When I was growing up in Catholic countries (Venezuela, Italy, Colombia), advent calendars were a treasured part of the Christmas holidays. Crafted with beautiful, sparkling art depicting the Nativity, or a family sitting around a lit tree, or other traditional scenes, each 8X10 paper had hidden in the art the numbers 1-24, and a little window that would reveal (on a paper glued to the back of the art) a little angel, or a top, or a teddy bear. Starting on December 1, my sister and I would take turns opening the tab to reveal the day’s prize. On December 24, we shared opening the final window, which we knew would reveal the manger scene.

Getty Images, this ran with the USA Today article

I saw a USA Today article on 100 things to do during this pandemic lockdown. Stuff like watching movies and doing puzzles. I have no idea if we need that much inspiration to organize ourselves going forward, but it got me thinking that my husband and I have already marked 40 days since the coronavirus began shutting down the state of Florida. Here’s some of our Coronavirus Calendar:

March 13: Get a new car. My little blue Prius took my illness in Amsterdam and was inert on the driveway when we got home. Fixing her only her worse. We bit the bullet and ordered a another hybrid Toyota, this time a Corolla, which was less than a replacement Prius and had some great features. It took a month to arrive. On Friday the 13th, I got the call. The schools were still open, but we carefully wore gloves and tried not to touch everything. Of course, we immediately shook the salesman’s hand and the man who finished the transaction had the sniffles, but we toughed it out. While we were there, the schools closed.

March 16: Go to the beach in the new car. Yes, we know. But the beaches were open and the fresh air felt great and we stayed away from others. And there were really cool Velella velella “purple sailors” all down the beach. We got lucky. The car’s been in the garage ever since.

March 18: Make a palm leaf frond piece of art.

March 20: Order groceries online. Go ballistic when this is what comes up when you type in “cereal.” Later, wonder why you didn’t buy several boxes and store them in secret places for midnight munching. Or breakfast.

March 21: Enjoy a social distance visit with your friend Coni. It feels very civilized and old fashioned to “visit with a friend.” We are our grandmothers.

March 24: Take you your mat outside and wonder why you have not done that before. Enjoy the view.

March 30: Take a long walk with Kumba down the isolated sidewalks of Route 441. Repeat daily. Work your way up to 4 miles and be grateful, happy to notice see signs that life is good, that spring has sprung.

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