Families who stay at home together find time to play together: one good thing to come from Ohio “Stay at Home” order

By Chuck Gibson

LOVELAND – MIAMI TOWNSHIP, OH (March 24, 2020) – It is not what you’d expect to see mid-afternoon on a Tuesday in March in a suburban neighborhood anywhere U.S.A.

Brody passes the ball off to mom, Sarah, as sister Peyton and dad Rocky Sehlhorst enjoy a spirited game of four-square Tuesday afternoon, March 24, during “Stay at Home” Ohio orders (Photo Chuck Gibson)

Rocky Sehlhorst, his wife Sarah, and their two school-age children, Peyton and Brody were having a spirited game of four-square in the driveway. They weren’t the only ones. Just three houses away, Ansley Warnecke was practicing volleyball serves in the driveway with her dad, Nick Warnecke. A quick glance up the street revealed similar scenes on driveways and in front of homes all around the neighborhood. It is a scene you’d expect to see on a midsummer day, not a March mid-afternoon in Ohio.

“Different, that’s for sure,” said Warnecke as he snatched the volleyball out of the air.

This is a scene playing out in communities all across Ohio the first full day of Ohio Governor Mike DeWine’s order to “Stay at Home” in efforts to slow, and ultimately stop the spread of the Coronavirus (COVID-19).

Nick Warnecke was playing some volleyball with daughter Ansley during Ohio “Stay at Home” order Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (Photo Chuck Gibson)

All non-essential businesses were ordered to shut down at 11:59 p.m. Monday, March 23, thru at least April 6, leaving Ohioans to shelter in place. In his, now daily 2:00 p.m. coronavirus update press conference, Governor DeWine and Dr. Amy Acton, Director of Ohio Health Department confirmed the number of people with confirmed positive testing for COVID-19 continues to rise.

The emergency “Stay at Home” order means a lot of things, most of which we will not really know and understand until the order is lifted and life resumes whatever the “new normal” will be. Until that day comes, one thing we do know is: even from this unprecedented challenging time, there is good to be found. Ask Ansley Warnecke who would normally be in class with other students at St. Columban Catholic School in Loveland, but today, her dad’s birthday, she is out serving up volleyball with him in their driveway. It doesn’t mean she isn’t doing classwork. Modern communications and teaching technology has taken care of that. 



“We’re using Google Classroom, every subject,” she said. “We don’t start spring break until Good Friday. I guess we’re going to have to cancel our trip to Destin, Florida.”  

Just like the Sehlhorst’s having fun together playing four-square in the driveway, the Warnecke’s were wearing smiles as they played with the volleyball in the driveway. It might not be a Florida Beach adventure, but those smiles and laughter reveal a bright ray of light – even under a blanket of a gray sky in March, in Ohio, with orders to “Stay at Home.” Yes, the family who stays at home together indeed finds time to play together.

Stay safe, stay well, and have just a little fun along the way Ohio.

The Sehlhorst’s, Rocky, Brody, Peyton & Sarah enjoyed a spirited game of “Four-square” together Tuesday, March 24, 2020 (Photo Chuck Gibson)