Time on our gloved hands

Baldwyn-area residents adapting to new normal of staying at home, schooling at home

Caleb Harper enjoyed some outside art using blue painter’s tape and sidewalk chalk. Photo courtesy of Jennifer Harper

BALDWYN – The coronavirus pandemic has changed life as we know it, at least for the time being. 

Many stores not essential for living are closed. Hospitals, doctor offices, pharmacies, banks and stores which sell groceries are considered essential, so they remain open. Some restaurants are closed while others are providing to-go orders and curb service. There are very few, if any, in our area that have indoor dining. The government suggests no more than 10 people inside a restaurant at a time and that includes employees. 

Schools are closed. Students are receiving their homework and schoolwork on-line while social distancing at home. Teachers are providing lesson plans and using online sites which allow them to be live and interact with their students. Non-essential employees are asked to stay at home in order to control the spread of the virus. Our world has completely gone from going and coming constantly to being at almost a standstill.

Families are actually at home together now. Many are putting forth an effort to communicate and spend more time with each other. To combat the boredom, residents have come together by sharing fun activities through social media for families to do at home. 

Life goes on . . . differently

As previously stated, teachers are using on-line tool Zoom to conduct meetings with their peers and to teach their students. Many people are taking this opportunity to spring clean. Closets and pantries are being cleaned and organized. Garages and storage buildings are being cleaned and organized. One local resident, Christy Collins, has cleaned all of her house, including cleaning every window. “One of my favorite things is having a clean house. I am loving it!” Collins said.

Kayla Poe and her family are staying with her parents, Dale and Brenda Harrison. Poe’s son, Harrison, has been enjoying playing in mud puddles and riding around the Carrollville neighborhood on his little tractor. Another family in the Carrollville neighborhood enjoyed playing in the mud as well. Sidon and Lennox Carpenter were muddy from head to toe but smiling big for their mother, Amanda Carpenter as she took a picture of her “mud wrestlers”.

Local photographers, Katie Roberts and Kim Gray, are editing clients’ photos, reading and keeping busy with their families. Jigsaw puzzles seem to be a popular way Marcia Garrett and her family, along with others, are spending their time. Jennifer Harper created outside artwork on the side of an outdoor wooden wall using blue painters’ tape and sidewalk chalk for her son, Caleb to create his masterpiece. The rain did wash it away but not before Harper snapped a picture of it.

Jonathan Harper has been learning to play chess. Photo courtesy of Melinda Harper

Pam McBrayer Adams has been using her social distancing time to crochet a baby blanket for her great niece, Ruby Jean McBrayer, who should arrive in May. Yard work, trimming trees and planting flowers are keeping many area families busy. Rosalynn Clark has started on her garden by planting seeds into pots to transfer to her garden when they are ready. The plants already have stems and tiny leaves sprouting. Vickie Gentry’s nephew from Winterhaven, Fla., sent her a great photo of him multitasking; working from home and being a fun dad.

Melinda Harper’s teens are spending their time playing basketball, Xbox, Dogopoly, and spades. She has even taught them how to play chess. Quite a few grandmothers are communicating with their grandchildren by FaceTime, SnapChat or by downloading apps such as Houseparty.

Churches are holding their Sunday and Wednesday services through multimedia sites such as FaceBook and YouTube. One local church, Westside Baptist, located at 925 Ripley Road in Baldwyn, came up with a novel idea to have a drive-in service. Members and visitors parked their cars in front of the church facing the entrance, rolled down their windows and joined in singing hymns together. The pastor, Keith Phillips, lead the service and preached from the front porch entryway. More people than ever attended church by watching live services online last Sunday morning. Some of the pastors held online services from home while others went to their church and used multimedia to spread the gospel.

This pandemic has been an eye-opener for not only Baldwyn residents but also for people all over the world. More people are staying home to help prevent the virus from spreading. Staying at home doesn’t mean they don’t take walks, enjoy being out in nature or running to the grocery stores, pharmacies and banks. But the majority of people are doing their best to social distance themselves to prevent contact with others. There may be people walking around thinking their allergies are acting up when in reality they may be a carrier of the coronavirus. People need to wash their hands with soap for at least twenty seconds and often, especially when touching things outside of their own home or yard.  Wear gloves and a mask over their mouth and nose, wear glasses and avoid close contact with others when you have to go somewhere. This mutant virus is a serious monster that does not discriminate. It will choose anyone it can to cause respiratory distress or even death.

With all the danger the pandemic has caused, it has also caused something good. Families are bonding and spending time talking, laughing, playing games together, preparing meals together, working together, worshipping and praying together. The virus has caused all of us to slow down, spend quality time with one another and experience peace and quiet in our own environment. One year ago, none of us could have imagined not being able to go to work even though we are able, not going shopping at malls or eating in restaurants. This downtime may be hard on many emotionally and financially but one thing we all have to remember: We are all in it together.