The sun is out and our lilies are blooming, bright bursts of yellow next to the plastic pink flamingos under the “Welcome Friends” sign Chrissy planted by the front walk.

It’s hard to believe snow is in the forecast for tomorrow, as if we needed another reason to run out for eggs, bread, milk and toilet paper. Running out for anything you don’t desperately need RIGHT NOW is an incredibly selfish thing to do. The best way to stay safe and avoid hurting others is to STAY HOME.

Yeah, we’ve all heard this a zillion times, and yeah, it sucks, but it seems some of us still haven’t gotten the message. Some suggestions for the clueless who bleat, “If I’m gonna get it, I’m gonna get it. There’s nothing I can do about it.”:

Stream another movie. Take another nap. Eat another chocolate-covered potato. Call or text friends and family. Post something helpful or hopeful on social media — not home remedies like gargling Clorox or vinegar or conspiracy theories that wouldn’t pass the laugh test as plots for a 007 film. Play board games, even if some of the pieces are missing. Paint a portrait of your dog while your cat paints a portrait of you. Read a book. Read another book.

Better yet, read a newspaper. Today’s Sunday Times is chock full of the hard news, features, sports and commentary you expect from a community newspaper. The front page has several COVID-19-related stories, including this one about how the pandemic is damaging local businesses, and this one about how workers compensation may not cover workers sickened by coronavirus.

Staff Writer Sarah Hofius Hall supplies today’s warm smile among the cold headlines with the story of West Scranton siblings who used Easter eggs and inspirational messages to connect with their homebound school friends. Read it here, and when you’re done with all the good stuff in today’s paper, read my column here.

I hope our lilies survive the coming storm, and that someday soon our “Welcome Friends” sign will be more a declaration than a decoration. These days, I do my hoping at home. You should, too.

How did you spend this strange day? Maybe in the office, or at home with the kids. Maybe you’re a service worker, first responder or medical professional. Maybe there’s an unsung hero or someone who’s really struggling in your neighborhood we should know about. Email me at or and I’ll share your stories here.

The Times-Tribune is still here, and so are you. We will get through whatever comes next together, one day at a time. Hang in there, hunker down and wash your hands. And STAY HOME.