:: 1 ::
So let’s talk about what EVERYONE is talking about: the dreaded Wuhan Virus aka Coronavirus. I am not panicked, but of course it’s easy for me to be cool about it because as far as I know we have zero cases in our county (and our county is bigger than some states, folks). The closest cases are over the mountains to the south or many hours to the north.
With that said, I told my children a couple days ago that this might be big. It might be the kind of thing they grow up and tell stories about when they are old. And so, I encouraged them to keep a journal. Even if it’s mostly about how they are bored because they can’t go to karate or choir (canceled), it’d still be an accurate record.
So far, only one of them has started. “I can’t believe we’re living through history,” she said. The secret is that we always are. We just don’t always feel it so palpably.
:: 2 ::
It’s normal to feel anxiety when the world seems all topsy-turvy. I don’t pretend to have a solution for clinical anxiety. That is a whole different ballgame. But for those of us who are experiencing a normal response to events — inactive ports and closed schools and businesses and plummeting stock markets are unsettling — I want to remind you of what Charlotte Mason said: our anxiety is contagious if we’re not careful. When we’re fretting, our children can catch it.
One thing she recommended when having trouble controlling your thoughts is to self-distract. Yes, it is good to preach the gospel to yourself, to pray and commend your soul and situation to God. But the will is worn down by constant effort. There is also a time to turn our minds to good things that are comforting to think about. Do you suddenly have extra time on your hands because all your events are cancelled? Here are some ideas:
- Start a new read aloud. This will get your mind off things and comfort your children at the same time.
- Read a book on your own. Sort of like the above, but by yourself.
- Remember your hobbies, or start a new one. Maybe you bought supplies and haven’t had time to use them since Christmas break? Do something with your hands.
- Play a game. Pandemic, if you have a sense of humor.
- Listen to a podcast that is not about health. Might I suggest Scholé Sisters? Ha. But seriously: if you haven’t been listening, there’s over 50 hours of fruitful distraction available there.
- Take a class. Study something. For example, it’s not too late to join the Shakespeare mentorship inside Sistership Premier that is led by Kelly Cumbee. She’ll hold your hand as you read through As You Like It together. And the live chats are online, so totally germ-free! I(f you have more time that that, you can also work your way through my Plutarch course at no extra cost.) Click here to join.
- Watch a fun movie. I recommend something that makes you laugh.
:: 3 ::
For the record, I think Trump is doing a great job managing all of this.
:: 4 ::
This month in 2019:
I wrote about lessons I learned from Plutarch for a while. This post is one of them. I taught Plutarch to my little class again yesterday and we found the Silent Majority in his Life of Nicias (though of course he didn’t call them that). It certainly pays to read and discover that most things aren’t new; they’re just iterations.
:: 5 ::
Podcast episode of the week:
- The Dan Bongino Show: Take a Stand Against Coronavirus Hysteria
- Yes, I’m aware I told you above to listen to a podcast about something unrelated. But still: I thought the Wuhan Virus segment was good.
:: 6 ::
This week’s links collection:
- How Government Red Tape Stymied Testing and Made the Coronavirus Epidemic Worse from Reason
- You weren’t surprised, were you? If in doubt, you can likely blame the government.
- Coronavirus: China’s first confirmed Covid-19 case traced back to November 17 from South China Morning Post
- “Of the first nine cases to be reported in November – four men and five women – none has been confirmed as being ‘patient zero”’. They were all aged between 39 and 79, but it is unknown how many were residents of Wuhan, the capital of Hubei and the epicentre of the outbreak.”
- Republicans embrace misogyny, child abuse and racism in Oklahoma’s House Bill 2790 from The Washington Times
- “You can’t get more conservative than Oklahoma. And with that as context, it’s fair to say that if something foolishly liberal is happening here, you might want to sit up and take notice.”
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