Just as you wouldn’t travel to Europe without packing a suitcase or go to the beach without bringing a swimsuit, so you need the proper tools to shelter at home. Tongue in cheek, here are the must-haves for lockdown:

Old-Fashioned Curlers

After years of going to a beauty salon where I had my locks blown out, I tried it myself and failed. Curlers to the rescue!

I unearthed some old Velcro rollers, which must date back to my junior high days, and soon I was rolling up my tresses like a pro. It made me realize that boys and men may come and go, but a good set of curlers is forever.

Husband

A husband is ahandy target when you are getting cabin fever. After all, if you’re cranky, he must have done something wrong, right? Your bad moods aside, a husband is also indispensable for so many chores at a time when handymen and cleaning people can’t come into the house. As an example, see below.

Vacuum Cleaner

My husband is the designated vacuum-er. Since our vacuum must weigh 400 pounds, it’s too heavy for him (but not our petite longtime cleaning lady) to lug back and forth to the garage.

This Hoover equivalent of the HMS Queen Mary now occupies pride of place in our living room, where it doubles as a coat hanger and umbrella stand.

An Oreo or a Tootsie Pop

Yes, I know we could count Oreos and Tootsie Pops as separate tools, but on a daily basis, they’re either/or. Oreos melt in your mouth, but then they’re gone in a twinkling of an eye.

Tootsie Pops, on the other hand, are not as sweet but last longer and have the advantage of making your husband crazy with your sucking sounds. Oh, go on, have both.

Toilet Paper

From my highly scientific survey, I would say that even if you’ve always been addicted to two-ply (and I see on the Internet there are even three- and four-ply for the discerning user), I advise you to switch to one-ply for the duration. The roll lasts ever so much longer and does the job just fine.

Telenovelas

Some Latin American soap operas have upwards of 225 episodes, which will see you through lockdown and beyond. In addition, they’ll help you acquire a highly specialized Spanish vocabulary that will come in handy should you ever have to negotiate with El Chapo or other kingpins in the drug trafficking world.

Kindle

The e-book has its place in my survival kit since libraries are closed for the duration. I, a glutton for punishment, decided this was the perfect time to tackle “The Magic Mountain” by Thomas Mann, all 1,006 pages of it.

The tipoff it would be difficult was the price tag, only $0.99 on Kindle. After reading the first 750 pages, I think they should have paid me.

Phone with Food-To-Go on Speed Dial

I don’t mind cooking, but scrubbing pots and running the dishwasher every five minutes get me down. That’s why take-out is such a sanity saver at this time.

Moreover, it helps us feel virtuous because we’re keeping people employed and helping the local economy. Whoever invented take-out should get the Nobel Prize.

Zoom

Zoom is a must-have lifeline to the outer world. Unfortunately, most of us Zoomers look like escapees from Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum. Experiment to get the most flattering lighting, and then bring out your pearls and tiaras. They go with everything – even your daytime pajamas.

Husband

I know this is his second mention, but he’s worth it. After all, who else would question why you are putting on lipstick before donning your facial mask? Who else is so desperate to watch sports he would tune into cherry pit spitting? And who else would tell you the worldwide Covid-19 count – hour by hour?

So that’s it for my Top 10. Of course, I’ve only been in lockdown for a month. Come mid-May I’m sure I’ll have more items for you to consider. In the meantime, stay safe and sane, perhaps by weaving twigs and Saran Wrap for a highly unique facial mask. . .

What are your indispensable tools for lockdown? Are you finding new addictions, such as 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzles? What do you wear to Zoom with friends? How are you keeping your sanity? Please share with us locked-down folk!

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