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Pandemic offers time to pause and ponder

As near as I can figure, as of this writing (July 24), it’s been about 130 plus days that we, in good old Warren, have been under some sort of restriction, whether it’s to stay at home, wear masks, social distance, and any number of closings of businesses and stores or reductions or losses of services.

It’s all for a good cause — reducing or defeating the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. Trumbull County, as of now, has 1,374 confirmed cases of the virus and 98 deaths.

And I’m sure you are a bit weary of hearing newscasters and political leaders’ messages telling about all the terrible tragedies that Americans throughout the U.S. are experiencing. Sometimes, their frustrations are quite strongly evident.

I wish someone could wave a magic wand and make all this all go away. But it isn’t going to happen. In all my 84-plus years, have I ever experienced anything like this?

World War II was frightening, but at least all citizens could do something actively constructive toward seeing the end of it. And there isn’t a one of you who hasn’t had a family member or friend who hasn’t been directly affected by this terrible virus.

I thought that my advanced years would bring peace and tranquillity to my life, and it would be smooth sailing until I meet my maker. As it’s been said, “I never promised you a rose garden.”

In spite of all, I can truly say that this pandemic has given me pause where I can begin to sort out what is truly important in my life — what has gone before and what lies ahead. I can take time to tie up those loose ends, fix those little things that I’ve been neglecting and take stock of whom in my life either was or is important.

Maybe you can also see what I’m driving at.

So, here’s a few things I do that may sound trivial, but they seem to offer a kind of peace of mind that only relatively simple things can do. They work for me, and they may work for you.

How about sitting in your back yard toward dusk and just listening to all the natural and unnatural sounds of the neighborhood? After all, it’s a part of life.

Try working a crossword or jigsaw puzzle or two. It’s tough finding a new jigsaw puzzle at the stores, so tear apart an old one and redo it.

Maybe re-read a favorite old book that you haven’t picked up in years. It just seems that the simpler the activity, the more soothing the benefits. And, if you’re so inclined, pick up the Good Book and check out a few passages.

Not only am I isolated (as we all must be) from others here in Warren, but I’m isolated from one son and his family in California, and another son and his family in China. The pandemic precludes my seeing them any time soon, especially my son’s family in China, where travel is severely restricted (or completely forbidden) to the U.S. As it stands now, seeing the family in China may take well over a year — even if everything virus-wise (and politically) gets sorted out.

So, take heart, fellow Warrenites, maybe we have experienced nothing comparable in our lives before, but I’m sure that we’ll get through this challenge, too.

Have you called a friend lately?

Mumford, of Warren, can be reached at columns@tribtoday.com.

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