lives in addition to your pocketbook. I get that not all states are restricting travel, but they really should. Honestly, we shouldn’t have to be told right now that travel is not a good idea. That is just good common sense. We have a virus circulating around right now that leaves some people asymptomatic and some people dead and we don’t know why or how to predict which person will be in which group. If you haven’t been paying attention up until now, it’s not too late to hop on board the corona train. No, I don’t mean to watch every single source, both unreliable and reliable a million times a day and get really freaked out. I still stand by what I said earlier. Check in once a day at most to keep yourself in the loop and spend the rest of the day doing what you are supposed to be doing. So, what are you supposed to be doing? STAYING HOME!…unless you absolutely have to go out. You are still allowed to go to the grocery store, the doctor, the gas station, the atm, or gosh forbid, the hospital. No, your grocery store outing is not a family outing. It should be one person= one cart per family. Your basic needs are still able to be met( except for toilet paper). I am not sure that I agree with the availability of curb side service and take out from restaurants at this point. I understand that the economic blow will be even greater without it, but I still feel like it is safer to cook or microwave at home. Remember how I said that some people are asymptomatic with this virus? Do you also remember learning that there is up to a 14 day incubation period? You just can’t guarantee that you food prep person is ok. That is just my opinion of course. We haven’t had any take out in our house for like a month I think. Don’t get me wrong, I crave a good pizza like any normal person, it’s just not worth risking my life over. I just heard on Good Morning America that some states are still having “questionable exemptions” to the shelter in place order. There are still some states still allowing trips to the hair salon. I am sorry, but I refuse to believe that having the perfect hair color or nails is an essential basic need. Personally, I am intrigued to find out what my real hair color is after all these years. I just said hello to my natural nails yesterday as well. Ok I am being facetious. I am seriously hating my yucky nails and my dirty grey corkscrew pubic hair that is trying to grow on my head now. However, even if it is emotionally killing me, it is not physically killing me so I need to suck it up.

Now, let’s get back to the staycation. Yes, I had a great week in New York planned with a performance by my kid and her band at the Statue of Liberty. I have no doubt it would have been fantastic. We were going to stay with my cousin in Connecticut so we were also going to kill the family gathering bird with the same stone. Awesome! Now it’s all gone but guess what? That one trip was not worth risking our lives for! Those relatives will still be there another time. My daughter still has two more years of high school to look forward to. It is disappointing but not life ending. Corona virus could be life ending. I know that I keep repeating myself, but it is so important to keep hitting home the message that these cancellations and restrictions and orders are not meant to piss you off or inconvenience you. They are meant to try to save lives! That’s about as big picture as you can get. I am pleased to say that I think my kids get it. There has been far less whining about missing activities and boyfriends. The depression is starting to get manageable-ish. My youngest has even taken it upon herself to try to educate her friends and try to help keep them from making foolish choices. She posted something pretty great today. Here, let me show you. This sign came from a New Jersey sheriff.

Sheriff's colorful Facebook sign urges people to stay home

It really drives the point home doesn’t it. In some people’s minds, New Jersey is taking things to the extremes lately. The police in Lakewood, NJ busted up an engagement party the other day and charged the adults with violation of the executive order and child endangerment. There have been reports of “corona parties” The governor of New Jersey has said, “We are not going to be shy about naming and shaming those who can’t get this message into their heads.” While one part of me applauds New Jersey’s “cajones”, the other part of me finds it incredibly distressing that these are the lengths we have to go to still in order for some people to understand how important social distancing is. It’s just what we have to do right now. The sooner we get on board with social distancing, the sooner our normal lives can resume. I mean, isn’t it weird that the thing we are protesting is the very thing that will ensure that there is nothing to protest in the future and we can do what we want? Just sayin.

So, long story short. New York vacation is out the window, so what to do instead? Go on a staycation! It’s cheaper, uses less gas, and there is no packing involved. There is no overwhelming set schedule that forces you to be busy from dusk to dawn every day that results in you being so exhausted at the end of vacation that you need a vacation from your vacation. Suddenly, I am faced with the startling realization that all of my lack of productivity excuses are GONE! VANISHED! FINITO! Oh crap! This means that I can’t use work as an excuse for not working out. I could actually sort some junk.( Although I can’t actually get rid of it right now because no one will come and pick it up..lol. Oh well, different target for another day right?) I could clean my garage. I can enjoy my deck. My dogs can get more walks in than the entire time we have had them so far. I could try dying my own hair..eek! I could read a book. We could force the kids to sit down each night and have dinner at the actual dining room table. We could play games. I would say that we could do a deep Spring cleaning, but…..I have already done that, you know, in the last few weeks. We can have movie marathons with the endless amount of streaming services that we pay for thinking that we are saving money on cable, but have no time to watch normally anyway. We could enjoy home-cooked meals every night and save on take out. I can forcibly make everybody participate in the family game nights I have been yearning for for years! I could join #playontheporch2020! OMG the possibilities are endless! See, we can really make this work and save the thousands of dollars that invariably get blown with travel vacations. Ok. This is not so bad, right? So far, I have walked 5 miles a day and cleaned everything in site as if this may be my last opportunity to do so..ever! But then, I realize that I have to slow down and pace myself…..I still have a week left. Before I go, I want to leave you with some inspiring staycation thoughts.

“Some people look for a beautiful place. Others make a place beautiful.”-Hazrat Inayat Khan

“Home should be an anchor, a port in a storm, a refuge, a happy place in which to dwell, a place where we are loved and where we can love.”-Marvin J. Ashton

“Home is where one starts from.”- T.S. Eliot

“The quieter you become, the more you are able to hear.”-Rumi

“Be happy in the moment, that’s enough. Each moment is all we need, not more.”-Mother Teresa

Have a great day folks.

Dr. Katz

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