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Finding the beauty in our ‘Groundhog Day’

| April 5, 2020 1:00 AM

I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels as if they’re trapped in the movie “Groundhog Day,” where Bill Murray is forced to live the same day over and over again.

This shelter-in-place order has all of us hunkered down at home to avoid being exposed to COVID-19. Our social calendars are bare going into April, and who knew a trip to the grocery store would become pretty much our only contact with the outside world.

The Daily Inter Lake news staff has been working from home for the past week, some even longer than that, and I imagine this will be the case for a couple of more weeks at least. For me it’s an extra layer of emails and phone calls to coordinate our news coverage each day. As you’ve no doubt noticed, we’ve been writing a lot about the pandemic and how it’s affecting life in the Flathead. It’s a challenge not being able to interview people in person or attend meetings, but our staff has been doing an admirable job of keeping on top of the news.

When you work at home, it seems even more difficult to separate myself from the daily barrage of coronavirus-related news. It’s everywhere. I’ve been taking walks, reading books and spending time online to pass the time, and it’s been very entertaining to see all the innovative things happening online.

Sportscasters with nothing to do are conducting mock announcements of their dogs racing to their food bowls. Country singer Dolly Parton is reading bedtime stories in a weekly YouTube series. Food Network star Ina Garten showed how to make an enormous cocktail for one, prompting fans to post: “Is Ina OK? Should we be checking on Ina? And not to be outdone, Canada has been showing off photos of our northern neighbor’s “Outlandish Hair Freezing Contest.”

I’ve also gotten a kick out of a fun, online activity staged by Getty Museum in Los Angeles, asking people to recreate famous paintings with materials they can find at home. The results are hilarious. There may be other museums orchestrating these reenactments as well. I burst out laughing when I saw former Inter Lake photographer Robin Loznak’s chocolate Lab outfitted to look like the “Girl With A Pearl Earring” depicted in Johannes Vermeer’s famous painting, and another artistic rendition that features his leaping Lab in Botticelli’s “The Birth of Venus.”

For those of us who love Broadway tunes and music in general, the pandemic has provided myriad delightful opportunities to hear our favorite artists perform from the confines of their homes, or collaborating with other vocalists to present concerts. One of the most endearing to me has been famous composer Andrew Lloyd Webber, who has been entertaining us daily with his performances of some of his most popular songs and singalongs.

And now I’ve learned he’ll stream his musicals for free online on a new YouTube channel called “The Shows Must Go On,” starting with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat.” When this is all over, let’s not forget how important the arts are in our lives; they are nourishment for our souls.

I’ve laughed and I’ve cried at what I’ve found online during this dark chapter of our lives. One particular rendition of “The Prayer” brought me to my knees. “Let this be our prayer, how much faith there is, when we lose our way, if you guide us, you will save us...”

None of knows how long we’ll be living our “Groundhog Day” existence. All we can do is what Bill Murray eventually discovered: learn to find the beauty in our lives on this particular day, and tomorrow, eventually, will come.

News Editor Lynnette Hintze may be reached at 758-4421 or lhintze@dailyinterlake.com.