My 10 Ways of Keeping Busy While Sheltering in Place

19 Mar 2020 | 12:38

Are you going stir crazy? Are you helping to "flatten the curve?" Are you "sheltering" yourself wisely?

Yes, COVID-19 has turned everyone's life upside down. We all wish that we could wake up from this bad dream and have our normal lives restored. But since we can't, we will have to make the best, somehow, of the upheaval.

Since we are New Yorkers, we are naturally resilient. We have a gene for resilience, like possessing an innate ability to find the best slice of pizza on the block.

I'm doing my best to keep busy, too.

Here are my 10 Ways of Keeping Busy during the crisis:

1) Re-watch, for the umpteenth times, the full-series episodes of my favorite HBO TV comedies: "The Larry Sanders Show," "Curb Your Enthusiasm" and "Entourage." Comedies are a great way to take your mind off your troubles and imagine a simpler world.

2) Re-read John Updike's Rabbit series. I cherish these books and I, as an aspiring novelist (keep reading this), find inspiration in Updike's alter ego through the years, Harry "Rabbit" Angstrom.

3) Read those books on my shelves that I have always meant to get to, such as F. Scott Fitzgerald's "Tender is the Night" and Nick Hornby's "A Long Way Down." I'm not sure I will actually do this, but I really, really mean to.

4) Tape and watch later Yankees Classics on YES, in which the cable station broadcasts memorable Yankees games since the team's championship run commenced in 1996. This is the one show on TV that ALWAYS has a happy ending.

5) Challenge myself to wash my hands with soap and water a little bit longer each time out - I'm now up to 47 seconds, if you're keeping score at home

6) Listen to Revolution #9 all the way through - and make sense of it, though I am pretty sure it makes no sense, anyway.

7) Listen to those Paul McCartney and George Harrison solo albums on Spotify, which I had never before taken the time to appreciate. I must listen to more than "All Things Must Pass," "The Concert for Bangladesh," "Ram" and "Band on the Run." There must be some great songs in there.

8) Finish cleaning up my closets and drawers - and get ready for spring, whenever Mayor de Blasio says it will arrive. I have started an ambitious project to toss out any and all non-essential stuff from my files. A class roster from a course I taught in 2014 counts as non-essential, somehow.

9) ACTUALLY, SERIOUSLY, REALISTICALLY MAKE PROGRESS on my work-in-progress of the past year, my version of The Great American Novel. If anybody wants to read what I have written so far, I'D BE HAPPY TO SEND ALL 12,000 WORDS TO YOU.

10) Last and most definitely not least: Keep up with family and friends everyday. We all n need to stay present and remain resolute and strong. You can't call someone too often to say you care.