Saying that life as we know it has changed is an understatement. We are at the beginning of a marathon here in Minnesota when it comes to COVID-19. Where the finish line is remains unclear.

What is becoming clear to me is that my family knows how to rally and make the most out of what we have to work with. In my household, there are seven of us. My daughter, grandson and son-in-law returned to Minnesota from Texas, after the pandemic cut short my son-in-law’s internship in Houston. They are currently living with us as well.

Being locked down with seven people can have its challenges, but I have to say, it’s been going fairly well. I’m incredibly impressed by how well the two teens have handled this. They have been helpful and cooperative when it comes to not seeing friends. They have shared their understanding of how this is a community effort.

As a side effect of not being able to see friends, the teens have been doing a lot more with us. We have started an indoor garden and have done some family yoga. There have been lots of basketball and outdoor chores as well.

My extended family has started a group chat where we catch each other up on how we are staying sane and safe. We also started a family trivia game via Zoom, where we can see each other.

In a way, this isn’t our first rodeo. A few years ago, I was with my family in Hawaii when we spent 38 minutes thinking a missile was headed to Hawaii to kill all of us. A horrific, but also bonding experience. This crisis is much longer than 38 minutes, but in a way that earlier experience showed us that we are stronger than we think we are. We also are capable of remaining calm, while also being strategic as a family.

For over a decade I’ve worked as a freelance writer and social media content creator and amplifier, through my company Webster Effect. I have years of experience working from home. I’m also an introvert at heart, who works best while alone. This makes me well suited for social distancing and a stay-at-home order. Though I love being with small groups of people at a time, I get my energy from being alone. At this point, even I miss the physical connection to my friends and extended family.

The other day a woman was walking her dog past my home while I was at the mailbox. I was so excited to see someone outside of my household. I greeted her from a good 15 feet away, with probably a bit too much enthusiasm. Needless to say, I haven’t seen her since. She probably changed her route to avoid the crazy lady, desperate to see a friend.

I have many friends who are extroverts who get their energy from being around other people. Those are the people I’m concerned about. If any of you are starting to draw a face on a volleyball named Wilson, reach out via a platform where you can speak to friends via video.

Personally, each day has been a struggle of finding a balance between staying informed versus becoming paralyzed by the intensity of our current circumstances. This is the biggest crisis I’ve had to deal with since I gave up alcohol.

Though I feel strong in my abstinence from alcohol, I’ve been struggling with moderation when it comes to treats. I found an accountability buddy on Facebook to help with this. We check in with each other and share tips.

We need to be physically distant at this time, but not socially distant. I’m on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. You can find me with my name. Let’s connect! I’d love to hear how you are making the most of this time of social distancing. Especially you extroverts who might be struggling.

We can be physically distant while being socially connected.

You can learn more about Natalie Webster and her adventures in the Lake Minnetonka area at