Dana Mentink

The Plus Side of a Pandemic

No, there is NOTHING good about the Covid virus! Let’s get that clear from the start. It’s been like a vicious storm sweeping across the globe, visiting destruction everywhere. That said, we know that God can work good from anything, and during our shelter in place experience, He has definitely worked good in my life.  As the weeks have drawn on during this wacky time, I have concluded that there are three very big plusses to hanging out at home. Read on, and see if you agree.


  1. I have discovered that our small house is extremely versatile. I mean, who knew that I could slap up a bamboo screen and have a perfect corner to conduct my Zoom interviews, listen to church online, and even teach a course at a writer’s conference! I am embarrassed to admit that over the years I have complained about not having my own office space, but come to find out, I can do all kinds of events from various rooms, even shooting some photos in the bathroom! (The light in there is super!) The biggest challenge to my Zooming efforts has been Junie the Wonder Dog, who doesn’t really care a bit about keeping quiet during the Zooms. Then again, Junie doesn’t much care for anything on the human agenda unless it involves “treat” or “car.” Thanks, God, for the house.


  1. I have discovered that my garden is a paradise. Mind you, this is Northern, California where property values are ridiculous, so my garden paradise consists of two raised beds in a corner of our tiny yard. When the sun is shining, it’s the perfect place to escape the twenty-four-seven indoor together time. I’m not a very skilled gardener, but I get so much joy out of watching the little buds bravely defeat the snails and my black thumb. Hummingbirds, dragonflies, the agile lizard that lives under the bricks, they are all treasures which pandemic has given me more time to appreciate. Thanks, God, for the garden.


  1. And finally…I have discovered that any time is precious if you spend it with the right people. Hubster is retired, so the poor man has had to be home 24/7 with yours truly. I am banging away on a keyboard most of the time, so we’ve had to look for things we can enjoy together, instead of traveling and visiting family and going to movies and such. So, we watch church online together…precious. We watch the Food Network and gape at the ingenuity of chefs who cook things we would never attempt…precious. We take Sunday drives with the dog…noisy, but precious. And we visit Grandma Mentink, masked, six feet apart, sometimes sitting on her porch with our winter jackets on, but very precious moments indeed. Thank you, God, for time and togetherness.


So that’s how I’m feeling about the plusses of pandemic. Any you can think of?