Photo Gallery: Making the most out of staying home during COVID-19

By Liliana Perez

HARLINGEN — Social distancing and staying home may be dull and uneventful at times, but in those times we can make the most out the simplicity that still exists.

Because most of the U.S. is being urged to stay home, including Texas, many have left the streets in favor of (bed) sheets. Social media platforms like Instagram have even created a ‘#IStayHomeFor’ sticker to allow users to highlight the importance of staying home and encourage others to join in. 

After a while, though, staying home can begin to feel like staying stuck. However, stepping away from the outside world allows us to step into our own little world and take time for ourselves and those we love — something we don’t often get a chance for when the world is running as usual. No one needs to be told that the world isn’t what it used to be right now or how we can’t do the things we used to do, go to the places we used to go or see the people we used to see because, boy, do we know. 

So, yes, some days will be better than others, and some days will still be dull and others uneventful. It’s in those days, especially, in which we should try to take note of the simple, everyday things that they contain and embrace them. Upon closer inspection, we might even begin to take appreciation knowing that “simple” and “everyday” still exist, considering many other things don’t. 

This photo gallery takes you through a first-person narrative on finding comfort in the simple, everyday things at home during COVID-19.

Our cat, Shadow, presses himself against our front door window screen and clearly wants to go outside. Some of you at home right now may relate to this. He’s been an indoor cat all his life, but he still spends his days making visits to the window screen when we have it open.
My sister receives her first packet of schoolwork and looks through it. After Texas Gov. Greg Abbott closed down schools, her high school made packets available for those who don’t have good internet access at home. Sometimes the majority of our days are spent doing homework, and those days are never quite what you’d call fun. What we’ve come to appreciate though is that we still have the opportunity to get educated, even if it looks different.
Some days we don’t want to make our bed, let alone get out of it. It is okay not to make your bed sometimes, and it is super okay to spend the day in it if you want to, and even more so if you need to. No one’s judging in this house.
Shadow visits the screen door again to no one else’s surprise. This time there’s a visitor. She probably wants to come in as much as he wants to go out. Social distancing during this time makes it harder to be with our friends and basically anyone else we don’t live with. Technology is a big help, but it’s not always a solution. Patience and hope is the best medicine.
We’re a house full of movie lovers, so movies are a go-to choice to pass time and relax together. One movie we watched was Zombieland, and one of the characters has a set of rules he lives by, one of which being “enjoy the little things”. It ended up being a big inspiration for this photo gallery (thanks, Columbus).
My dad works on setting up a new window in our living room. It’s a project he has been wanting to tackle for years. One of the best things to come out of being at home is being able to do the things we say we never have time for. It’s kind of hard to not have time when you are home all day, every day.
My mom sits at the dining table and sews a mask just to prove she can. She can. And she did. Way to go, mom.
My mom spends some time unwinding in her room. Some days may get overwhelming for you and you might find that you could really use some time alone in your room or wherever else you can go to get that time. Go for it. Isolating yourself while isolating is a valid thing to do, and checking in with yourself is important.
My dad works on another project: cleaning out our kitchen drawers. That’s an important thing to do every once in a while, too.
My mom makes chocolate covered strawberries. Cooking, baking and making snacks are other things you can do in your free time if that’s something you enjoy. Personally, I prefer the eating part more than the making part, but you do you.
My sister, my mom and I play a game of Operation. The box was dusty because it’s been sitting up on a shelf for years, and we definitely had to replace the batteries, but it was worth it. In case you may be wondering, I didn’t lose, I just came in third place.
My sister takes a phone break while doing homework. I don’t know what she’s looking at, but whatever it is, it seems nice. There’s a lot of good things going on around the world that people are sharing online. I think it’s important to remind ourselves that good things are still happening. Reminder: Good things are still happening.
My mom moves to lift up our new living room window that my dad finished working on. The saying that goes, “When a door closes a window opens,” has never been more true than it is in this moment.

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