Look, let’s get this out in the open right now: I am in NO WAY making light of the current situation that we here in Maryland, throughout the United States, and you know, The World, find ourselves in at this moment in time. I have two parents, multiple coworkers, students past and present, and even myself, who could fall ill and find ourselves in deep trouble. My full-time job is on a two-week hiatus (for now), my part-time jobs have canceled shifts and gigs, throwing both my normal routine and finances out of balance. First dates, social events and volunteering shifts have been canceled for everyone’s safety, as they should be. I have friends and followers in even worse straits, and the constant not knowing is wrecking everyone’s mental health. While this is not the end of times, it’s sure not a party.
Still…we all have to get through this in the best way that we can. I also remember the days and weeks during and after September 11, all of the worry and anxiety, staying in your house for days because you felt the need to watch the TV for updates. (This was before social media and smartphones, kids.) The constant vigil and heightened wariness was full in its weight. At some point you had to start to look at the brightness that was still present. My family’s first brightness came from the blue and yellow stub of a Blockbuster’s sign as we turned to watch something other than the news.
We’re just starting this future history test question period, and we don’t know what lies ahead. But that’s not different than other times. And like other times, we need to look for the brightness. And I would argue it’s important to start now so we can be ready for the long haul, however long it might be.
Here are my suggestions for what to do at all times, home, online and outside, over the next days and weeks (and possibly months).
AT ALL TIMES
First, a reminder in case you need it. (Which I honestly doubt, but I’m a science teacher so I would be irresponsible not to start here).
✅ Wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water when able.
✅ Use hand sanitizer when out and you can’t wash your hands.
✅ Stay 3 feet away from others when out and about.
✅ Stay home if you feel sick. Call your doctor or other health professional you trust.
✅ Stick to your circle of friends and relatives when you do socialize. Now is not the best time to make new friends. And ONLY do this if everyone is well. If you know a person who is high risk, call, email, or text them to make sure they are taking visitors and ask what they need at this time. Respect their wants and needs.
✅ Find a new body part to constantly touch. Take that as dirty as you want to 😉
✅ Greet people with a smile, nod, wave or even a friendly “Hello! How are you doing?” There’s no real need for any physical touch to greet people. You wave to people from your car, right? So just do that on the street too!
Now let’s get into some of the things we can do while we’re enacting the practices above during this National State of Emergency.
🏡 Spring seems to be early, so why not get your spring cleaning done early too?
🏡 Have any home maintenance that needs attending? No better time than the present. (I’m looking at you slow-draining sink.) Or…
🏡 Likewise, if there is a project you always wanted to do like repaint a room, rearrange the furniture, throw out all those old magazines. Or…
🏡 Read that stack of backlogged magazines. Start that new book. Or…
🏡 Write that book you want to write. Record that podcast (me much? yes). Create that art. Start that hobby you always think about starting but don’t have the time. Or…
🏡 Look for that new job. This is especially true if the current situation has you questioning your current job. I know it might seem counter-intuitive to look when places aren’t even in business, but if you’ve been thinking about a job change and you are home, use the time to figure our your options. Even if it’s just looking, it won’t hurt.
AT SCREEN TIME
💻 Watch your favorite funny or positive shows when you stream. My faves are Sex and the City, Parks and Rec, Schitt’s Creek, and Arrested Development.
💻 Listen to some killer podcasts. A great local one is HERstory on the Rocks, which mixes (no pun intended) cocktails with notable women. A favorite that I highly recommend are The Bradshaw Boys, who you’ll remember I personally know. Yeah, it’s about Sex and the City, but it’s not necessary to watch the show, this one’s all about laughs and relationships. To help you with writing that book, you should check out #Authoring with Jennifer Keishin Armstrong. And I stumbled on You’re Wrong About, which looks back at a past event or trend (Anna Nicole Smith, D.C. Snipers, poisoned Halloween candy) and explains how they were misrepresented or cast. It’s highly addictive. Finally, if you want to learn more about activities between the sheets – email me with what you’re looking for, and I can give you personalized recommendations. Honestly, there’re too many great ones to choose.
💻 Write your own blog. Yeah, you think they’re so 2003, but they are still around and a lot of fun. Plus, people always want to find new personalities to get to know.
💻 Find a new follow. Sure, you could follow me @just_b_more, and I would love that! Still, you should check out these other great local accounts: @mrtrashwheel (for a local celeb), @bwillowbmo (for the best local plant porn), @twomindgrind (for amazing local pictures). If you want to branch out beyond our borders, then you must follow @herfirst100k (for finances), @pattiegonia (for inclusive outdoor content), and @bigntoasty (color-fun pictures!).
💻 Join an online community that is doing things a little differently. Erin Ryan (@morninggloria on Twitter) started a “Mass Quarantine Book Club,” had her followers vote, and posted a link that allows you to purchase the first book from a local independent bookstore.
IN THE GREAT OUTDOORS
We’re not some places, where we are quarantined in our homes 24/7, but please keep your safe practices in mind when you do venture out into our great big world. And keep that big world small, just for now.
🌳 Parks are great places to visit. Take your dog, good friend, book, blanket and a snack. Just remember to pick up any trash and keep that social distance.
🌳 Support businesses that have outdoor areas or curbside service. A lot of local businesses are offering to take orders, whether food, books or coffee to your car. Just a few that are doing this are the stalls at R. House, Greedy Reads, foraged., and Wicked Sisters. Not sure if your business is offering? Just call. I’m sure if you give them a heads up, they will be able to help you out.
🌳 Gift yourself or others a gift card to your favorite small business or restaurant. You can use the gift card at a later time, but the small businesses will get the money now when they really need it. Many of the places I’ve featured like Found Studio/Shop (read about it here) and Dogs of Charm City (great events will be back!) have gift cards. You can also online shop at favorites, like Sun Ah Blair and The Broken Plate have great online shops open 24 hours a day.
🌳 Donate to your favorite hangout that has closed for YOUR safety. Many places like National Aquarium, Baltimore Museum of Art and others are closed but still need that revenue. Find your favorite and help them out!
Remember, as the great High School Musical stated, we’re all in this together. So let’s band together and help each other out during this challenge.
What could just B more hopeful?
The article Things to do during the Covid-19 Quarantine was written by Elizabeth Schap and first appeared on just B more.
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