With all Ohioans and other Americans across the country stuck inside due to the COVID-19 outbreak, The Times-Gazette asked readers to tell us about what they’re doing to occupy their time during the shelter in place order, or any other memories from times when they were unable to leave their homes.
Below are stories that were submitted through The Times-Gazette’s Facebook page. Responses may be lightly edited to fit news formats.
Angie Stethem-Terrell — Nothing has changed for me, other than my husband is home on my days off work lol [texting acronym that stands for “laughing out loud”].
Sheila Armentrout, Washington C.H. — So far, I have stripped the old wax off the hardwood floors on the lower level of our home and applied a new coat of wax. Next, the upstairs with the same.
Karen Tipton — Spring cleaning house and yard work — same as every spring. The only thing different for us is FaceTiming grandbabies more.
Imajean Wolf, Greenville, — Spring cleaning, some yard work. Some painting with my son.
Gail Johns Bargerstock, Ontario, N.Y. — I am making face masks for our daughter, a nurse at a VA hospital in upstate New York.
Debbi Mayer Ellis, Hillsboro — I grew up in Hillsboro and went to college at Edgecliff/Xavier in Cincinnati. March of my senior year, I contracted the mumps and had to be quarantined in my dorm room for two and a half weeks. This was before e-learning, and my professors would leave my assignments for me. I had to telephone them the answers by the next day! The school set up a private area for me in the bathroom as we had a communal bathroom. The four walls of my dorm room felt like a prison. I missed so many of the senior activities.
I’m sad for all the seniors, high school and college, who are missing out on the end of the year fun and celebrations.
Becky Johnson, Hillsboro — Remember the 2004 ice storm? My kids still lived at home. It was the holidays, and the ice storm took out the electricity. Fortunately, we had a wood stove in the back room, so we brought all of our mattresses and bedding in, and the six of us stayed in the room until the electric came back on. Boring it wasn’t. We hadn’t that much fun for a long, long time. My grown-up sons and daughter still remember (aah, memories): we played charades and their pudgy momma rolled up her shirt and rolled down the waist of her pants, and somehow they knew I was acting out Britney Spears! Go figure. What fun! We talk about those days as being one of the holidays that everyone remembers.
McKenzie Caldwell, Greenfield — Though I still have to go to work throughout the week and I try to maintain a safe distance from my family as a precaution, my parents, younger brother and I still try to spend time together. Before Ohio’s stay at home order went into effect, I bought some new card and board games, and we spent around three hours laughing around the dining room table instead of quietly watching movies. This past Sunday, we ate dinner “together” — each of us sat in a different part of the kitchen while we ate and talked about our days and the other ways we fill our time. My mom still has to take care of her horses; my brother has school and plays video games with friends; my dad works from home. Though I didn’t really grow up playing video games, I recently downloaded Animal Crossing: New Horizons, a “life simulation” game where you can meet up with real-life friends and explore formerly deserted islands.
My brother, who’s 17, has also thrown himself into making music, and I’ve helped him film a music video. I’ve hiked and wandered parks more in the last two weeks than I have for a while. Even though I can no longer go to bookstores on the weekends or pick up a few nonessentials from the store after work, it’s so beautiful outside. And this will be over eventually.