Dealing with cabin fever


You don’t realize how fortunate you are to be able to move around freely and go where you want when you want until you wake up one day and all that is taken away from you.

Being a “Type A” 82-year-old who is still able to walk and drive, cabin fever has set in after only one short week. I now can empathize with anyone who is confined to their home or nursing facility.

Until recently, I was free to follow my job as entertainment editor of these papers, spending many nights reviewing plays, movies, concerts and restaurants. In my spare time, I swam at the Y, visited the library, attended Providence Bruins games and volunteered at the Food Bank and City Meal.

Now, I’m sitting at my computer with little to write about. I decided to call a few neighbors, friends, and relatives to see what they were doing to fill the long hours.

Our friend Susan was trying her luck at jigsaw puzzles for the first time in her 70 years on this earth, and has increased her stress levels.

Daughter-in-law Sandy is building miniature doll houses.

Next-door neighbor Patrick is putting in a basketball court in his driveway for his kids, who are riding their bikes up and down the quiet street.

Other neighbors have retreated to their summer cottage.

Talked to friend Tom in Florida. His wife was out bowling. (They closed the schools and restaurants, but the bowling alleys were still open). He was on his way for a round of golf. Told him he didn’t have to worry about the social distance rule because he is in the woods most of the time.

My wife is reading the 10 books she took out of the library the day before it closed.

My friend Donna is washing all the bags she takes to the grocery store.

Vince Petronio reminds me that although there are no live arts, many arts organizations are streaming their programs for free online.

Many people are walking their dogs, cleaning their houses, cooking new recipes, going through old photo books, and cleaning out old computer files.

Doing something unusual? Let me know at


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