Home in the Time of COVID

Appreciating and easily improving your home.

Posted Jun 30, 2020

Kelly Lacy, Pexels, Public Domain
Source: Kelly Lacy, Pexels, Public Domain

Previous installments in this series offered thoughts on how to make the most of pleasures that remain allowable amid the COVID lockdown: walking, reading, music, and eating. Now, we turn to the home.

Many of us are staying at home more amid the COVID lockdown. While that may cause cabin fever, it also may afford the opportunity to appreciate and improve our home without undue cost, which in the economic shutdown may be more important than ever.

  • Your bed. Have you taken your bed for granted? It enables us to sleep and perhaps do other things comfortably. Is your bed not comfortable enough? If it sags, before replacing the mattress, have you tried rotating it or putting a sheet of plywood under it?
  • Cooling. In the summer, we all owe a debt of gratitude to the air-conditioner’s inventor, Willis Carrier. If you have one, is it working well enough? If not, have you cleaned or replaced the filter? Repairs tend to be expensive and new ones, both window and portable, have improved and prices dropped, so you might consider buying one. Fans are inexpensive yet often are very helpful. Could you use another fan, whether a tiny one on your desk or bedside, or even a room-sized ceiling fan/light combination?
  • The kitchen. Being home more, we’re cooking (and too often eating) more. It’s worth a moment to appreciate what we take for granted, which just one century ago would have been seen as impossible: stove, refrigerator, dishwasher, microwave, even the coffeemaker. Is it time for you to replace an appliance? Perhaps even buying a simple kitchen utensil could give you more pleasure. For example, as a child, I loved crinkle-cut french fries and just last week bought a crinkle-cutter.
  • TV.  Even in its original incarnation. TV was amazing but now, the ability to instantly watch virtually any movie on demand is downright miraculous. And unlike when I was growing up, when there were few TV series and you had to wait a week to see the next episode, now with Amazon, Netflix, and HBO originals atop network series, the choices are remarkable, which you can watch whenever you want, and without commercials! I must admit that COVID has made my wife and I binge watch Call the Midwife, Downton Abbey, Better Call Saul, and Ozark.
  • Décor. Especially if COVID is rendering you more house-bound, it might be a good time to freshen the décor, perhaps inexpensively. Want to wallpaper one wall or paint it a different, perhaps bold, color? Want to rearrange the furniture? Replace a standard light fixture with one you’ll love?
  • General gratitude. Recently, I stopped to think of how much expertise went into creating a home. First, of course, there are the scientists and engineers who created everything from the rebar-foundation to plumbing, electricals, and cabinet-making machines to roofing material that lasts 30+ years. Then there are the craftspeople who install it all. What expertise, what diligence. Those should be our heroes, but they are lauded far less often than are less worthy "heroes."

Indeed, especially amid the COVID lockdown, there is no place like home.

I read this aloud on YouTube.