Taking advantage of time at home

                                                                                                                                  Photo by Shari Harris
Licking Schools continue to feed children, with meals received from this Grab & Go drive thru at the elementary cafeteria door. Monday a special treat of Girl Scout cookies were included in the meals. Back left, 4th grade teacher Mrs. Blackburn let the kids know she misses them while Supt. Wright alternated with the kitchen ladies handing out meals and accepting completed homework. More teachers were busy putting together new homework packets which will be handed out on Thursday and Friday. Sandy Maddox, Tina Williams, Natasha Reed, Linda Jones, Terri Terry, Kathy Williams, Crystal Keller and Carrie Buckner helped in the kitchen, 
while paraprofessionals helped with custodial tasks.
By Christy Porter
Managing Editor

As the coronavirus pandemic spreads across the U.S. it seems people are taking precautions and staying home when possible. They are also finding fun and innovative ways to stay motivated, connected and optimistic. The Licking News recently inquired on their Facebook page that the community submit activities in which they’re participating while social distancing.
Lynne Foster responded, “My husband and I are retired. Doing the social distancing thing, and only going out for necessities. However, we video chat daily with our daughter and niece, and have virtual dinner together once a week.” The virtual dinner is a great idea for staying connected with family and still being physically distant.
“The American Red Cross is still working hard to help our communities even through social distancing. We practice social distancing whenever we respond to structure fires. We are very proud of our mission and our communities,” said Kerry Ogden. Our thanks to Kerry for her service and commitment. Our sincere thanks go to all first responders and medical care providers, their support staff and essential workers; those at grocery stores, pharmacies, gas stations, truck drivers, prepared food providers, those in our agricultural fields and the many, many others.
Thanks to Sherri Clough for her response as well.
We as a local community are remaining positive and proactive in these trying times. Collectively we are caring for our neighbors from the youngest to the oldest.
People from this area and other communities are choosing to be thankful for many blessings. They are posting photos of themselves and their families on social media, taking walks, fishing, horseback riding, doing yardwork and of the bursting signs of spring. The fresh air and activity are good for physical and mental well-being.
Friends are answering and submitting questionnaires to get more acquainted with each other.
Many are sharing optimistic posts, quotes, prayers and scripture. Churches are videoing services, live streaming on social media, and holding drive-in services. It has even been suggested that senior graduations be done by drive-in ceremony.
People are cleaning, purging, organizing and sharing tips. Kids and adults alike are cooking and enjoying it, getting creative, sharing recipes and meal ideas, even some very old family recipes. Someone even posted old cookbook recipes for Roast Possum, Opossum Stuffing, Braised Moose and Reindeer Roast. Hope it doesn’t come to this; the moose and reindeer would be hard to come by here in the Ozarks. There are also recipes for cleaning and hygienic supplies. Please be careful when mixing different chemicals.
Many educators are sharing fun and educational ideas for young people to access while out of school. This is, of course, supplemental to their assigned schoolwork. Some older adults are hosting story times for the young ones. Most school districts are providing meals for their students, Licking R-VIII started this indispensable service on Monday.
                                                                                                                               Photo by Shari Harris
Teachers showed their support at the Licking R-VIII Grab & Go drive thru Monday. Holding signs, doing shout-outs and waving to kids and parents are from left: Mrs. Haneline, 1st grade; Mrs. Huff, 3rd grade; Mrs. Teri Clonts, Pre-K, while Supt. Wright hands out meals.
Institutions, museums, aquariums, zoos and other places of interests are live streaming virtual tours of their facilities, to be enjoyed by young and old. This may also be a great time to research gardening tips to keep the agricultural interest going.
Artists, including our local talent, are sharing the works they are doing at home. They are also encouraging children and others to express their feelings via artwork. A wonderful result of the physical distancing may be budding artists in all genres. Others are learning and/or sharing handwork such as crocheting and quilt making.
Musicians, professional and amateur, are posting social media concerts and parodies for the home quarantined. 
There are live streams from all levels of government and health officials with COVID-19 updates and safety measures. This can cause anxiety but it is necessary, first, so we can be assured that these entities are taking action for our protection and secondly, so we can be aware of how we can protect others and ourselves.
Maintain a sense of humor in close quarters, stay safe, say your prayers and wash your hands.



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