The COVID-19 outbreak is not stopping my spring break.
I took off this week. As I’m writing this before the fun begins, the only thing I’m certain of is that I know it will be fun. It has to be. Fun is the only option.
How quickly and drastically the world has changed. More and more people are wearing face masks and rubber gloves. Supermarket shelves are bare. Stores are closing.
By the time last week’s Resorter came off the press, everything was cancelled or postponed. There are no more festivals, concerts or gatherings — at least not through the first few days of April.
Luckily, I make my own fun, whatever the circumstances.
As a member of Generation X who works from home, I am a master of not going out to have a great time.
So what’s my plan for this spring break? Here are a few things I’m probably doing right now.
1. Spending time outside. Yes, really. On March 19, the Geneva Lake Conservancy tweeted, “During this stressful time, we urge you to go outdoors safely to enjoy the returning birds and wildflowers.” I couldn’t agree more.
I’m looking forward to being outdoors again. Nature photography is a hobby of mine.
Maybe I’ll take a walk along the Lake Geneva bicycle trails that run throughout the city, or sit and look out at Geneva Lake from Library Park. Or I may visit the White River County Park in the town of Lyons.
Perhaps I’ll check out the Four Seasons Nature Preserve, Highway H, Bloomfield; or the North Branch Conservation Area, 11500 N. Keystone Road, Richmond, Illinois, just south of Genoa City.
Or I may just drive around and try to find a park or lake I haven’t visited in a while — and practice social distancing, of course.
2. Watching TV. We’re all probably doing this more now, and in the following weeks, expect Happenings to shift focus to more home entertainment options, including and TV show recommendations.
On my spring break, I hope to watch “Uncut Gems” a second time. The 2019 film stars Adam Sandler as a New York City jeweler so deep into a gambling problem that the wolves are drawing in for the kill when we first meet him. This is an R-rated movie, available to rent.
The stress faced by Sandler’s Howard Ratner saturates every frame of the film, so much so that in the first 20 minutes I wasn’t sure if I was having a panic attack. He has debts to pay. He can’t stop placing bets. He’s having problems with pro basketball player Kevin Garnett. Howard’s having problems with his mistress. To say his soon-to-be ex-wife despises him would be too polite.
Around the time “Uncut Gems” came out, Variety posted an article about a conversation between Sandler and Brad Pitt. It came out that an acting coach once tried to convince Sandler to quit acting. After this movie, I wonder if the coach is still coaching.
Shifting gears, I also hope to watch “Angry Birds 2” completely on my spring break. It is streaming now on Netflix.
Parents, you know how it is. Sometimes you can’t sit down and watch a whole movie with your children from start to finish.
My youngest son has been watching “Angry Birds 2” weekly. I have seen several scenes, just not the whole picture. I can’t tell you about the plot, but I have seen enough to surmise that the plot doesn’t necessarily matter.
But every time I watch part of it, I always see something that makes me laugh. It is lively and a little goofier than the average children’s animated flick. A scene involving some birds, green pigs, a giant purple bird costume and a bathroom cracks me up every time I watch it.
3. Listening to music. This was going to happen, pandemic or not. But the changes brought on by the coronavirus have deeply impacted artists around the globe.
Most musicians make their living by playing gigs. The vast majority of artists are not wealthy. They make music because they love it.
If you love music like I do, download or purchase the albums or digital releases from your favorite musicians. If you know a musician, support them.
Online, some artists have made their music free or pay-by-donation. I say give them a little something if you can, even if you don't have to.
Perhaps the viral outbreak brings about the return of the album format, but live music itself isn't going away.
Some artists are also performing in their own homes, streaming the show live online, which is a great idea.
Schools have switched to an online education format. So should more musicians, comedians, artists.
Their work is a gift to us. We should help them out.
I plan to catch up on some great shows I missed that were uploaded to YouTube recently. One act I enjoy is recording daily live sets from their living room.
Music will remain a big part of the Resorter, and in future Happenings, I will also share album recommendations.
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