The Spy is to be congratulated for its new feature, “The Great Slow Down List.” I will read the recommendations and act on them. I thought I might share a few other ideas for weathering the crisis.
Our Eastern Shore restaurants are already suffering a decline in diners. In the short term, this means hardship for the staff, especially the waiters, chef, and kitchen crew. In the long run, we risk losing some excellent establishments that could be lost forever. To address this, consider calling the restaurant, asking for home delivery or a pick-up, and indicate that you will leave a generous tip in support of the staff.
For many of us, much of the Eastern Shore remains “undiscovered country.” This is certainly true for me. Consider getting in your car on a nice day and simply walking around some of the towns. There is a lot to see, even if some of the better-known attractions are closed. I live in Oxford. Our small town offers at least two or three hours or interesting walks up and down Morris Street and down to the end of the strand. Take a camera. It’s quite picturesque. A few birds may even offer you poses to capture.
Consider taking an online course on Coursera, EduX, or another online course provider. Some offerings are free, assuming you are not seeking academic credit or a credential. If you haven’t done an online course, you will be amazed by the audio and video quality. Also, many offer complete course materials online for free. I recently took a classical music course taught by a Yale professor. These courses are true treasures waiting to be discovered.
If the crisis continues, tourism to the Eastern Shore most likely will decline sharply this spring and summer. If this happens, the economic impact could be severe. To counteract such a decline, all of us should invite friends and families to visit us in our homes. If anyone is hesitant to eat out, bring the crabs home.
Find you own new adventures. I welcome the Spy’s suggestions but there are many other journeys to begin or continue. One friend of mine who recently retired resumed his “guitar career” and is now playing regularly. He gets better every day. Watch out Eric Clapton. Among my own adventures is working on a dog book tentatively titled, “The Book of Hans.” Its about my first dog, a dachshund named Hans, as well as my second, a Westie with the same name. My current dog, a gifted goldendoodle, also features prominently.
Don’t forget that we’re in the middle of a national election. With every rule in the campaigning book now eclipsed with the crisis, citizen engagement in the campaign is more important than ever. We all need to find new ways to learn what the candidates are proposing, how to evaluate their suitability for office, and how to evidence our support for them. We also need to adjust to possible changes in how polls will operate in November.
Some of these ideas, and, I am sure, other more creative ones that others will have, could help you cope with the disruption of the current crisis. I will continue to read the Spy for news about how our community is coping and for ideas on what I can or should be doing. In some ways, the next few weeks could be a slowdown, but, if you think about it, it could be a speed up as well.
J.E. Dean of Oxford is a retired attorney and public affairs consultant. He is a former counsel to the House Committee on Education and Labor. For more than 30 years, he advised clients on federal education and social service policy.