‘I guess this is life for now’; What St. George is doing for fun

ST. GEORGE — Resilience is a word that many in St. George will describe as coping with their lives during the past few weeks.

No matter how hard things get, children love to play. St. George, Utah, April 1, 2020 | Photo by David Louis, St. George News

Perhaps one of the most inventive solutions to cure the isolation felt by social distancing are online meet-ups using the Zoom app.

“My friends and I have been meeting online, drinking martinis and wine, eating what we have in the pantry and just touching base,” said Karen Malone. “It’s not the same as our monthly get-togethers but it helps fill the loneliness.”

With schools closed, it is also up to parents to teach at home and keep their children engaged in life.

“Right now, it’s about direction,” said single mom Nikki Fine. “We play in the backyard, we play games, we play at dreaming about the future. We color in coloring bookings, watch endless cartoons, play with the dollies and make chocolate chip cookies. It’s not been easy, but I guess this is life for now.”

There is a perennial favorite that is bigger than ever: putting together jigsaw puzzles.

According to a recent online survey conducted by Ipsos, nearly half of American adults enjoy puzzling at least once a year tackling puzzles with 500 or more pieces.,

A favorite pastime during the COVID-19 pandemic are puzzles. While they can be hard to find now they give hours of enjoyment to families across the nation. Henderson, Nevada, April 13, 2020 | Photo by Kathy Drudge, St. George News

Relaxation and fun are the most common reasons for puzzling, especially true for women and older adults.

Nearly half of those who puzzle say they do so for stress relief, while at least three in 10 puzzlers say it is because it’s a brain-booster, time-filler or because it gives them a chance to spend time with others.

Sheltering in place, especially with children now at home 24/7, is a great way to spend the day, said Brittany Nielsen.

“Our family loves puzzles, but we went to the store a couple of days ago and they were all (nearly) sold,” Nielsen said. “That was a bummer.”

Some retail chain stores are also nearly sold out of family games.

Despite some shying away from being optimistic, others say what else is there?

“Hope is all we have,” said Michael Patrick. “I know the virus is terrible, but I believe that we will get through is.”

Molly, a St. George mutt, loves spring. Although his parents are practicing safe-distance protocols, she loves to cuddle on the porch. St. George, Utah, April 1, 2020 | Photo by David Louis, St. George News

Patrick, a father of four, said they spend their day walking their dog Molly, learning to cook new recipes and binge-watching shows on Netflix.

Although life for many has largely become shelter in place, for others it is coming back to normal with changes in lifestyle.

“I wear a mask now when I’m in public, I watch how close I get to people, I’ve cancelled my doctor and dentist appointments but still get up everyday take a shower and go for a walk,” said Irma Watkins. “The one thing I don’t understand is how it got this bad. I can’t wait for things to go back to normal.”

While people are finding creative ways to break the monotony of daily life, mental health experts say there are lot of outlets. That includes getting organized at home, embark on a deep cleaning of your home, learn to play a new instrument, camp with the kids in the backyard or play a scavenger hunt.

“My kids just love looking for rocks,” Watkins said. “This keeps them busy for hours.”

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2020, all rights reserved.

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