The silver lining to be found

Published 6:00 pm Friday, April 10, 2020

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We certainly are living in interesting times. A mere month ago, it was inconceivable that schools would be closed, restaurants would be limited to take-out and delivery, and so many stores would have shuttered their doors. It was unthinkable the entire state would be under a stay-at-home order, that many people would transition to working from home, including the Daily News staff, and so many others would be unemployed. A month ago, it would have been mindboggling to see grocery store shelves wiped bare of toilet paper, paper towels and a seemingly random assortment of other items, depending on what day it is and whether there has been a recent delivery.

Which brings us to the subject of flour. Homebound folks are getting back to the basics. There’s been a resurgence in gardening and do-it-yourself projects to fill up the hours of the day when being out is not an option. There also seems to be a rediscovery happening in kitchens across Beaufort County, perhaps even across the state and nation. In mass numbers, it seems people are rediscovering the joys of baking if the shelves cleared of flour, sugar and yeast are any indication.

With so many people on the same recipe page, the shortage of baking staples has required a bit of ingenuity — ingenuity that takes a step back in time to the age-old concept of bartering. One Beaufort County woman, now teaching from home, was short on yeast, but she and her mother have been making cloth face masks for family and friends. A former student had no face masks, but had plenty of yeast. Through social media, they struck a deal to make an exchange: two face masks for an undisclosed number of yeast packets.

There are stories of neighbors borrowing or trading with neighbors: eggs for milk; sugar for bread; sharing recipes.

It’s as though this downtime imposed by a global pandemic is forcing humanity back to a simpler, slower place. There’s a silver lining to be found in any situation.