Blog: Remaining Productive During COVID “Shelter-in-Place” Orders

In her second blog, RHP’s Shelley Hawkins shares how she is keeping busy during the COVID-19 “shelter-in-place” orders

With the shelter-in-place order now a part of life across California, I have been attempting to have as much of my groceries to be delivered as I can, rather than physically going to stores. I have also been trying to focus on projects that take me into my yard or garage (outside of the walls of my house and yet not involving others). I am finding it very important to have my hands and brain engaged in something other than continual breaking news or scrolling through the fears of my friends being expressed on social media.

Thus, my California native plant garden has probably never been so weeded or maintained. The simple act of doing something basic and physical, like weeding or trimming, while feeling the sunshine and being surrounded by the sounds of birds and bees, has been extremely beneficial to my mood (weed whacking and manual mowing in the rest of the yard since there is horrendous overgrowth due to the recent rains followed by the sunshine, not so much. But the dogs will appreciate not having to wade into weeds taller than they are).

I have also been spending time on crafting. I am a member of a volunteer costuming charity organization (in the past we have done things such as charity walks, visits to children’s hospitals, and community fundraisers, although obviously these kinds of activities are on hold). I have been working on a costume which requires preparation of 3-D printed items. To do this, I am spraying and sanding numerous layers of filler primer and applying spray paint. Of course, I am always sure to wear the proper PPE while doing this. Standing in front of my garage at my work table, deeply involved in problem-solving the complexities of how to replicate the look of chipped paint to recreate the appearance of a battered item, I entirely forgot that I was awaiting a grocery delivery. I saw a car pull up very slowly into my driveway, then cautiously back out again. The car door was opened tentatively, and a head poked out. “I’ll just… leave this here,” the driver said, rapidly depositing the bagged groceries at the end of my driveway and leaping back into the car. It suddenly dawned on me what the issue was. I pulled down my half-piece respirator and said, “I’m crafting, sorry! Thank you!” The look I briefly glanced on the driver’s face before she sped away did not convey that she was convinced by my explanation for my nitrile gloves and face mask. Sorry, delivery driver!

Click here to read Shelley’s first COVID-19 blog entry