Over the last couple of weeks, times have changed across the nation and across the world. As of March 15th, West Virginia remains the only state without a confirmed case of COVD-19. Even though we do not have confirmed cases, this virus has infiltrated our lives. News sources with advice from experts in every field are constantly on television, on-line, and in print giving us up-to-date information and suggestions on what we should or shouldn’t do. At times, the information is contradictory from source to source. Stay in, go out, stock up for 2 weeks, stock up for 30 days, it’s a hoax, it’s worse than we know- it’s all a lot to digest. Whatever your thoughts on the situation are, we have some suggestions for you on how to spend your time. These are not from experts-it’s simply a few ideas and thoughts to help you along.
Social Distancing Version1
If you’re of the opinion that you need to stay in as much as possible, why not use this time to read a good book? Many binge-watch Netflix on the regular, but how often do you pick up a classic novel, educational book, or best-seller?
If you’re looking for something with a regional flair, stop by the Tug Valley Chamber of Commerce and pick up books like, “Don't Tell Them You're Cold: A Memoir of Poverty and Resilience,,” by Katherine P. Manely. Manely is an educator from neighboring Logan County, West Virginia. If you want to brush up on your knowledge about the City of Williamson or the Hatfield-McCoy Feud, those books are available too!
Looking for a classic to read, but not sure which to start with? Check this, “50 Classic Books Everyone Should Read In Their Lifetime,” list from Southern Living. Add a cup of coffee or tea and you’re set!
Other ideas: work a puzzle, take up a new hobby like painting, get out the record player and listen to some vinyl!
Social Distancing Version 2
So, maybe you’re thinking you need to just limit the close contact you have with others( 6 feet or more), but you’re still going out occasionally. If you’re still dining out and shopping, remember your local shops and restaurants. During times like these, small businesses need extra support from us. Whether you’re dining in or ordering carry-out, remember your local restaurants. Williamson and surrounding areas have plenty of restaurants to satisfy your food cravings!
If you feel the need for a little retail therapy, shop small. Check your local shops like Melisa's Baskets or Family Traditions in Williamson or Mountain State Boutique in Matewan. They’ll have something to bring some sunshine to your day!
The point is, support your local shops and businesses as much as possible. Buy a gift certificate for later, order online for pick-up, or post something positive on social media about your favorite places.
The Great Outdoors
One thing we have an abundant supply of in Williamson and all of Southern West Virginia is beautiful mountains and scenery. In 1840, Dr. George Bodington published, “An Essay on the Treatment and Cure of Pulmonary Consumption, On Principles Natural, Rational and Successful,” about his works and results of treating tuberculosis in England with a minimal amount of medicines, nutritious diet, gentle exercise in the open, and fresh air. A quote from his publication reads, “ The application of cold pure air to the interior surface of the lungs is the most powerful sedative that can be applied, and does more to promote the healing of cavities and ulcers of the lungs than any other means that can be employed.” To remind you, this article is not directions on how to self-medicate or give medical advice, but there is something wonderful about getting out in the great outdoors.
Why not take time to go fishing on the Tug Fork River? If you need advice on fishing, checkout the Friends of the Tug Fork Facebook page. Daily updates on water conditions, what bait is working, and who caught what can be found on their page.
Take a hike to Death Rock in Williamson or nearby Bottleneck Rock. Breathe in nature. Take a camera too. You’ll want to capture the beautiful views to share with others.
If you’re not up to hiking, walk the floodwall in Williamson or West End WIlliamson. You can even make a lap around your neighborhood!
We can’t leave out the Hatfield-McCoy Trails. With the Buffalo Mountain Trail System in Williamson, we have direct access to fantastic outdoor fun. ATV, SXS, dirt bike, or mountain bike- it all leads to fun in the open air!
No matter what we each feel about the COVID-19 situation, we can all agree on a few ideas and principles. West Virginia is filled with strong, caring people. We have a sense of family and community that can’t be found anywhere else. We might be partial, but we know these things are especially true about our towns and Southern West Virginia. Check on your family, friends, and neighbors. Calm those with fears. Support others however you can because we’re all in this together. Finally, remember the Golden Rule, “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you.”