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April 6, 2020 What About Easter?

Special Release

Vanessa Hoines, NDSU Extension, Family and Community Wellness

 

What About Easter?

The North Dakota Department of Health’s Health Hotline confirmed that in the midst of the Covid-19 pandemic, Easter will be a very different event than usual for most families.

We are told to include only those people with whom you have daily household contact.  If you don’t get together with your mom, who lives next door, every day since the pandemic, don’t include her on the guest list.

Inviting older adults because their families are not available, is not a good enough reason this year. Nobody wants to be responsible for making someone else seriously ill or worse.

Another health tip is to plan your meal early, make a complete list of what you will need and make only one trip to the grocery store. Many grocery stores have special hours for shoppers in high-risk health categories. Avoid those times if you are not an older adult or do not have an autoimmune disorder.

Easter may be a little odd, and it certainly could be lonely, so what can we do instead of the traditional face-to-face contact at packed religious services, family meals, egg hunts and whatever else your group might do on a holiday weekend?

Many local congregations are viewing their religious services via Facebook Live or other social media. Televised services have been around for decades, and before that, people held their own services at home.

Also, a walk in nature or watching the sun rise and set not only puts perspective on the day, it helps everyone feel the routine of the world. We all need to feel the normalcy of routine right now.

Large family meals can be postponed until a safer time for get-togethers. Perhaps we can all catch up on Labor Day with colored eggs and ham. Make your family’s favorite family meal instead. If that is pizza with extra cheese, so be it. Enjoy.

Perhaps the larger family gathering can be synchronized with a Zoom or Skype call where all families can show their colored eggs, fancy dessert creation or chalk drawings, or express gratitude. Use conversation starter cards from the family table at

https://tinyurl.com/ConversationStarers   to encourage a phone conversation with grandparents, cousins and others.

Plastic eggs are a great spot to hide special notes as well as treats. Send some now to the people you love.

Technology can be a great tool this year, too. Grandparents can text hints for the egg hunt. Parents can capture videos of children finding eggs, or FaceTime if you can.

Send a “care package” including holiday-themed and perhaps even homemade items. Send a recipe and the more unusual ingredients (think wild rice or a particular spice) for a favorite holiday food, along with a festive decoration.

Share a meal across the miles by setting a time for all of your usual guests to eat and agree on a particular meal item, such as Uncle Bill’s potatoes. Compare notes by phone or computer after the dishes are washed.

Look for apps of your favorite card game to play online with your missing loved ones.

Cry if you want. Grieve what you are missing. Change is difficult.

End your day with a dance party. Choose music that makes you feel grateful and good, and dance. Nobody is watching. They are home, protecting you too.

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