Your Somewhat Useful Spring 2020 Survival Guide

“Thank you ladies for stopping by my toilet paper drive-up shop. Today we’ve got all the plys – 1,2, even 3. If a single roll won’t be enough for you, we’ve got double, jumbo, and mega rolls. Quilted, unquilted, squeezable, and tough. All your toilet paper needs, all right here.”

As the world comes together to avoid getting each other sick with COVID-19, everything is closing down and we’re being asked to avoid sharing germs with friends and family.

As many of you are staying home from work, school, and other adventures, here are a few suggestions.

  • Read Books
    • I can think of some excellent books you can read, if you like fairy tales, adventure, period piece drama, and magic…
    • This might be the right time to read some Epic Fantasy or one of those thick classics you’ve been meaning to read.
    • Also check out some other independent authors. I know lots of other authors. Let me know what you like and I’ll make a recommendation. Here’s a sample:
  • Virtual Call Friends and Family
    • There are people who like you out there. Use Google Hangouts, Skype, FaceTime, Facebook Messenger, or any other app to say hello without swapping germs. You can even do a virtual watch party.
  • Get Creative with What’s In Your Pantry
  • Watch That Series/Movie/Awesome Thing You’ve Been Meaning to Watch
    • Disney+ is happy to help you with this by releasing Frozen 2 early.
    • Have you watched Doctor Who yet? There are a bajillion episodes.
    • Or, watch all the Star Trek series.
    • This may be the time to give in to a Korean Drama. I recommend Descendants of the Sun on Hulu
    • Have a Jane Austen Adaptation Marathon. You could read the books too.
  • Craft or Learn A Skill 
    • Write your own novel
    • Learn to knit, crochet, or rob a bank… Maybe not that last one.


  • Go Outside for a Walk
    • The air outside is not poisoned. Go to a park and just don’t touch other people or stand too close.
  • Make Every Day Spontaneous Dance Party Day

Speaking of things in short supply, here are some things that there were plenty of as of Friday, March 13, 2020


at HEB 03/13/2020

Body Wash

at HEB 03/13/2020


at HEB 03/13/2020

Easter Candy

at HEB 03/13/2020

Essential Oils

at HEB 03/13/2020

Pesticides and Bug Spray

at HEB 03/13/2020

Individual Cake Slices

Cake at HEB 03/13/2020

And, most surprising, whipped cream. Why wouldn’t you have that in your survival kit?

at HEB 03/13/2020

Also, Here Are A Few Things People Think They Need


at HEB 03/13/2020

Cake Mix (I can’t argue too much with these priorities)

at HEB 03/13/2020

Non-Stick Cooking Spray – Because it will help the germs slide away?

Keeps viruses from sticking at HEB 03/13/2020

How are you doing?

I hope all of you are doing well, have what you need, and stay in good health. Ask how your neighbors are doing (just don’t stand too close), wash your hands, and stay calm. If we all can do those things, I think everything will be all right. Life will return to usual at some point.


  • How are things going for you?
  • What are your tips and suggestions?
  • What are you surprised about stores running out of?

4 thoughts on “Your Somewhat Useful Spring 2020 Survival Guide

  1. I have reading material from a) Christmas gifts (about 800 pages), and b) for a course I’m going to teach on witchcraft and witchcraft persecutions in early modern Europe . . . assuming the adult education school I work for reopens once our modern-day plague passes through.

    Don’t panic. Do restrain yourself from killing people who mention they have hoarded 200+ roles of toilet paper, “but they will be generous.” (If they hadn’t been so selfish, there would be no reason to be generous.)

    I was most amused to find my local store was out of canned sardines yesterday. I suppose some people are just buying up whatever canned goods they think they might need if the coronavirus somehow turns people into zombies, aliens land, the food supply chain is disrupted, and they don’t think they’ll develop a taste for human flesh.

  2. As a paraeducator, I hear a lot of parents asking “what am I supposed to do with my kids all day?” This is a concern of mine, since I’ve been helping my special-ed kids all year and now I fear they’ll lose all their progress.

    My advice is to treat it as if you are home-schooling. Have them shut off all screens for a short time (an hour or less) and get them to read to you. Look at things in your house that you can use for math lessons. Young kids can count how many of some object there is in your place. Older kids might calculate the area of a bath towel vs a washcloth. Watch a documentary on Netflix or Hulu and then get your kids to write answers to a couple of questions about the show.

    You also can e-mail your child’s teacher and find out if the district uses any online learning sites, such as Moby Max, Dreambox, or Prodigy. Then have your kids sign in to that for your hour or half-hour of school. I know it’s hard when everyone has the mind-set that they’re at home and they can goof off now. That’s why I suggest bearing down on them for just an hour each day.

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