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Chester County Press

Navigating the quarantine

04/07/2020 05:37PM ● By Richard Gaw

In our second installment of the series, the Chester County Press has asked a few of our neighbors to provide some detail about the creative ways they have adjusted to the Stay at Home decree from Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf.

By Richard L. Gaw
Staff Writer

Despite not being able to teach his students in person, Bryan Tuk of grooveKSQ has been conducting lessons with his students via Face Time, Skype and Google hangouts, at reduced rates during the shutdown.
“While we certainly have a crisis unlike anything that we have ever seen, I don’t believe in obstacles, I believe in opportunity,” he said. “We have a challenge. How do we respond? Do we sit alone in our homes, stagnant, waiting for the next month or two to pass? Or do we continue to grow, to improve and excel? I choose growth. The first two lessons I taught today were for one student in Detroit, Mich., and the second lesson was taught to a student in Wilmington.
“Although the delivery method will temporarily change, they will have my full attention, and we are going to power through this and be stronger on the other side of this crisis.”

For Fashion designer David Ferron, the owner of Unionville Saddle, his normally –and enormously –busy life has slowed down for the moment, while he reconnects with friends and family.“With this unexpected break from everything we previously called “normal,” I am taking the time to remind myself that we do not have to use this time to be productive,” he said. “Instead of filling my time with productivity, I have been focusing on strengthening the bond I have with friends and family through recipes, new forms of video communication,and creative expression.
“It is important to remember that mental health is a top priority and not judge anyone for how we each express that. One day we might feel like it's the right time to dust of the bike and go for a long ride, paint a couple of hours, and start planning an online course. The next, we may feel like lying in bed all day and binge-watch Netflix.
“We must remind ourselves that both are perfectly acceptable right now. Something I have always tried to remind clients in my shop and friends all over the world is to be kind to yourself. If we can be kind to ourselves first,we can then spread kindness to others.”

For Kennett Township Supervisor Whitney Hoffman, her social calendar remains quite full, although most of it is from her home.
“My kids are teaching the adults how to play group games on PS4, we've also been playing card games in the evening, and there is even a threat that my son James will teach us all how to play Dungeons and Dragons this weekend,” she said. “We’re getting organized, and I've gotten out my quiltmaking fabric stash to make some face masks, teasing that I am no longer a hoarder but a prepper. That’s probably too serious and real for the paper, but it's something I could think of to do from home to try to help, even if the masks just end up being used by folks going to the store.“
My husband John rides his bike in laps through the neighborhood, we walk the dog a few times a day, and we are also talking to our friends. I already do zoom chats for work, but we’re thinking of doing a Netflix Party with some friends; there’s a chrome extension you can use so you can watch movies together, with a chat function, and even pause to talk.”

For Josie Marsh of Bike Kennett, she and her busy family have been cultivating the gardens at their five-acre property. Calling her garden and yard her “key to my sanity,” Josie has already planted turnips, radishes, peas and a variety of greens and is preparing to plant more when the weather begins to warm.In between, she’s been making her own sourdough bread, cooking her own beans and whipping up her own batches of granola.
“In the mornings,we try to all get out for a walk, run or short bike ride, then I try to keep my six-year old daughter on somewhat of a schedule: an hour of academic time and then an hour of creative time before lunch and chores,” she said. “We’ve discovered some online art classes that she really enjoys. It suits her well to go at her own pace and not have anyone looking at her work.
“My 12-year-old daughter is pretty self motivated and works on her school work for most of the day. Our afternoons are more free-form and then they both get some fun screen time later in the afternoon, sometimes with friends through Face Time.

For Lynn Sinclair, much of her time is being spent preparing the new Kennett Heritage Center on North Union Street in Kennett Square. Established as a nonprofit organization on Jan. 9, the center is scheduled to open in late summer or early fall, and will provide visitors with a history of the Kennett area during the 1700s, 1800s and 1900s. As of now, however, there is still a lot to do before the doors open, Sinclair said.
“I am stripping paint off a pair of Victorian Doors that will be inside the Center, and working on what each room will contain,” she said. “This past week, I worked on the first room which will be titled “A New Land” and cover the era of the 1700s. I built a model of the room to see how all the images and text would fit and how a visitor would ‘flow’ through the room. I also worked on developing a fundraising strategy for the organization.”

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].