The current crisis—what? you haven't heard of the coronavirus?—has brought back some timely reminders from our history. It seems those history replays come mostly from war times, and for good reason: we've got an invisible enemy, and people have taken to seeing the confrontation as a battle for their very lives.
An aptly-put post by DNA blogger (and also consummate quilter) Roberta Estes of DNA Explained fashioned it this way about how she chose to use her sewing skills to face this threat from the enemy:
Suddenly, you’re not sewing, you’re driving your tank through the night to create the defenses our medical warriors need....
Comments from those like-minded individuals who chafe at merely sitting still in the face of threatening danger are lately invoking iconic reminders from past war times. Rosie the Riveter is making a comeback—only now, she is manning a sewing machine.
While my own family history seemed to squeak by those past war times—my dad was born less than ten years before the start of World War One—I can understand why those battle cries from the past can inspire others. Alas, I am not much use at a sewing machine any more, but can still draw inspiration from other lessons learned about surviving times of crisis in our history.
In our case, with the weather finally warming up, I'll opt for ditching the stitching and head outdoors to work on a "victory garden." A practical idea put to good use in many countries during both the first and second world wars, the Victory Garden not only can help feed a family during possible food shortages, but can also produce enough food to share with others. Anyone who has planted "just a few" zucchini plants can vouch for that; the entire neighborhood gets to eat zucchini before long.
The best part about taking action to sew masks or plant gardens is precisely that: taking action in the face of uncertainty. Having something positive to do not only helps mitigate the situation, it helps provide a therapeutic outlet for those of us who, like our ancestors from the wars before us, just can't take this uncertainty sitting down.
Above: Color lithograph issued in 1918 to promote the campaign of the United States National War Garden Commission; courtesy Wikipedia; in the public domain.