Finding a lighthouse in the storm

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Finding a lighthouse in the storm

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Living through the Covid-19 pandemic has been stressful for everyone for so many reasons. Personally, it has made me really anxious and I have felt like I don’t have as much control over my surroundings or life. I knew I had to find things to help me get through and cope with this feeling, things ranging from trivial to life-changing.

Five things, in no particular order, that have helped me survive the pandemic are:

1. Video games
2. Podcasts
3. Grocery store drive up and go services
4. Drive-in movie theater
5. Gardening

Video games have been a good brief escape from reality. The games have changed over the course of the pandemic. At first, I was really excited about Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Then it changed to Gris, after that it was Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild, and now I have been focused on Pokemon Legends: Arceus. Okay, yes I know, all of these expect Gris are made with a younger audience in mind. There is something so nice and simple about it though that as an adult I enjoy. A sense of childlike wonder that occurs while building a village, or fighting goofy-looking monsters, or catching and documenting creatures has been really refreshing and calming.

Similar to the temporary “escape” from the news and reality has been listening to podcasts. I’ve been listening to fun ones and more serious ones. Not being able to see many people in person, it has provided a feeling of conversation, even if it is one-sided. I’ve learned and laughed a lot.

I know grocery pick-up services have been around before Covid, but I only started utilizing it once Covid hit. I seriously cannot believe that it isn’t something that I used before. It seems like such a small, or silly, thing but it’s prevented me from buying random things and being more intentional about meal planning. This has been an improvement for my health and my wallet. I’ve learned to use coupons more effectively and different rewards apps, so being able to save even a small amount of money compared to before has been great. Especially due to inflation and rising food prices, and changing jobs several times over the last two years.

I had gone to a (not so local) drive-in movie theater a couple of times pre-pandemic, but it has become one of my favorite things to do during Covid. Being able to have a feeling of normal activities while being able to be safe in my own little bubble of my car has been a great experience. The one I go to always does a double feature, and they have a great selection of food, snacks, a small arcade, and even go-carts. The best part? It’s only $7 per person! For reference, it’s $15.25 for one adult ticket to see one movie at my local chain theater. So even if my partner and I only stay to watch the first of the two movies, it’s still a way better deal. Plus the added ability to talk through the movie and not disturb others.

The last thing that has been a help to get through everything has been gardening. I started during the summer of 2020 and have been growing things ever since. It has been really rewarding. I’ve been learning a lot about what grows well in my zone and what doesn’t, what I can actually use, and what I can’t. Fun tip: don’t plant six zucchini plants, you will have more than you know what to do with and have to start just leaving them on your family and friends' doorsteps.

I know I will continue to find new things as the end of the storm of covid passes over us. I believe that sharing the happy moments that we do have during such a time of uncertainty and a mess of feelings, it can remind others either now or in the future, that some light did persist. These things are some of my lighthouses in the storm.

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This item was submitted on March 18, 2022 by Erika Groudle (She/Her) using the form “Share Your Story” on the site “A Journal of the Plague Year”:

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