*

Marybeth Niederkorn

Marybeth Niederkorn is the culture and events writer for the Southeast Missourian.

Love in the time of COVID-19, or, so I'm at home -- now what?

When working from home, coworkers vary.
Marybeth Niederkorn

Wow.

This has been an intense week.

I probably don't need to tell you that.

I think it's pretty safe to say that everyone is feeling some kind of disruption, thanks to COVID-19. As of the time I'm writing this, we do not have a confirmed case in our readership area, but that doesn't mean store shelves aren't empty and workplaces aren't trying to give work-at-home options where they can. I am thankful to my employer that I'm working from home myself, and my cats are pretty happy about it too.

My regular beat is culture and events. The news is moving fast this week, and events are no exception. It's probably safe to assume that every event for the next few weeks, and likely beyond, is either canceled or postponed. That's a bummer, not just for people who wanted to attend, but also for the organizers, performers, venues relying on ticket sales. Restaurants. Bars. Libraries. Churches. Small businesses. Sports teams. Schools.

I could go on.

In the past few days, I've talked to several organizers who are exercising an abundance of caution, who are following Centers for Disease Control recommendations, who are going to make the event happen but not in the midst of this outbreak, and I'm telling you, I hear such weight in their voices. This is a tough time for a lot of us. I hope we can all try to be a little kinder to each other, stay home, and wash our hands. Sneeze or cough into a tissue. Wash our hands. Practice social distancing, where we keep at least six feet between us and the next person. Preferably while washing our hands.

Please, please wash your hands, is what I'm saying.

Until we start to see more events popping up on the calendar at semoevents.com, friends, I'll be taking a different approach with TGIF. I'm rounding up resources you can access from home with an internet connection, and I welcome any suggestions. I'm working from home for the time being, but you can still reach me at the email address and phone number in my bio, there with my picture.

If you have internet access, this list will, I hope, be at least a little bit helpful. If you have no internet, I have another list too. Keep reading!

Remember, too, that Riverside Regional Library and the Cape Girardeau Public Library are both closed temporarily, but capelibrary.org has some online resources under the Digital Branch tab, and Riverside also has resources at riversideregionallibrary.org.

Another important note: Check with your internet service provider, as some are offering special rates or other perks, especially for families with school-age (kindergarten through 12th grade) children.

This list is obviously not anywhere near comprehensive, but it's a start.

* St. Louis Zoo has a penguincam at stlzoo.org/penguincam.

* Search for "quarantine concerts" and you'll find several artists livestreaming performances.

* Same goes for "virtual tours." Everything from Buckingham Palace to historic homes to national parks to museums all over the world are holding virtual tours.

* Some authors are offering free reading material on their websites. Neil Gaiman is one.

On another note, check with your favorite restaurants to see if they're offering curbside pickup or delivery. A lot of Cape Girardeau eateries are, even if the dining area is closed.

Stay safe out there, folks. And wash your hands.