By Dave Taylor
Staying home from work and school and not leaving the house sounds like paradise for some, but with a statewide shutdown of schools and businesses, some families are realizing that they have to worry not only about running out of supplies but also of things to do.
Mac and Becky Cummings are at home with their kids Michael, Natalia and Nolan, after school and work was canceled across the state.
“We worked last Monday but I have been home ever since and haven’t even been out of the house,” said Becky Cummings, who works at a dental office that’s now closed due to the COVID-19 spread.
The kids are out of school, but Mac, who works at Southwire, has continued to go to work, where he said things are “business as usual.”
Not much else is anything resembling usual, with all non-life-sustaining businesses ordered closed to in-person traffic by Thursday, which includes the nursing home in Tell City where Mac’s mother resides, meaning their regular visits are halted for now.
With empty schedules and a mandate to stay home, they’re left to find ways to fill the hours of each day.
“I feel like we’re just doing what we always do. We have a little more time to do it,” said Mac.
“It’s been normal day-to-day stuff for me,” he said. “I mean, I get up and go to work, come home and take care of animals. It’s been a little less busy in the afternoons.”
“Yeah, not having to pick up kiddos,” said Becky.
“With all the school stuff going on, activities that they normally have, there’s always something that you’re doing, it’s kind of normal,” he said. “There’s always something.”
Now there’s plenty of time for other things.
“I talked to one of my friends for five hours yesterday,” said Natalia.
That’s five straight hours on the phone. But she also has time to read the Harry Potter series.
They’re also working on new skills.
“Natalia baked cookies yesterday,” said Becky.
“They didn’t turn out well,” said Natalia. “They taste like cookie dough.”
But they were made from scratch, the hard way.
Nolan’s been playing video games and hanging out at Vastwood, and Michael’s still working at Menard’s in Owensboro.
It’s lambing season at the house, so the kids are around to help birth the lambs and care for them, something that during school they’d otherwise miss.
Having everyone at home means more time to burn through groceries and supplies too, but the family was prepared early with just enough of everything.
“We actually got what we were going to get before everyone else did,” said Mac. “I don’t feel like we’ve gone overboard or anything like that by any means… We don’t have a stockpile of toilet paper or anything like that.”
“We have enough to last us two or three more weeks of course,” said Becky.
Extra food is stored in a room in the basement, which has always jokingly been referred to as the fallout shelter.
“It’s kind of funny that we actually are using the shelter now,” she said.
Another family, the Robertses, was also prepared with food and supplies just by fortunate timing.
“We were prepare before it even hit us,” said Shana Roberts, who lives in Lewisport with her husband Sim and their four kids.
She normally stocks up on groceries once a month, which happened to fall just before the virus panic set in.
“I’m glad that I did the day that I did because it was 24 hours later is when it (got bad),” she said.
They’re also taking the home delivered meals from the school district, which is a summer meal program that’s been implemented now to help ease the burden of suddenly having kids at home.
“That’s been great because I’ve got four kids and two of them are teenage boys and I can go spend $400 on groceries and they’ll be gone in a few days,” she said.
Although kids aren’t at school, it doesn’t mean that school work has been canceled, because every student has non-traditional instruction (NTI) assignments to complete at home.
“The two that are in elementary school, they got actual physical paper packets sent home with them,” she said. “And then my middle schooler and high schooler, they’re both doing all their work