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And the people stayed home, like they are supposed to

Annie Lane, syndicated columnist

Dear Readers: We are living in unprecedented times. With many states imposing mandatory lockdowns and so many of our health care workers on the front lines, I wanted to offer a few thoughts.

First is a huge thank-you to those doctors, nurses and health care workers who are dealing with this pandemic as the whole country is trying to get it under control. Thank you to all of the citizens who have been following the government guidelines and staying home, practicing social distancing and washing hands.

If we all do our part and stay home, this will end much sooner than if we don’t listen to what the experts are saying.

I care so much about all of you and am praying everyone stays safe and healthy.

Here is a beautiful poem by Kitty O’ Meara, who has a lovely take on our dealing with, and eventual recovery from, the COVID-19 pandemic:

And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.

Here are some fun daily quarantine questions you can ask yourself:

1. What am I grateful for today?

2. Who am I checking in on and interacting with today?

3. What beauty or art and I creating or appreciating today?

4. How am I moving my body today for exercise?

5. Have I been outside in nature yet today?

6. What expectations of normal am I letting go of today, and what am I doing instead?

Dear Annie: Kids do the darnedest things, and so do millennials.

They grow up. They leave the nest and become independent. We consider that a parental job well done.

They gave us a general idea of the location of their new home. No direct address and no invitation to come and see their new home. We don’t understand this new distance. Would you be able to have the slightest explanation? — Hurting Mom and Dad

Dear Hurting Parents: While I congratulate you on giving your children wings to fly out on their own, I’m not sure this is a millennial thing. If you don’t understand this new distance from your children, why don’t you ask them about it? Have an open and honest conversation with them about your desire to see them. Be proactive and bring them a nice gift or something homemade to congratulate them on their new home.

Dear Annie: In your reply to “Worried Wife,” you left out the one thing that would give the wife hope and might be a powerful persuasion to get the husband-in-denial to the doctor. The most destructive and incurable diseases, including Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and multiple sclerosis all have treatments that can lessen the effects and progression of the disease and give a better quality of life.

Early diagnosis is critical in getting the most out of these treatments. We can’t choose what ends us, but we can choose how we live our lives until then. — Been There, Done That

Dear Been There, Done That: Thank you for this suggestion.

Editor’s note: “Ask Me Anything: A Year of Advice From Dear Annie” is out now! Annie Lane’s debut book — featuring favorite columns on love, friendship, family and etiquette — is available as a paperback and e-book. Visit http://www.creatorspublishing.com for more information. Send your questions for Annie Lane to dearannie@creators.com.

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