Summer of 2020 is a modern-day limbo.
Medieval Catholic theologians fostered among their flocks the concept of limbo, a temporary underworld for the dead that was just a little less tortured than the fiery Hell of the Damned. For some of the more entrepreneurial clergy, limbo turned out to be a sweet bonanza – at least while they were alive. For a fee, they’d offer to purge the sins of the dead and speed their way to heaven.
Rich or poor, we’re all wondering whether it is possible to buy our way out of the restless pit of Covid this August. Like those lost souls in limbo, we have no idea how long we’re destined to stay in this tortured place.
How long will we have to wear those smothering masks? Will we ever learn to follow the signs when we’re shopping at Walmart? When will our kids go back to school?
Even our leaders don’t know how to advise us. A college student I know was advised by her school to “pack lightly.” In other words, don’t plan on spending a lot of time on campus this fall. Another Covid surge could trigger the panic button and shut down the place.
So here we are stuck in a pandemic rut. How do we plan for the future? I think we should all get ready to hunker down for the fall and winter. Our homes will be our castles with a wide moat between us and the world. Here are a few tips on how to prepare:
• Think about creating a permanent Zoom Room. Video-learning and videoconferencing will be an important part of family life in the future. A Zoom Room needs good lighting, a stable work surface, and a clean or neutral background. So your shopping list should have some lamps, a couple of stylish prints for the wall, a comfy desk chair and sturdy desk.
• Family dinner is undergoing a revival these days. The dining room is also doubling as a craft room, a classroom and a work area. For those reasons, a quality dining set is a good investment. Look for solid wood and durable surfaces that can withstand the wear-and-tear of meals, crafts and homework. Rustic tables have been in vogue but they can be problematic. Homeschooling is hard enough without the kids snapping the tips of their pencils in a rutted surface.
• Comfortable upholstered or leather chairs for the living and family rooms should be on the top of your list, too. No one wants to nestle in for a night of Netflix if the seating is old, lumpy or stiff-backed. Your gamers will appreciate the investment, too.
• Is your house too noisy to for you to work with everyone stomping around all day? Remember that fabric dampens sound. Think about covering your hardwood floors with an attractive area rug.
As we wait here in limbo, you might want to update your home now for Covid, Phase II: more homeschooling, more cooking, more binge-watching television, and more togetherness. Be prepared. FCG is here to help.