Making do

Before Covid-19 I could easily go out twice a day to get something I needed to finish a repair job, a craft or purchase a missing ingredient for a recipe. I thought nothing of it.

Now, I am making do. I seek out an alternative to going out and purchasing. I am finding items in messy cupboards and on loaded shelves. Tackling the closet has been a bit of a purge. I am seeing clothing I haven’t worn for years. There are bits of costume that I’ve kept for a theme party and garments that don’t fit but I just can’t discard them because of the memories. And then there are the many items that are just too tight or too big. I’m filling some bags to bring to my favorite shopping stop, the thrift store; some day. The clothes past their prime I will cut up and use as rags.

Of course, there is the little known fact that natural fibers are more comfortable and longer-wearing than synthetics. They are also more expensive to buy new. Old cotton or wool pants that are too large I will take in. That over sized silk or linen shirt I will alter and custom-fit. Confession, that one has been pinned and I haven’t gotten around to sewing it. Bottom line, I have too much clothing anyway and making do feels like an accomplishment.

A friend started making surgical masks for people. He’s made 100! I was inspired and when a friend emailed a link for a fitted mask, I was determined to make one. A seamstress sews them to sell, but she has made a beautiful video and provided a free download of the pattern. I started making them for my family and emailed the link to my siblings and friends.

Time on my hands has also meant that I am on-line a lot more, getting information on many topics that are affecting all of us now. The front line health care workers can’t make do. Medical professionals have set up Facebook pages to improve supplies for health care workers and the public and businesses are stepping up to help. Some clothing producers are making masks. A Vancouver 3D producer is making face shields,while one in Italy is printing ventilator valve replacements. One dry cleaning company is set up to wash masks to be reused in seniors’ homes. Companies are putting projects on pause to create much needed ventilators.

“Research shows that businesses contribute to community resilience in the aftermath of these disasters. They help to rebuild, make donations, maintain their business operations and deliver critical products and services.“

Companies that may have started doing some remote work are now fully committed to helping their workers, who need to self isolate and maintain their salaries by working from home. This pandemic has highlighted the need for local sourcing of medicine, a diversified manufacturing sector, and a system whose focus is on the critical and basic needs of its population.

People are helping people. Nature is showing us what that can look like. My hope is that when things settle down to a new normal, it will be one where the quality of all human lives matter. When human lives matter, so too must the environment that sustains them.

I continue to marvel at nature’s lesson to humanity. She can be a lot harsher. For now, like a good student, I am making do and what I mostly do is homework.



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Jocelyne Steeves

I am a retired French Immersion teacher who found the answers to all my questions about life in the Wisdom of Kabbalah.