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Treating Our Shared World as an Extension of Our Homes


Welcome. The At Home team got a lovely email recently from a woman in Brooklyn who lives near Prospect Park. One of her pandemic activities, she reported, is to go to the park to collect trash. She walks in one direction, gloved and masked, picking up detritus and filling a plastic bag. Then she walks back across the fields she’s made pristine. “It looks clean,” she wrote, “and I’m filled with happiness I can share by protecting this recreational area as a sanctuary during a pandemic.”

It’s worth giving that activity a try yourself this weekend, treating our shared, outside world as an extension of our own homes, places to care for and clean. I did with my kids, taking a long walk along a shoreline where people come to escape their hot apartments, to catch a breeze, to shoot the breeze. We managed three full garbage bags walking in one direction. And we thrilled to the beauty of our return journey, just as the letter writer did.

Life during the pandemic can be lonely, even if you’re lucky enough to have a pod. Picking up garbage in public, amazingly enough, can help alleviate it. People called out thanks and kudos as we walked. Conversations abounded, of just the sort we used to fall into with strangers before the virus came, albeit at a distance, albeit with masks.

More good ideas for living a good life at home and near it appears below. Please write and tell us what else you’d like to know about: [email protected] And we’ll try to be helpful to you, as this week a nice reader from Brooklyn was to us.



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