Community Perspective

Try to be positive amid the dire virus news

The news media says we have several cases of the coronavirus in Alaska with many of them here in Fairbanks. I am of the vulnerable age, so I’m taking precautions and sheltering in place. Isn’t it good to know that none of our virus cases in the Fairbanks area are ill enough to be hospitalized? Regretfully, the national news media dwells on the numbers who have the virus and numbers who die, but we don’t see much about the number who survive.

I’d rather think of the positive aspects of this “event” and the fun I am having. I ate popcorn during church service this morning. I’ve never done that before. I attended via my computer and ZOOM videoconferencing. That was a new experience.

Sure, I miss the fellowship with others, giving and receiving “warm fuzzies,” but I was also saving wear and tear on my car as well as gas.

That can also be said of the organizations of which I am a member. No meetings I have to attend. (Although I have attended one via teleconference.) This has freed up my time such that I’ve been able to do many things that I’ve had to put off far too long. Like cleaning cupboard shelves and drawers and reading books that I’ve wanted to read when “I get around to it.” I’ve written thank you notes, letters to old friends, called family members and had nice visits with them. I’ve made music, getting out old instruments I haven’t touched in years. Yes, I’m quite rusty, but what fun to make music!

It’s important that we continue to get our exercise. I drive to town or to Creamer’s Field for walking or playing in the snow. Today I walked over an hour and never met anyone out and about. I am appalled by the number of homeowners or renters who do not clear their sidewalks. The few who do, I thank you. It is much appreciated. Looking for something to do while sitting at home? May I suggest turning off your TV and sweeping or shoveling some snow?

While out, I found some clean snow, which I took home and made snow ice cream. I haven’t done that since my kids were little. A recipe was in Kris Capps’ Sunday column in the News-Miner.

The freezer holds the berries I picked last season with the plan to make jam and jelly during the winter. Well, winter is still here even if the calendar says it is officially spring. I have the needed supplies on hand, so making jam and jelly is on my list to do this week. Perhaps I can set aside one jar to enter in the Tanana Valley State Fair this summer as suggested by Anita Hartmann in her letter to the editor on Saturday. Creating something should be on your to-do list while you have unexpected free time at home.

I’m labeling my photos. I preach labeling photos with names, dates and location, but I haven’t kept up. Now is the opportunity to catch up on that chore.

I have a sewing project I’m working on. Maybe I’ll get it finished before my expected great-granddaughter arrives.

Perhaps sharing what I’m doing will give you some ideas of what you can do to make this a positive experience. Maybe even write a letter to the editor.

Ruth Jolly Knapman lives in Fairbanks.


The Daily News-Miner encourages residents to make themselves heard through the Opinion pages. Readers' letters and columns also appear online at Contact the editor with questions at or call 459-7574.

Community Perspective

Send Community Perspective submissions by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707) or via email ( Submissions must be 500 to 750 words. Columns are welcome on a wide range of issues and should be well-written and well-researched with attribution of sources. Include a full name, email address, daytime telephone number and headshot photograph suitable for publication (email jpg or tiff files at 150 dpi.) You may also schedule a photo to be taken at the News-Miner office. The News-Miner reserves the right to edit submissions or to reject those of poor quality or taste without consulting the writer.

Letters to the editor

Send letters to the editor by mail (P.O. Box 70710, Fairbanks AK 99707), by fax (907-452-7917) or via email ( Writers are limited to one letter every two weeks (14 days.) All letters must contain no more than 350 words and include a full name (no abbreviation), daytime and evening phone numbers and physical address. (If no phone, then provide a mailing address or email address.) The Daily News-Miner reserves the right to edit or reject letters without consulting the writer.

Submit your news & photos

Let us know what you're seeing and hearing around the community.