There is so much about managing COVID-19 that is pragmatic and necessary and routine. As soon as people understand what a droplet infection is, they realize how to protect themselves and the community. Protecting yourself and the community is straightforward but it is a routine, that must be maintained rigorously for a long time.

The problem with routines is that they become boring for all of us and I am bored. To combat this boredom, I am seeking creative outlets in my time off. I am seeking outlets to push out past the pragmatic routines that are essential during the day and to keep my home and family and community safe.

This weekend, as I was stumbling around my brain to wake it up, I found a link to the website Painting in Hospitals. This British organization is 60 years old and their mission is “to transform the UK’s health by using world-class art to inspire better health and well-being for patients, carers and communities.”

Websites are websites, but so much of what I saw on Paintings in Hospitals fed my hunger for a creative endeavour.

There were activities to try that made me believe I could create visual art. I am someone who finds the drawing required to play “Hangman” daunting. I can create some impressive textiles by sewing and knitting, but I use patterns assiduously and copy others’ ideas shamelessly. I do always credit them, however. I have eleven years of education after high school, after all, and I understand plagiarism.

But I cannot draw or paint. Although Paintings in Hospitals almost convinces me that I should try. That is why I found myself on a walk on a beautiful spring day taking pictures of spring flowers to build “a pleasing collage” of these images. I have the pictures. I just have to figure out the collage tool.

This exercise really did pull my brain into a new space and away from the routine that was threatening to overwhelm me.

As a society, we will have to maintain these routines for much longer to stay safe. Why not look at Paintings in Hospitals and learn why at will help us stay sane?

What are you creating? I’ll put up my collage, if you show me what you’re doing.

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