For the past few months the Betster has been working at home at the Fortress of Solitude in an undisclosed location. Like many of you trying to be safe during the COVID-19 pandemic, working at home has its advantages, like so:
• It’s an easy commute.
• You can work in sweat pants (“pandemic chinos”) and any old scruffy shirt.
• You don’t have to pay attention to your coiffure (“bed head”) and make up.
• Yes, the Betster understands that many Homer women do not wear make up.
• But if you’re a guy that means you also don’t have to keep your beard and mustache trimmed.
• There are clean shaven Homer men?
• If you have a canine or feline companion, when pandemic stress and anxiety gets overwhelming, you can snuggle for some furry mammal therapy.
Yes, there are disadvantages. Even the most introverted and anti-social people do need a little human contact, if only to remind introverts why they’re introverted in the first place. We miss our work buddies. We don’t get to town much. We also might get lax about getting outside for some exercise.
Holy house arrest! Sometimes this work-at-home stuff feels like you’re one of those political prisoners living in an authoritarian regime, confined to your yard and home because Amnesty International got on your case and the tyrants released you from prison.
Except we’re imprisoned by the still-real threat of a worldwide pandemic that, should you get it, might be no worse that a bad cold, or could be a really rotten thing like the long haulers are going through. Also, you could be hospitalized and die.
The good news is that everyone age 16 and older can now get a vaccine in Alaska. The Centers for Disease Control has said that fully vaccinated people can gather in small groups without the need to wear masks or social distancing. You don’t have to read the fine print in the essential worker list to see if you qualify. Most teenagers and all adults can now get the shot. Make it so.
Working at home means trying to develop good habits, like dressing up for work, taking walks and eating well. It means moving beyond your little garret and away from the flatscreen TV. It means trying to recreate all those little habits that keep us productive and sane.
So the day will come when you discover that the daylight hours have gotten longer and, oh my gosh, it’s time for Daylight Saving Time this Sunday. Spring ahead, betster persons, and turn your clock ahead one hour before going to be late Saturday night or early Sunday after binging all 10 seasons of “The Walking Dead,” whichever comes first.
Day by day, we’re emerging into the light. March may start with piles of snow, but it will end with mud and rain and maybe glimpses of green grass. As we relearn hope, celebrate, perhaps with these best bets:
BEST ST. PADDY’S BET: Wanting to celebrate St. Patrick’s Day, but don’t feel like doing all that cooking yourself. The Anchor Point Senior Center has you covered. Celebrate the holiday with a corned beef and cabbage dinner on Thursday night. This meal is available for $10, for dine in or takeout. Support the senior center by calling 235-7786 to reserve your dinner.
BEST MIX IT UP BET: Join the Homer Council on the Arts and Patrick Driscoll, Wine & Spirits Specialist from The Grog Shop in Homer, for a St. Patrick’s Day inspired cocktail class at 7 p.m. Saturday via Zoom. In this virtual workshop, Patrick will guide you through the creation of four different cocktails. Registered participants will have access to a recording after the event so you can take your time and enjoy each one responsibly. Registered participants will receive a Zoom link and shopping list upon payment. The fee is $20 for HCOA members and $22 general and is open to adults 21 years of age or older. Supplies are not included. A liquor kit is available at The Grog Shop for $40 plus tax, and you’ll need a few additional grocery store items; see event page for details.
You’ll need to go shopping so make sure to register early.
BEST LOVE THAT BAY BET: Expand your love and knowledge of the bay region during the Kachemak Bay Science Conference, coming up next Monday and lasting through Thursday. Registration for this virtual conference is free and open to the public. It will have a mix of pre-recorded talks and live online presentations on many subjects dealing with the ecosystems of the Kachemak Bay area, from harmful algal blooms to fisheries to seabirds.
The goal of this conference is to provide new information and syntheses to the broad community interested in and working on related issues. The conference focus this year is “Conversations in Conservation.” This year’s conference will also serve as the Kenai Peninsula Fish Habitat Partnership Science Symposium. To attend, register on the conference website www.kachemakbayscience.org.