BY GUOWEI (GARY) LI
The COVID-19 virus has wreaked havoc on everyone’s expectations for 2020. Every day, national media is pushing pandemic-related news. Medical staff and experts across the world have rushed to the front line, followed by volunteers and donations from all walks of life. Everyone is working hard for a reprieve from the coronavirus.
The best that ordinary people can do for an outbreak is to stay indoors and not cause trouble for governments and others. Give me a phone, wifi and food, and I could stay in for a long time. But there is really such a condition, followed by three or four hours of playing mobile phone games, your neck begins to sour, eyes begin to grow tired; another three or four hours of playing, the phone is no longer fun.
Therefore, during the COVID-19 pandemic, reasonable daily activities can make you more positive. There are a number of ways people around us are organizing their daily lives during the COVID-19 virus epidemic in order to stay busy during stay-at-home orders.
After graduating in 2011 from Fort Hays State University, my cousin Bill Guo went to work as a network security maintenance worker for an internet company in San Jose, Calif. He has a 2-year-old daughter who attended preschool during the day before the COVID-19 outbreak.
But the outbreak was delayed, and the closure of kindergartens and schools meant he and his wife had to focus on three meals a day.
“California outbreaks were serious, due to the large supermarkets and the state of the lockout. It is difficult for us to buy [from local stores] to assist food and vegetables, especially the eggs and milk,” Guo said. “Because similar to Amazon, such electronic business slows down the frequency of delivery, so we have to download several apps to make and order because every order consisting of apps is in a standby state. In order to get fresh vegetables in time, I even grew bean sprouts at home.”
Since both his and his wife’s parents are in China, they will have to take turns taking care of their daughter during their stay at home.
“We take turns taking care of our daughter, and when my wife takes care of our daughter, I have to hurry to finish my work,” he said. “When I’m done with my work, I need to take over from my wife immediately to take care of my daughter, and she needs to get to work right away. I believe many people share my feeling that 2020 is particularly unrealistic, or even non-existent. It seems that we should jump directly from the end of 2019 to 2021, because this year’s special situation has disrupted everyone’s normal life and work. Hopefully this situation will end soon.”
Lilly Gu, from the city of Shanghai, China, moved to the United States with her husband in 2010. Her husband, Jack Zhang, is a wheat breeder at the Kansas State University Agricultural Research Center in Hays.
“We have been in America for 16 years. My family came to Hays in 2012. Hays is the fourth city we lived in in the United States,” Gu said. “Before the outbreak, I worked at Memorial Union in FHSU. Now I can’t work for a while, but happily, we can finally have lunch together. Because my husband used to take his lunch to finish the day’s work before he left home in the morning, and I had to eat lunch alone at home.”
Since the COVID-19 outbreak, Gu’s husband has started working from home. Colleagues at his studio take turns to go to work. He only has to go to the site once a week, so the couple have more time alone.
Gu is a devout Christian and enjoys having time in the mornings for her devotionals.
“I can get up slowly in the morning, spend about an hour or more enjoying breakfast, and then start to pray and read the news and local news and developments,” Gu said. “After breakfast, wash, gargle, at the same time will listen to my favorite pastor Joel Osteen. I will also listen to Chinese pastor Zhiming Yuan, Baili Zhang, Hongjie Yu’s preaching, and then I begin to clean up the room. When that’s done, it’s almost noon, and the morning passes quickly. After that, my family is making lunch and having lunch.”
Gu hasn’t been able to attend church due to places of worship being closed during the stay-at-home orders; however, members of her church in town have done their part to include those worshiping from home.
“Since we couldn’t meet during the outbreak, members of our church choir recorded the sermon online with the pastor over the weekend, so members of the church could watch it at home on Sunday,” Gu said.
After dinner, she also plays table tennis with her family in the basement for exercise.
In her spare time at home, Gu also has her own hobbies, such as growing plants and edible vegetables.
“I also have an eBay store, and it’s not as good as it used to be, but there are orders every day. So I deal with orders that come up every day,” Gu said. “People would buy new clothes before Easter because Easter is like the Chinese New Year. But after this particular COVID-19 virus came out this year, I couldn’t sell my beautiful dresses. But casual clothes are still bought.”
Gu uses her extra time at home to stay in touch with friends who might be lonely.
“It’s also a time to call friends, especially older people who need attention, to check on them to see what they need, to care about each other, to share information,” Gu said.
This year, 2020, is a war without smoke, quietly started. For the safety of the people of the country, stay at home and work at home if you can. While it may be an unusual lifestyle to adjust to, we are the first line of defense in the war on this pandemic.
“When Satan throws you a bad ball, remember to turn around and catch God’s good ball,” Gu wrote on her social media account. “Stay away from people and enjoy a slow life. Turn a crisis into a turning-point stepping stone.”