Several of you have asked about my oldest daughter in Atlanta – corona positive – and husband in Nashville – presumed positive. Thank you so much for your care and concern and love. They are doing okay! Most importantly, not worse. Our daughter has had a cough, fever, and tightness of chest for 9 days. She and her roommate remain about the same, together in isolation. She doesn’t want to hear from me as often as I want to hear from her – darn! I’m trying not to be annoying. Yesterday was also my husband’s 9th day of a fever, but it has been lower the last few days and he seems more comfortable.

Our daughter and her roommate are doing arts and crafts in their apartment when they’re not in bed. They’re watching movies remotely with friends. My husband is sleeping and also previewing some new shows for us to watch together when he is well. The latest? “Gomorrah.” It’s fiction/nonfiction (porous) based on the Italian mafia. Edgy, he says.

Today, I’m so grateful for Julie Frist to stop in at Bacon for an interview. Life in the Time of Corona needs routine and joy, not just worry…

Hi Julie! You’re kind to stop in at Bacon today as we’re all trying to figure things out.

Part of your strategy for staying sane is walking your dog, Athena…

Thank goodness for Percy Warner Park! I go every day with my dog and I absolutely love it. She loves it too… we are with her 24/7

Presuming we’ll all spend more time at home, how do you think you’ll use that time?

Still figuring that out. I am looking forward to spending quality time with my husband and three children. Over the last few days, I have enjoyed cooking with my oldest daughter who is home from college. Cooking has never been a strength of mine but I enjoy it and I want to teach my children some basics –  how to grill a steak, roast a chicken, and make a decent spaghetti bolognese. We will see…

I will also make an effort to get outside as much as possible while still keeping a distance from people. I know it may seem trivial to think about golf, but enjoying our hobbies keeps us sane right? When the weather improves, we’d like to take our children to play Sweetens Cove in South Pittsburg, TN. It’s a beautiful nine hole golf course near Chattanooga and the green fees are only $20. Fingers crossed it stays open for play. 

Sweetens Cove, TN

How will you change your daily or weekly routines? 

I thrive on routine so I will try my best to create some structure to my day.  For starters, I can’t function unless my bed is made first thing in the morning. 

What essential supply are you stocked up on?

Frozen pizzas, Clorox wipes and dog food.

What’s your comfort food right now? 

Unfortunately, my entire pantry. 

Approximately how many times a day do you wash your hands? Check the news?  

I’ve become an obsessive hand washer!

My husband and I don’t watch much TV so I get most of my news online. I’m trying to balance wanting to stay informed while also limiting screen time. That said, I check the news every few hours. The New York Post shouldn’t be anyone’s primary news source but it is certainly entertaining and I check it regularly.

If you watch more TV, which shows will you watch?

For some reason, I am nostalgic for the movies I loved when I was in my teens and early twenties. Maybe I will convince my children to watch them. So far we have watched “Presumed Innocent” and “Good Will Hunting.”

What are you reading right now?

I’m currently reading Such a Fun Age by Kiley Reid and I’m listening to American Dirt by Jeanine Cummins on Audiobooks.  I’d like to read The Splendid and the Vile by Erik Larson next.

What have you read in the last year or so that you would highly recommend?

Beartown, The Friend and Nothing to See Here. Beartown was my favorite. All three of our children read it and loved it. We still talk about that book all the time.


Do you dread social distancing or will it be okay for a few weeks? How long would it be okay for?

The truth is that social distancing comes naturally to me. It’s a real strength of mine! But it has always been my choice and now that it’s being imposed on me, I suddenly want to go out and see people. Classic, right?

Until we feel comfortable socializing again, I will make an effort to actually call people to check in with them. I’ve spoken to my family every day and I’ve called my four closest childhood friends. We typically text to check in but it was so nice to speak with them and hear their voices. 

What’s your advice for friends trying to stay mentally healthy in this trying time?

Simplify your life, get outside, limit screen time, create some structure to your day, read more books, spend quality time with your family and stay in touch with close friends. And remember to find humor in the heaviness of this difficult time.

Photos by Julie Frist