Father & Daughter Cooking

Fun And Creative Things To Do During Lockdown

As the Covid-19 pandemic continues to impact our planet many of us have taken to the internet to jump on new lifestyle trends that we can implement into our own quarantine lives. Many of these trends are birthed on social media apps and are fleeting, while others make a lasting impact that will continue on into the future. 

For example, living room music festivals took over when the world initially went into lockdown. People were disappointed as they watched all their favorite singers, Broadway plays, museums, and other cultural venues shut down one-by-one as the pandemic worsened, so they brought them all to their own homes. 

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With concerts specifically, there have been a multitude of artists that have put on virtual live performances via their Instagram stories and other social media platforms. Others have gotten creative and found full recordings of their favorite artists past concert performances and thrown their own mini-festival in their home. Festival playlists on streaming services such as Spotify or Apple Music also make it easy for you and your quarantine buddies to jam out at any time. 

In the same regard people have been clearing out their yards and taking advantage of whatever outdoor spaces they have to host small, socially distanced, gatherings with their closest friends. Anyone who has a front, side, or backyard has likely already taken advantage of it within the past six months, however, there’s still some summer left, so spruce up the space by ordering some cheap twinkly lights online, setting out some candles, pillows, and blankets for when it gets cooler in the evening, and set up a separate food and beverage area that promotes everyone getting their own dish and cup. 

Digital happy hours have also become an amazing trend for those of us who have friends who are either immunocompromised, or live far so they can’t attend an outdoor social distance kickback. Platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts make it easy to connect with as many people as you want, so many are opting to continue their weekly “going out” traditions with their friends, in a much more intimate and digitized way. 

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If you live in an area with public parks or other spaces that can promote distancing yourself from others, have a picnic with a couple of friends. Everyone can bring their own blanket to sit on to ensure that they’re remaining six feet apart, as well as their own food. If you want to get more creative, have everyone attending be responsible for one aspect of the meal and have them package it in separate bags so that when you arrive, you can simply exchange the bags and have a full meal right in front of you. 

Many have also taken this time to work on some new life skills/hobbies such as cooking, home renovation, knitting, exercising, and more. Take an afternoon and write out a list of life goals and things you want to accomplish, then go down the list and find the smaller goals and create subcategories of things to do to help you reach that goal. For example, if you want to learn how to make an entire five-course meal, start by looking up how to make simple and easy appetizers and work your way through the meal. Give yourself time to perfect your new craft, after all, we have a lot of that to kill. 

Finally, to circle back living room festivals, many have also opted to take advantage of the internet’s thousands of virtual tours and events that some of the worlds biggest cultural institutions have set up to entertain everyone in quarantine. For example, Google Arts and Culture has set up an online resource that lists thousands of virtual tours, concerts, upcoming events, etc. that anyone can “attend” from the comfort of their own homes.

Two Women Reading

Great Books That Will Keep You Entertained In Quarantine

It’s clear that all of us are trying to come up with new ways  to keep ourselves entertained while we sit in quarantine and wait for the world to return to normalcy. There’s only so many movies and shows we can watch in a day, and now that the weather is getting nicer, a lot of us are going to want to spend time outdoors when the reality is we can’t leave the confines of our property. So what’s one of the best activities you can do while standing still outside? Reading! Here are a few options of great summer reads to get you through the next few months:

A Thousand Acres, By Jane Smiley: This novel follows a small town farmer as he tries to decide which of his three daughters will get his land once he dies. The novel itself is a written adaptation of the play King Lear, and like in the original production, the conflict of the novel is heavily based around the unraveling of a small town family. The novel explores themes of cultural and political tensions in America in the 60’s and 70’s while also bringing up issues of climate change impacts on farmland and inequality. 

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Riddley Walker, By Russel Hoban: If you have the mental ability to stomach a novel that takes place in a post-apocalyptic nuclear war zone, this will definitely be the novel for you. The book has been reviewed as a real page turner and according to its author, “it’s a work of complete fiction—an entirely made-up world with its own gravitational integrity, its own language, its own codes, its own myths, its own poetry, almost its own sense of humor—that breaks upon our world like the truth.”

Too Much and Not The Mood, By Durga Chew-Bose: This novel of personal essays explores the idea of being an introverted individual who isolates themselves from the regular world to observe their own; an experience we all can relate to at the moment. The book is known for intensely descriptive imagery of everyday mundane things we’d all find around our homes, and Chew-Bose’s ability to reflect broadly on the idea of coming-of-age in modern society. 

Untamed, By Glennon Doyle: This novel is a first person account of Doyle’s journey to finding her inner voice and inner peace in a world that has been so cruel to so many of us. This novel entered the mainstream after celebrities like Reese Witherspoon promoted it on her book club list, and is known as a great source of unmatched positivity during a time where everything feels saturated in negativity. 

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Dear Girls: Intimate Tales, Untold Secrets, and Advice for Living Your Best Life, By Ali Wong: In the comedian and actress’ first book to hit the market, Wong lets her fans into her life growing up with that raunchy, real, and most importantly, funny personality most expect from her at this point in her career. While the novel does discuss some more serious aspects of Wong’s life, the novel itself is a light and uplifting biography read. 

The House In The Cerulean Sea, By TJ Klune: This fictional novel follows main character Linus Baker, as he attempts to determine whether or not six magical children living nearby could cause the end of the world as he knows it if they wanted to. The novel has a ton of fun twists and turns, and plenty of fantastical elements to transport you to a more magical place. 

Oona Out Of Order, By Margarita Montimore: This is another fictional novel with some Sci-Fi elements woven throughout it. The novel begins on New Years Eve in 1982, and when the clock strikes midnight, not only is it 1983, but our main character’s birthday. Oona Lockhart turns 19 at the stroke of midnight but faints before she’s even able to hear someone wish her a ‘happy birthday.’ When she wakes up, it’s 32 years in the future and she’s 51. 

Young Girl doing Arts & Crafts

Unique Arts And Crafts Projects Anyone Can Do From Home

Sarah Urist Green is an artist and writer who’s on a mission to change the world through creative mediums that challenge the ways we think about what it means to be unique. In her most recent book “You Are An Artist” Green has curated a bunch of DIY projects that are inspired by her specific philosophy on making art. The book itself has risen in popularity on social media within the past few weeks, as all of the projects can be done in isolation and shared online. 

It doesn’t matter whether you consider yourself an artist or not, during uncertain and scary times, it’s important to keep ourselves distracted while engaging in activities that stimulate both our bodies and minds. Tapping into our creative side to make some casual art while we pass the time is the perfect way to unwind and separate yourself from the world of scary virus’ and unknown tomorrows. So here are a few examples of fun projects that Green offers in her book

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Make A Shadow Portrait: This is one of the most creative and interactive projects in the book. All you’ll need is a wire hanger; beads, cloth, feathers, and other “accessory” crafting items are encouraged but not mandatory. Once you have your supplies, all you need to do is bend your hanger into the shape of a profiled-face. Adding things like beads and feathers will give the illusion of hair/jewelry. Once finished, find a blank wall and hold your hanger sculpture a few inches away from it until you see the face’s shadow. From there, you can take a photo and print it out for your enjoyment, hang the sculpture itself, or make another! 

Create A Fake Flyer: More often than not, when we see flyer’s it’s to advertise for a lost pet, job opportunity, garage sale, etc. Instead of doing something mundane and predictable like that, make a flyer that gives advice, or shares a certain story from your life. Want to get even more creative? Since all concerts and major events are cancelled for the foreseeable future, make up your own imagined event, whether it be a music festival with all of your favorite artists or a flea market with pop-up shops from all your favorite stores, don’t be afraid to make it personal! Green then suggests when you’re done, put whatever flyer you made out into the world; during times of quarantine this would mean simply posting online, don’t actually go out and hang any flyers. 

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Constructed Landscape: Since we aren’t able to go sight-seeing at the moment, think about where you’d want to go if you had the chance to walk out your door and leave right now. Think about landscapes specifically, like a beach, forest, pond, etc. Then, walk around your yard and house and look for materials to construct your own mini-landscape! Green suggests using both natural and man-made materials. Arrange your items any way you want, and consider turning your average mini-beach into a fantasy world using objects you find around the house, like glitter, or figurines. 

The Lost Object Project: This final project is a personal favorite of mine because of how unique it is. First, you’ll need to interview someone about an object that they owned, and then lost, as a kid. Ask specific questions and jot down as many details as possible. Get the object’s dimensions, what materials it was made from, its texture, shape, and any other unique qualities that the person you’re interviewing remembers about it. Then, you must recreate this object using only supplies you have on hand/around the house. Obviously, your recreation will likely look nothing like the original, but try to be as accurate as possible using what you have! Once completed, Green then invites you to give the object to the person. 

It doesn’t matter how creative you consider yourself to be, Green wrote this book to motivate those of us who have lost the ability to just sit down and create something silly for fun. These projects are simple and easy to make using what you have, and while the book itself is a great source for project ideas, you can also find a lot of options online for when you run out of inspiration. Now more than ever, we all could use a little positivity and light-hearted crafting to pass our time, so gather some tape, paper, colored pencils, and any other materials you can find, and get creative!

Nintendo Switch

Top 5 Most Popular Nintendo Switch Games

Video games have certainly seen a surge in popularity within the past few weeks. As more countries all around the world begin to finally enforce mandatory lockdown/quarantine procedures as a response to the coronavirus pandemic, many citizens are scrambling to figure out how to occupy their time. Recently, the World Health Organization teamed up with the video game industry as a means of getting people to stay inside and isolate themselves. 

The Nintendo Switch and Switch Lite has become one of the most used video gaming platforms on the market currently. Thanks to a multitude of games, online multiplayer capabilities, and handheld device capability, many gamers are turning their attention to Nintendo Switch for their quarantine entertainment. Thinking about buying a Switch but have no idea where you’d even start when it comes to what games to play? Here are a few of Nintendo’s most popular Switch games of all time as of March 2020:

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Animal Crossing New Horizons: This video game has been all over social media this past month, as the Animal Crossing franchise is one of Nintendo’s most successful in general. In this game, you become an islander who wants to spend the remainder of their life on a deserted island that you’ll have to build from the ground up. You have complete creative control over where you want your villagers to live, what you want your island to look like, and more! On Nintendo Online Play, you’re able to visit your friends’ villages who also play for inspiration! Animal Crossing: New Horizons currently retails for $60.

Pikuniku: If you’re more of a puzzle-oriented, problem solving type of gamer than Pikuniku may be the game for you. You play Piku, the game’s title red creature, as you explore a multitude of multi-colored world’s and solve puzzles to put an end to the harvesting of your land’s resources. A majority of the puzzles involve some sort of “physical” activity that can be performed to gain access to rooms. These types of “activities” include pushing objects to flip switches and open doors, lassoing Piku’s legs around poles to swing yourself from hook-to-hook, and more. Like Animal Crossing, you can interact with all of the land’s villagers, and spend your “money” on cool accessories and resources. The game currently retails for $13. 

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Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Rescue Team DX: This game is a part of the Pokémon Mystery Dungeon Series, and in it, you’ll start out as a human who turned into a Pokémon character. The character you become is determined by a personality quiz that you’ll take at the beginning of the game. You then choose a Pokémon partner to join you on your journey and from there, the two of you will embark on missions that include rescuing captured Pokémon, delivering items, and interacting with other players. The goal is to complete a job in order to move onto another floor within the mystery dungeon and, eventually, find your way out of it. The game currently retails for $60. 

Rocket League: This game takes the classic worlds of arcade racing and soccer and combined them to create one game. In it, players become a rocket-powered car that they use in a vehicular soccer match against another team. This game perfectly combines all the adrenaline of a demolition derby with the excitement of a fast-paced soccer game. Within it, you can unlock new car skins, accessories, soccer moves and abilities. Like most Switch games, you can even play with all your friends. Rocket League is on sale for $20 currently. 

Minecraft: A list of some of Nintendo’s most popular games would be incomplete without Minecraft. This game has been around for years, and has quickly become one of the most played games on all video game devices around the world. Like Animal Crossing, Minecraft takes on a sort of “choose your own adventure”/ “make your own world” aesthetic. You gather materials, build your village, mingle with your friends, and battle your enemies. The Nintendo Switch version of Minecraft is currently on sale for $30.

Coronavirus Fight

Dr. Anthony Fauci Demanding The U.S. Enforce Stricter Policies To Combat The Coronavirus

Dr. Anthony Fauci is a prominent member of President Donald Trump’s coronavirus task force and has been managing the over 200,000 positive covid-19 cases that have been rapidly appearing all over the country.

Arts and Crafts

Museums Around The World Offering Arts And Crafts For Kids In Quarantine

Now that all schools have come to a close and America’s children are adjusting to learning in their own homes, it’s easy for them to lose motivation and get frustrated. It can be especially hard for children to separate their school life from their home life when they’re denied the opportunity to be in an educational environment, however, this is our new reality, and health and safety is imperative. 

As a response to this major transition, multiple cultural institutions around the world are ready to help ease the tension for parents and their kids by offering free crafts, worksheets, and games that will introduce your child to a multitude of diverse cultures while maintaining a certain level of formal education, and also create some fun boredom-breakers to occupy the vast amount of free-time we all now have. 

The International Maritimes Museum Hamburg is known for its wide array of nautical ship designs, with over 1,000 models on display currently. The Museum has now continued their efforts to educate children on historical boat design by providing an online guide on how to make your own model Viking Slender Sea Vessel. Since you likely won’t be able to go out to the craft store to get supplies, the museum made it easy and made the only required materials paper and cardboard; along with some other basic art supplies that most should already have laying around the house. 

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Who doesn’t remember making corn husk dolls while learning about Native American culture in elementary school? This classic educational craft has been around since the dawn of education on Native culture, as corn husk dolls were a major part of Native American amusement, as well as spirituality, as the dolls were used in many ceremonies as well. The Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose now has a step-by-step guide in both English and Spanish for how to make different corn husk doll variations. As the name suggests, the only thing you’ll need is some fresh corn from the kitchen.

The National Museum of Australia has gotten truly creative when it comes to teaching kids at home about the Silk Road camels that once accompanied travelers on their journey to trade goods and services. The museum has uploaded a template of a friendly camel that encourages crafter’s to cut out images from magazines and newspapers to make a collage-camel friend. 

Within the last twenty years, scientists and scholars alike have discovered that ancient Greek and Roman marble statues that we all know and love, were originally painted in brilliantly bright colors. Now, The Acropolis Museum has created an online game, in both English and Greek, that allows users to color their own versions of what they would’ve done with these marble statues if given the opportunity. 

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The Children’s Museum of South Dakota has uploaded several simple baking recipes that date back to colonial America. The more commonly known loaf’s should only require traditional baking ingredients that you likely already have in the home; flour, baking soda, milk, and cornmeal. Beyond that, they have a multitude of more traditionally colonial breads, such as skillet or pumpkin pan bread, as well as a tutorial on how to churn your own butter!

Since many of us are all stocked up on non-perishable canned food items in our pantries, the Virginia Museum of FIne Arts has created a step-by-step guide to transform empty cans into containers that will mimic Mayan Clay Vessels. While you’re creating, the website offers insight on the very sophisticated pictographs that were quite common during the Mayan times. 

Finally, the Metropolitan Museum of Art has created a way that parents and their kids can weave their own carpets using just cardboard, yarn, scissors, tape, and a needle. They even give instructions on how to construct your own loom for the project. 

Regardless of which historically cultural craft you decide to do with your child, don’t hold back on doing your research. The internet is a powerful place, especially when it comes to arts and crafts. Utilize services such as YouTube and these museum websites to specifically search for educational activities to do with your children during quarantine that will also stimulate and entertain them. Soon enough, they’ll be back on the playground and classroom, but for now, we’re all making this adjustment together, so you might as well make it a crafty one.

Young Girl doing School Work

Tips For Keeping Kids Entertained During Quarantine

Trying to occupy your time during a global pandemic can be extremely stressful and overwhelming, and if you’re a parent, it can be even tougher. Quarantining with kids is no easy task, however, there are a multitude of things you and your children can do together that will not only occupy your days but also be fun for everyone. 

First and foremost, you should be trying to get as much outdoor exposure as you can. Obviously health and safety needs to be your number one priority at all times, however, the weather is finally starting to warm up again, so if you’re privileged enough to have some sort of outdoor area attached to your property, utilize it. If not, go for a walk if you’re still able to in your specific area as well. Social distancing initiatives tell us to be at least eight feet apart from one another, so as long as you maintain that mentality when you’re out, getting your bodies moving is the perfect way to engage your minds, bodies, and souls in some real activity; it should also help tire out your kids. 

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One of the hardest parts about having your kids at home and not in a more organized school setting is the lack of schedule. Since we’re still in the earlier stages of this pandemic, it’s important to establish a daily schedule now, and stick to it as much as possible during the work week. If you have a child who was old enough to be enrolled in some sort of school, make sure you specify which hours of the day will be dedicated to school work. Then, schedule out times for all three meals, activities, television, etc. This will not only help your child better adjust to life in self-isolation, but also it will make your adjustment period easier as well; definitely consider making yourself a daily schedule.

As a part of this schedule, make sure you separate a “recess” period at some point, especially if your child has school work every day. By giving your child a dedicated hour of recess in the middle of the day, they’ll be more motivated to finish whatever they have to do in the morning, and will have the energy to finish their day afterwards since they were able to get up and do some sort of leisure activity. 

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It can be really easy to leave your kid with some sort of smart device and call it a day, however, since we’re now living during a time where streaming shows and playing Angry Birds is becoming second nature, it’s still important to set screen time limits. This is especially true for kids living in isolation, you want to ensure that their brains are still getting proper stimulation, and not just from mindless cartoons. 

Instead, put your kids to work by turning household chores into family-fun activities. Kids love to get messy, so let them lend a hand in the kitchen when you’re making your meals, this way they can also learn some basic kitchen skills for the future.  More basic chores like cleaning their rooms or vacuuming can be turned into competitions or races to offer some sort of greater incentive for a job well done. 

One of those incentives can include choosing a movie for movie night, which by the way, should be every night at this point. I know we just said that we need to be monitoring screen times throughout the day, but no one said anything about what happens at night. Before you tuck the kids in, watch something together as a family and rotate who gets to choose the film every night. Living all together under one roof can become very overwhelming, very fast, so wind down every night together with some classic mindless entertainment, salty snacks, and loving company. 

Family watching TV

New Movies Being Made Available To Stream Early Due To Coronavirus Pandemic

Thanks to social distancing initiatives brought on by the recent coronavirus pandemic, many Hollywood movie studios are releasing their movies directly to streaming services for fans to watch at home during quarantine. Since movie theaters will be closed down for the indefinite future, many studios have decided to put their movies on platforms months in advance, some are so freshly out of the theater that the only option is to buy them, however, others are being directly uploaded to certain services, so here’s what’s coming soon to your living room:

1917 is a World War One drama that is famously known for its continuous “one-take” cinematic style, and now it’s available to rent on a multitude of platforms for around $6, it’s also available to buy.

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Emma is another period piece based on the Jane Austin novel of the same name. Unlike 1917, however, this movie is available to rent for an increased price of $20, which is likely due to the fact that it was in theaters more recently.

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The Hunt is a satirical take on The Most Dangerous Game starring Emma Roberts and Hilary Swank. The movie is in the horror genre and was positively received by critics for its commentary on the political divide in modern American culture. It’s available to rent for $20.

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The Invisible Man was just getting a wave of positive reviews when the coronavirus pandemic shut down movie theaters worldwide. Starring Elisabeth Moss, the remake of the classic horror story is currently available to rent for $20 as well.

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Birds Of Prey is the latest DC installment of the Suicide Squad series of movies starring Margot Robbie. A superhero movie following a cohort of super-villain independent women, Birds Of Prey was receiving high praise from critics when in theaters. Unfortunately, since it was still in theaters, as of right now you can only purchase the film for $20.

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Bloodshot was adapted from the widely-popular graphic novel, and stars Vin Diesel as an unstoppable, self-regenerating, “Super Soldier” and is currently available for purchase at $20.

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Onward is the newest Pixar Studios film. The two main characters are teenage elves voiced by beloved actors Chris Pratt and Tom Holland. The pair live an average life in elf suburbia, until one day, the call for adventure is just too loud to ignore. Onward is currently available to buy for $20.

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The Way Back stars Ben Affleck and takes on the classic story of a troubled former pro athlete who is on a path of personal/professional redemption. While on this path, he finds himself becoming the coach of a struggling high school team. The movie is currently available to buy for $20.

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Beyond just renting and buying, there are a few new movies that are also going to be uploaded onto streaming services such as Netflix, Hulu, and Amazon Prime in the coming weeks. These films include The Call of the Wild, Downhill, The Lovebirds, Portrait of a Lady on Fire, Trolls World Tour, and Sonic The Hedgehog. 

While it may be a while before movie fanatics have the opportunity to get back into a theater, at least they’ll have these new options to occupy themselves in the meantime. Until then, it’s important to stay home, stay clean, and keep practicing proper hygiene.

Closet Organization

Home Organization Tips To Make Life Easier While You Self Quarantine

As we continue to practice safe social distancing by staying at home and avoiding large gatherings of people amid the coronavirus pandemic, it can be difficult to figure out how to best occupy your time. Binge watching your favorite Netflix show is always fun, but as we all know, that can get really old really fast, especially when it feels like it’s the only thing to do. Trying to participate in stay-at-home activities that stimulate both your mind and body will actually make you feel more productive, and what could be more productive than re-organizing and cleaning up your home? It’s not like you’ll be going anywhere anytime soon… 

Start by clearing out any shelves or closet spaces so that you can take inventory of all of your belongings and decide if you should throw anything away or donate any of it. So many of us avoid organizing integral storage spaces in our home because after a while the task just becomes overwhelming, however, now that you have an unexpected amount of time on your hands, you might as well. 

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Think of the different cabinet, shelf, and closet spaces as various “zones” in your home. This is a common technique used on various home and garden programs, you tackle the different zones of your home at different times so that your mind is focused on one specific space. When you just take on one space at a time, you can more easily list out the goals you have for the space and what you’d like to see done with it by the time you’re done with your cleaning process. 

It’s never a bad idea to label your various storage bins, cabinets, jars, and anything else that is meant to hold other things throughout your home. You don’t need a fancy label maker to do so either, simply using a strip of masking tape and a sharpie marker, you can label almost anything. This way, when you go into your hall closet looking for the bin of Christmas lights, you won’t have to completely empty it out in order to find them. 

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Within your drawers, you can use old tins and jewelry boxes as makeshift dividers to better organize your smaller supplies. When you take the tops off of old metal tins that would hold things like mints or cookies, you can simply place them face up within your drawer and fill them with, for example, paperclips, and another with post its, and another with pens, this way everything is in its proper place and you can find everything right away. 

A fun way to organize your clothing items is by color coordination. Within each “category” of drawer (shirts, shorts, socks, etc.) try to organize by color, this is not only a visually appealing way of organizing, but it can also make finding specific pieces of clothing so much easier. 

Apply that same logic to your kitchen pantry, but instead of clothing, organize things like pasta, cereal, rice, etc. in clear mason jars with labels. Just like color coordinating your clothes, this will make finding particular ingredients much easier, and is also much more visually appetizing to look at, pun intended. 

Finally, as you’re going through and organizing all the many crevices of your home, make sure you’re carrying around a bucket full of various cleaning/disinfectant products so that you can clean as you go! It’s so important to keep all the surfaces in your home clean and bacteria/virus free, the same way you do for your hands/body. So fill up some sort of portable bin with various disinfectant products to ensure that the chemicals you’re using are safe for the many different kinds of surfaces in your home (stainless steel, wood, porcelain). It can be easy to get overwhelmed during times of a global pandemic, so make sure the space that you’re now isolated to is clean and organized so it gives you an overall sense of peace, which we all could use during a time like this.

Yellowstone National Park

Yellowstone Among Growing List Of National Parks Closing Due To Covid-19 Concerns

Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks have officially been closed down until further notice due to the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. The two are just a couple of examples of the thousands of national landmarks, monuments, and cultural establishments that have been indefinitely closed down due to ongoing public health concerns. 

The closings come as a direct response to the potential risk of exposure to COVID-19, which as we know is an extremely contagious virus. Public access to the National Park Services throughout the United States were already limited, however, officials were trying to keep them open for as long as possible to motivate people to still get out of their house and move around, just at a safe distance from everyone else. In fact, a major part of the initial social distancing initiative did encourage people to go outside and go for a walk while maintaining a safe distance of at least eight feet from everyone else. 

Now, local and state officials alike have been enforcing that all national parks, and local ones as well, be closed to the public. According to the official statement from Yellowstone, all highways, roads, state boundaries, and any “facilities that support life safety and commerce” that are technically a part of national park boundaries will still remain open. 

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“The National Park Service listened to the concerns from our local partners and, based on current health guidance, temporarily closed the parks. We are committed to continued close coordination with our state and local partners as we progress through this closure period and are prepared when the timing is right to reopen as quickly and safely as possible,” said Yellowstone Superintendent Cam Sholly and Grand Teton Acting Superintendent Gopaul Noojibail in the statement.

Yellowstone and Grand Teton are two of the nation’s most popular parks, both are visited by about 4 million people every year. While they may have announced their indefinite closings, there’s still no official national shutdown on all of the 419 national park sites in the US. The national park systems in the US cover about 85 million acres of land throughout all 50 states and several territories under America’s jurisdiction. 

However, it wouldn’t be surprising if a national shutdown is what comes next in terms of restrictions to stop the spreading of COVID-19. So far, the Great Smoky Mountains National Park, which is America’s most popular national park, recently announced that they could be closing all surrounding park areas until the beginning of April “in a continuing effort to support federal, state, and local efforts to slow the spread of COVID-19.”

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Rocky Mountain National Park, Ellis Island, The Statue of Liberty, and the Washington Monument are a few more examples of National landmarks/parks that have also officially closed, most of which claim that they’ll be reopened to the public in April, however, as we’ve learned, this is a day-by-day pandemic. 

Visitors to the national park sites throughout America give about $20 billion to the park systems every year through their contributions upon visiting. Typically, national park’s don’t charge any entrance fees, however, many donate upon entry because they know that the money goes back into the local regional communities. 

Visitor contributions have led to over 300,000 new jobs, about $13 billion in labor income, and a total of $40 billion in economic output; output meaning the money that was indirectly put into other markets and industries thanks to tourists visiting national parks. These stats have made a lot of people within the park service worried about the state of their industry.

“With 18.2 million visitors annually across 14 different NPS sites, it’s impossible to overstate the impact these sites have on all sorts of communities across our state. The NPS sites are the main reason people are visiting, which leads to $1.3 billion in spending and more than 20,000 jobs statewide. For many rural communities that are struggling to maintain their economic vitality, these sites are crucial to their ability to survive,” said Wit Tuttell, Director of Visit North Carolina.