Best Bets

Normally the Betster scours our online entertainment and events calendar for cool or interesting things to do. But if you’ve poked around the calendar lately, it’s pretty much a teenage wasteland — well, an every age wasteland. Thanks, Mr. Novel Coronavirus. The Betster would like to crack a joke or two, but after seeing the Homer Public Library closed — the library! — it’s hard to be funny. Yeah, the Betster cried at that, because nothing says civilization like a good public library.

Schools remain closed for another week of extended spring break. All the restaurants, cafes and bars have dialed back service to take out only. (Well, this isn’t New Orleans, so you can’t get a go cup, but our bars do serve fabuous food.) Even some churches have closed to public worship, with pastors broadcasting on streaming video. It’s as if for Lent God really wants to force you to make some sacrifices.

We’re doing this, of course, in the name of social distancing, the new buzz phrase that means “stay away from a lot of people so as to minimize the spread of COVID-19.” In Italy they didn’t take this seriously, and now the country is pretty much in lockdown. Down south they’re even talking of sheltering in place. This is serious do-doo, Betster Persons.

So you can’t hold meetings of more than 10 and most definitely no more than 50. Other than periodic forays for toilet paper and wet wipes, the stores are pretty much out unless you think combat shopping is a sport. If you’re an extrovert and get your entertainment by hanging with your best dozen buds, this whole thing just bites.

So what can you do? Fortunately, your Betster is a committed and expert introvert who has been crafting personal entertainment since a German cousin introduced yours truly to the wonders of LEGOs. Why not these Best Bets?

BEST GET OUT BET: Hey, did you notice you live in one of the most beautiful little corners of the universe? Spring has come, the days are warm, the skiing is just awesome, so brave the bitter cold of 35 degrees and head into the great beyond. With skis at least 5-feet long, you will enforce social distance on the trails. Space out your walk on the beach. Rev up that snow machine. Strap on those snowshoes. From the Boxcars to Bishop’s Beach to Lookout Mountain, we have plenty of trails, flat sand and limitless snow to enjoy. The beauty of nature will calm your mind, the fresh air will do you good and all that Vitamin D from the sun will power up your immune system.

BEST READ, BABY, READ: OK, the library is closed, but dig into that stack of unread books or trade with friends. Now is the time to finally finish “Moby-Dick,” right?

BEST HELP AN ELDER: Check in with your senior neighbors and see if they need the walk shoveled or any supplies picked up. Want to cheer up somone at a Pioneer Home or assisted living? The Alaska State Hospital and Nursing Home Association has a website, www.ashna.com/alaska-caring-notes, where you can send a handwritten note, a photo, a drawing or a video to brighten an elder’s day.

BEST THE LAST PIECE: Dig into that closet of unfinished jigsaw puzzles, clear off the table and hunker down and do an easy 1,000-piecer. Your parents used to do this all winter, and it got them through some pretty dark days.

You’ve got this, Betster friends. Hang in there.

A bald eagle sits in a tree near a nest by the Lake Street stoplight on March 16, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. Another eagle sat near the nest in another tree. Since 2010, a pair of bald eagles has nested in the area near Beluga Slough south of the Lake Street and Sterling Highway intersection, building or rebuilding nests over the years. They have been using this nest since 2016. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

A bald eagle sits in a tree near a nest by the Lake Street stoplight on March 16, 2020 in Homer, Alaska. Another eagle sat near the nest in another tree. Since 2010, a pair of bald eagles has nested in the area near Beluga Slough south of the Lake Street and Sterling Highway intersection, building or rebuilding nests over the years. They have been using this nest since 2016. (Photo by Michael Armstrong/Homer News)

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