Just as science is saving our physical lives during this Covid-19 pandemic, ART (in all forms of the word) is saving our mental-emotional ones for many.  

Our creativity is keeping the house-bound sane as we struggle with isolation, detachment, and the relinquishing of habits that make up our norms. Did you know that it takes approximately 66 days to rid yourself of a habit — good or bad?  Forced to do this in seemingly one, is it any wonder so many feel distraught and on the brink?  Don’t be so hard on yourself, I say, given this fact alone.

What we are all going through as we sit home plagued by internal demons, external uncertainty, stressed kids, and thrown-off footing is incredibly difficult and overwhelming.  Some are made for it better than others.  And many of those “some” are using creativity and art to muddle through as well as pull others through too.

Long known for its therapeutic values, creativity and art are overflowing online and at home.  Parents are using it to occupy kids alongside themselves, hence the reason we’ve seen a seventy-five percent increase in arts and crafts sales during this pandemic followed by a seventy percent growth ino craft kits and reusable compounds.  TikTok videos are being consumed like never before.  Disney is certainly using all of its creative muscle to keep viewers engaged and entertained.  And even Josh Groban is singing to us from his shower (#ShowerSongs).  I sent him a request.  We will see if he sings it.

Personally, I am spending more time teaching my young son how to cook than days prior.  My garden and I have become intimately close.  And sewing colorful Coronavirus face masks with matching grocery totes have become part of my new routine and my ‘gift of choice’ for those I love and want to protect. The one pictured above has a pocket in the front secured by a button in order to store money/wallet, keys and a phone as well as a pocket in the back for groceries.  All can be thrown into the wash along with the user’s face mask once a shop has been completed, properly cleaned and then re-used once again.  No need to struggle with a purse in the store (which adds to today’s shopping clumsiness and can’t be cleaned).  All is conveniently available in these totes — efficiency, style, and caring where it is desperately needed and appreciated today.  I made this grocery tote for a friend who is elderly.  She couldn’t thank me enough.  Worth every stitch!

I am also receiving amazing poems written by friends, observing gorgeous renderings by one of my nieces being posted to her Facebook daily, hearing how my oldest daughter has learned to make delicious cornbread from scratch, and watching as those I regularly follow have been using creativity and art to entertain and endure this challenging time in their own homes.

This makes me think how undersold creativity and art is in our schools as it seems quite necessary in this particular moment, now doesn’t it — down to the sudden uptick in “face mask” demand recently, adding to the immediacy, need, and lack thereof?  It ain’t the scientists that are filling that demand rather the creative, artist types sewing all night long to keep you – the regular consumer – safe and out of scientists’, doctors’, and harm’s way.  We all have our role and cooperation is the key.

A correlation and observation I simply wanted to mention.  The importance of creativity and art in good times but especially in bad times has never been more real.  Beyond mere joy or entertainment, it is “survival” and “sanity” for a large part of our population currently.   

“The convergence of science and art under the most harrowing of conditions to reveal to humanity that neither is the opposite of the other and BOTH are inarguably critical to sustaining life, perhaps.”   

It’s never been so apparent.