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Apple Picking

Fun Fall Activities You Can Still Do During The Pandemic 

Covid-19 has uprooted all of our lives. Now that autumn has officially started and the three-month holiday season has begun, it’s time to start planning some fun themed activities to keep you and your loved ones busy as we take on the upcoming months of quarantining in colder weather. 

Apple Picking: This is a great activity that the whole family will enjoy. Luckily, apple orchards naturally are socially distanced, so you and your loved ones can walk around the open space of apple trees while picking some fresh fruit. Most orchards also offer outdoor dining and shopping excursions that are available as well. 

Hiking: Before the weather gets really cold (depending on where you live in the world) take advantage of the cool and cozy fall weather by taking a hike at your local nature preserve. Want even more of an adventure? Look up places to hike near you that require a little bit of a drive to get to. This way you can go out and experience a new environment while enjoying all the fall foliage. 

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Make Some Fun Fall Recipes/Cocktails: There are numerous resources online for easy and fun fall recipes that you can make at home! Thanksgiving isn’t the only day of the year to really embrace pumpkin and apple flavors, so use all your freshly picked apples to make a homemade pie or spike cider. 

Take A Nature Drive: One of the simplest pleasures I’ve found myself appreciating during this pandemic is going out for drives. After spending the first few months locked in my room, I decided to get in my car, roll down my windows, put on my driving playlist and just start driving. Now that all the leaves are starting to change colors, there’s never been a better time to get in your car and drive around to see some of the beautiful sights nature has to offer.  

Decorating Pumpkins: This classic Halloween tradition has always been an at-home activity, so why should a pandemic stop that from happening? Going to your local pumpkin patch and picking out a pumpkin to carve is the perfect way to feel like you’re having a typical fall experience. 

Clean Out Your Closet: Home organization always falls under the category of “spring cleaning” however, fall is the perfect time to clean out your wardrobe and prepare it for the potential influx of new clothing items you’ll be getting from Santa in a few months.

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DIY Halloween Costumes: Since Halloween will likely be cancelled this year in terms of going out and celebrating, why not celebrate in your own way by creating something amazing to wear. You and everyone you’re quarantined with could even coordinate a group outfit to make together and then have a spooky photo-shoot to share with friends and keep the Halloween spirit alive. 

Learn To Knit: What better way to prepare for a cozy season than making something cozy for yourself to wear? Knitting is known as one of the easier forms of creation when it comes to clothing, so pick up some needles and yarn and start slow with a beginner YouTube video. I was able to teach myself in one day how to knit a basic stitch and pattern, so why not give it a try?

Create A Book Club: Cold weather is always ideal for reading by the fire, but why not take it one step further and create a book club with all of your friends to help keep you motivated? Platforms like Zoom and Google Hangouts make it easy to hold virtual weekly meetings with whoever you want so that you don’t have to worry about potential Covid-19 concerns. However, since the weather is still relatively nice out, consider holding the meetings in an outdoor setting, socially distanced, until it really gets too cold out. 

Decorate With Holiday Decor: October is for Halloween, November is for Thanksgiving, and December is for Christmas, that’s three months of holidays that one could decorate for. You don’t have to break your bank either to create a cool themed ambiance that you’ll enjoy all season. By switching up the decor monthly to match up with the respected holiday, you’ll keep your mind and body engaged while having a fun time decorating your space to feel the most cheerful.

Woman Reading a Book

Cozy Reads To Enjoy While On Lockdown This Fall 

Now that October has officially begun, the weather is finally starting to cool and people are gearing up for fall and all of its cozy glory. Reading is always a popular indoor activity to do by the fire on a cool autumn day, and now that we’re all enduring a global health crisis that forces everyone to stay indoors, it’s the perfect time to stock up on some new reads to welcome in the cooler season. Here’s a few options of good reads to get cozy with:

“Whale Day” By Billy Collins: Collins’ has a very distinguished style of writing that is often regarded as funny and light, which makes it easy to get into and keep reading. This book is his most recent collection of poems that is meant to take readers on a journey that will force them to use their imagination. The themes of life and mortality are threaded throughout the novel, and Collins hopes readers can enjoy the whimsical nature of the poems. 

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“The Book of Two Ways” By Jodi Picoult: Picoult is a New York Times bestselling author, and her most recent novel has been reviewed as the perfect read to enjoy while sipping on your morning coffee. The story follows Dawn Edelstein who’s in the middle of a flight when she has to prepare for a crash landing. She ends up surviving the crash only to realize that when her life flashed before her eyes she wasn’t nearly as satisfied with what she’s done so far, so she makes some major changes and aims to find the man she fell in love with 15 years prior. 

“The Thursday Murder Club” By Richard Osman: Now that it’s October and spooky season is officially here, it’s time to break out some scary stories. This novel is the first by author Richard Osmand and tells the story of four friends in a retirement village that meet up weekly to talk about unsolved crimes. As the story develops the group of friends notice more local murders are taking place, and it’s up to the Thursday Murder Club to solve the cases. 

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“The End of Her” By Shari Lapena: Keeping up with the Halloween theme, this novel is a great new suspense story that centers around an average couple, Stephanie and Patrick, as they raise their twin daughters. They’re family is relatively nuclear, until a woman from Patrick’s past appears one day and accuses him of murder. The accusation is just the beginning of a whole slew of lies that Stephanie finds out about her husband, leaving her confused and in need of the truth. 

“No Time Like The Future” By Michael J. Fox: This is a memoir collection of stories from Fox, as he discusses illness, health, family, friends, and life in general. The book won’t be available to purchase until November 17th, however, the timing makes it the perfect gift for any memoir lover in your family. Fox openly discusses his ongoing experience with Parkinson’s disease while threading in his classic humor throughout. 

“The Little Ghost Who Was A Quilt” By Riel Nason: This book is perfect for younger children who love Halloween, but want to keep the holiday light and innocent. This novel follows a little ghost who stands out when compared to his ghost friends. All of his other friends have classic white sheets to disguise themselves while the little ghost is left with a quilt, making it hard to fly as fast as the others. However, on Halloween he learns a very valuable lesson about what it is to be an individual, and that it’s okay to be special or different from what everyone else considers “normal.”

Friends Wearing Masks

How To Protect Yourself From Covid-19 

The coronavirus pandemic has been truly unpredictable to say the least. The way it travels, spreads, and reacts inside of our bodies has proven to be unexpected, however, if one thing has remained common throughout the past six months it’s been the universal desire to find a vaccine, and curve the overall spread of the virus. So what are some of the most effective proven ways to help prevent the spread of the Covid-19 virus?

First we need to best understand how this virus moves, which is difficult considering even the world’s smartest scientists are still trying to work that out. The World Health Organization was recently confronted by over 200 scientists from over 30 countries who were urging the organization to acknowledge the possible role of airborne transmission, to which they complied. 

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“Under certain conditions short-range aerosol transmission, particularly in specific indoor locations, such as crowded and inadequately ventilated spaces over a long period of time with infected persons cannot be ruled out.” 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention also recently acknowledged the possibility of airborne transmission on their website, claiming that Covid-19 can spread “through respiratory droplets or small particles, such as those in aerosols, produced when an infected person coughs, sneezes, sings, talks or breathes. These particles can be inhaled into the nose, mouth, airways and lungs and cause infection. This is thought to be the main way the virus spreads.”

Both the CDC and WHO have acknowledged, however, that these repertory droplets are more likely to cause infection from landing on certain shared surfaces that are then touched by other individuals. The haziness surrounding the airborne quality of this virus has also been focused on less due to the fact that mask-wearing is the most effective way to combat that. If you go out in public, wear a facial covering and then get clean immediately upon returning home, you’re likely to be safe. 

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When in an indoor setting, it’s best if you remain as distanced as possible from others who aren’t a part of your quarantine bubbles. Go even further than 6 feet apart when possible, and wear a face mask if you’re hanging around individuals who you haven’t seen. Improve ventilation by keeping all windows open and use devices like air purifiers, dehumidifiers, and fans to keep the air circulating between the indoor and outdoor spaces. 

Group activities in general should always be outside, and every individual should be wearing a mask unless a proper physical distance between everyone is possible. Facial coverings are the biggest and most effective solution to curbing the spread of this virus as we’ve seen evidence of all around the world. 

It’s also important to ensure you’re wearing the right type of facial covering and wearing it correctly. Fabric masks should be thick enough that when you hold it up to the sun you can’t see the light shine through it. Most disposable masks available at your local drug store or gas station are effective as long as you’re getting rid of them after each use. Finally, make sure your mask is completely covering your nose, and if you’re going out with your kids, make sure they also have a mask. Many individuals have become more relaxed when it comes to their children wearing masks because it’s less likely that a young child/toddler will contract the virus, however, that doesn’t mean they can’t still bring it into your home and infect others, so keep everyone in your house safe and mask up.

Regardless of the proven science, we all know that the Covid-19 virus spreads easily and quickly when given the opportunity. Wearing a mask at all times when in a public space, maintaining a distance of at LEAST six feet from individuals not in your quarantine bubble, and remaining outdoors for any and all group activities will help keep this virus at bay, and your loved ones healthy.

Covid Outbreak Virus

European Countries Learning From Sweden As Covid-19 Outbreaks Increase 

European countries are currently seeing massive surges of new Covid-19 cases, and some are opting to take a page from Sweden’s book of coronavirus response efforts to better protect their own countries. Sweden’s been relying more on voluntary compliance than coercion when it comes to getting their citizens to abide by the health and safety procedures put into play, and while that may work for them, we’ve also seen how relying on citizens can go the opposite way.

France is currently averaging 12,000 new cases a day while Spain just passed the 700,000 case mark. The UK is also seeing a massive increase in cases and citizens are beginning to speak out against their governments lack of change in policy to help combat this. Dorit Nitzan, the World Health Organization’s (WHO) regional emergency director for Europe recently spoke with the media about shifting policies and moving more towards Sweden’s approach. 

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“Sweden’s focus on sustainability over time, citizen engagement, and voluntary compliance was interesting because this is the time we all have to learn to live with the virus.” 

Nitzan went on to explain how her and her team know there is no “one size fits all” solution when it comes to combating the coronavirus, however, we all could afford to start learning from one another’s success’. Unlike many countries throughout the world Sweden closed all of its colleges and universities for individuals over the age of 16, but kept schools for younger students open. The country banned gatherings of more than 50, and urged individuals over the age of 70 to remain isolated for as long as possible. 

Otherwise, the country’s 10 million residents were simply asked to respect these procedures and remain diligent about social distancing and wearing a mask, most of which have obliged. However, other parts of the world that have relied on voluntary compliance more than actual enforcement has also seen a massive increase in cases as a result. 

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Even in Sweden itself, back in May the country recorded the most Covid-19 deaths per capita in Europe. The country has experienced around 5,900 deaths, half of which reportedly occurred in care homes and other assisted-living facilities. While Sweden has been able to remain relatively stagnant in terms of new cases, recently they’ve been experiencing little surges of new cases that are causing international experts to be skeptical of their voluntary programs. 

In the last two weeks Sweden has seen around 37 new cases per 100,000 residents. Experts say it’s still too early for countries to adopt other procedures for their own residents because of how vastly different every country actually is. Antoine Flahault is a professor of public health and director of the Institute for Global Health and the University of Geneva, who recently spoke with the media about the widely criticized approach Sweden took to fight the virus. 

“Many people think that because Sweden did not lock down, the government did nothing. But it managed to make citizens understand and participate in the fight against the virus, without coercion, mandatory laws or regulations. The effect was not very different.”

While Sweden’s approach may not be as effective in other parts of the country, there are aspects to it that other European countries are willing to adopt in order to protect their own citizens. The main goal for everyone, however, is universal; to curve the spread and eliminate the virus as much as possible.

How To Better Your Physical And Mental Health During Your Lunch Break 

Now that a majority of us are working from home, it can be especially hard to separate our home lives from our work lives. When it comes to our lunch breaks especially, since we’re already in our own homes it can be easy to just lay on the couch for an hour until you need to get back up to start responding to emails again. Instead, try one of these activities that can help improve your overall mental and physical state, and keep your mind, body, and spirit happy.

Call A Friend Or Family Member: Being separated from our loved ones has truly been one of the most difficult aspects of this pandemic. Take a few minutes of your break to catch up with a friend or family member who you haven’t talked to in a few weeks. Technology makes it easy for us to connect to one another from our own quarantine bubbles, however, it can be easy to forget to keep communication up when the world seems so bleak. So call your loved ones and receive some much needed positivity. 

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Visit Your Favorite Tree: This idea comes from author Susan Saunders, who claims that “Seeing a tree combines so many of the habits that contribute to longevity: being outdoors in daylight, vital to keep our circadian clocks ticking accurately; exercise from walking; a chance to savour the moment. And even one lonely tree provides us with a little green space.” So if you don’t have a favorite tree yourself, take a walk around the neighborhood and mark the first one that really resonates with you, and make sure to give it a visit as often as possible. 

Move: Moving our bodies is so important especially now that we’re all stuck at home. Getting our blood circulating is not only good for our physical health but mental health as well. It may sound silly, but reminding yourself that you are grounded, moving, and existing in a given environment can make one more appreciative for the things they have. So even if it just means stepping outside and walking around your house a few times, make sure you’re getting up and moving with a purpose every day. 

Organize: Take a look at that long list of home projects you’ve been putting off for the entire pandemic and finally get to it! Since we’re discussing things to do during a lunch break, choose a smaller task like organizing a certain junk drawer, closet shelf, or medicine cabinet. Completing a smaller scale project like this will not only stimulate your brain, but give you the satisfied feeling of checking off one of the boxes on your to do list. 

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Learn A New Skill: Learning a new language or instrument obviously takes time, but doing a little bit of practice every day is how all the professionals get good. So take your hour break to log into Duolingo and practice some Italian, or go into your spare room and work on a few piano scales. Whatever you choose, doing it for a little bit everyday will improve your overall sense of purpose and will keep you motivated to do more. 

Meal Preparation: Many individuals have been teaching themselves to cook with all the spare time they now have. Use these newfound cooking skills to create meals that will create leftovers for the rest of the week, this way, you won’t have to be worried about preparing dinner every single night after a long day of working in the living room.

Take A Nap: While the point of this article is to tell you things that will improve your mental and physical health during your lunch break, sometimes the best thing one can do for themselves is take a much needed break and just, nap. If you feel yourself getting constantly overwhelmed with your own personal struggles and the overall state of the world, it’s important to unplug and disengage from everything and everyone for a moment. Take some deep breaths, and ground yourself in where you are. The world may be a scary place, but you’re still here, and you’re still surviving, so keep going!

Cooking Show

Best TV Cooking Shows To Watch In Lockdown 

During the coronavirus pandemic, many of us have explored new hobbies and interests while we pass the time in lockdown. Many individuals across the world have been teaching themselves to cook in their spare time, so here’s a list of some of the most popular programs being watched right now across the globe: 

Anthony Bourdain: This show is available on Amazon Prime Video and ran from 2002-2018. It’s no secret that Anthony Bourdain was one of the most respectable chef’s in the food entertainment industry. His show was widely popular every year it was on and explored the international cuisines from around the world that the average individual may not have ever heard of. In his Parts Unknown series he broke down the idea of a “celebrity chef” and just wanted to go to places that anyone else would love and enjoy. 

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Chef’s Table: This Netflix original show began in 2015 and is still currently producing seasons. The show profiles various chefs from around the world and offers a cinematic element that makes the cooking look sensual and engaging for the viewer. The chef’s on this show all have their own unique backstory with cooking which has been regarded as giving the viewer the sense that they too could become just as talented one day if they work hard. 

The Taco Chronicles: This show is also a Netflix original and is hosted by Carlos Perez Osorio. Osorio’s goal with this 2019 program was to show viewers the future of intellectual food shows. There are six episodes and within each one a different type of taco is intricately dissected so that viewers can really understand the combination of ingredients and why they work so well together, as well as gain a greater respect for the process of cooking/creation. 

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Madhur Jaffrey’s Flavours of India: This 1995 show is currently available on BBC iPlayer. The show was six-parts and explored the flavors and techniques of regional Indian cooking. Jaffrey gave off a calm and dignified persona on TV that showed viewers she really meant business when it came to her cuisine. The show itself has been highly regarded as one of a kind in terms of its focus on Indian cuisine.

The Chef Show: This Netflix show has only been one for one year but has been one of the platforms most popular food programs to date. Jon Favreau and Roy Choi spend each episode hanging out in the borrowed kitchens of all their Hollywood friends. It takes on the format of a visual podcast but with TV video quality. The format is casual, as the two simply mix their ingredients and tell you about their process while they get side-tracked and reflect on the glory days like any other best friend duo. 

Ugly Delicious: This Netflix original is hosted by chef Danic Chang of the celebrated Momofuku restaurant group. In more recent episodes Chang has used the show as a means of discussing important culinary issues around the world. The show also takes on a relatable lens when Chang finds out he’s going to be a father and then teaches the viewer how to make their own baby food.

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How To Spice Up Your Home With Wallpaper

In the middle of a global health crisis that’s forcing all of us to stay home, many have started checking off boxes on their long list of home projects that they’ve been putting off for years now. When it comes to interior design, something that can really change up an entire space is wallpaper, however, a lot of beginners are afraid of using it because they view it’ll be too difficult, or won’t look good. 

There’s a multitude of ways one can incorporate wallpaper in the home that’s not only aesthetically pleasing, but easy to do. One of the most difficult aspects of wallpaper is choosing which one would work best in your house. Ben Pentreath is an architect and interior designer who often recommends that his clients look at the architecture of their home before deciding on what type of wallpaper to choose. 

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“If your architecture is more neutral, then I’d say the sky’s the limit when it comes to mixing styles. I tend to choose something calm and more neutral in my bedroom, but then go wild and have fun in the hallways, bathrooms and guest bedrooms.”

Clare Gaskin is an interior designer who tells her anti-wallpaper clients that they simply “haven’t been exposed to enough of it,” so she makes it part of her job to show them. Her personal philosophy on wallpaper is that it should be both functional and decorative, which is why she often opts for a more textured vinyl wallpaper option. 

She explained how recently she was faced with the challenge of redesigning a room that had a door on every wall, which from a design standpoint can really make a space feel small, and cramped. So to unify the space she put a solid, muted wallpaper with a slight faded grey checkered pattern that she also put on the doors so when they were all closed, the room felt cohesive and cozy, as opposed to tiny. 

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The specific wallpaper was made from faux grass-cloth, a material she’s been using in a lot of projects as of late. This wallpaper is vinyl, which gives it a more textured appearance but also allows for easy cleaning should anything get on your walls; Gaskin normally always recommends this type of wallpaper for houses with kids, as a simple sponge and soap can get almost any mess off of the surface.

One of the most unconventional, yet creative, ways one can use wallpaper in the home is by putting it on the ceiling. For smaller rooms, go bold and colorful on the ceiling to draw the eye up, and pull the focus to be on the aerial of the space. This creates the illusion that the room is much more spaced out than it actually is. 

For larger rooms, choose a smaller pattern that isn’t necessarily “busy,” but bold, so that it works as more of an accent piece for the space, rather than the main attraction. When it comes to interior design in general, we should be having fun and feel excited about our visions. Think about your dream room makeover and make it a reality. Find small ways to make a space come to life and if you don’t know where to start, look at the bones of the space and start on the outside and move in; aka, start the walls. 

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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.

NYC Museum

New York City To Reopen Museums By End Of August

As New York City begins to move into phase 4 of their reopening procedures, many public institutions are gearing up to welcome residents back to their establishments. The city’s many museums specifically are excited to implement new health and safety measures so they can open their doors once again to New Yorkers.

New York City is just one of many metropolitans that managed to keep their cultural institutions alive virtually throughout this pandemic. Now, they’re ready to invite community members back to see all the art and history that they’ve surely missed, with some new restrictions. Governor Andrew Cuomo announced this week that all museums and other low-risk indoor cultural venues, such as bowling alleys and gyms, will be able to reopen on Monday, August 24th. 

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Restrictions will apply to all of these locations to keep the rate of new Covid-19 infections as low as they are now. Cuomo recently held a press conference regarding entering phase 4 of New York’s lockdown procedures and what that will entail for museums and other institutions in the city. 

Museums, aquariums, and other similar venues will be allowed to operate at 25 percent occupancy capacity, and will need to adopt recommended sanitation guidelines and ask patrons to wear masks and continue to social distance.”

With August 24th being the tentative date of these reopenings it’s important to note that not every single cultural institution in the city will be reopening that day. According to its website, the Metropolitan Museum of Art will officially be reopening on August 27th for premium members and August 29th for all other visitors. The MET will be requiring facial coverings at all times, maintaining a distance of six feet, temperature screenings, and multiple hand washing/sanitation stations.

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The American Museum of Natural History is planning on delaying their reopening to members to be on September 2nd and to all other visitors on September 9th. Many museums are opting to let their premium members have initial access to the museum to keep group numbers even lower and to observe how well everyone is able to abide by the restrictions put in place. All ticket sales for the museum will give patrons a timed entry in order to limit capacity. 

The Museum of Modern Art (MoMA) plans to open its doors to all visitors on August 27th at limited capacity. Timed tickets will also be put in place for visitors, and individuals can start buying those tickets for the MoMA on August 21st. Everyone will be getting their temperature checked prior to entry, and any individual with a temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher will be turned away at the door. 

The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum has no official reopening date according to their website and all future online ticketing has remained suspended. There are also no official reopening dates for the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum. 

Before you gear up to head back to your favorite cultural institution in NYC, do your research, check the establishment’s website to understand what a visit will actually look like, and deem it safe enough for yourself before going. Keep abiding by all the health and safety procedures put into place and listen to your healthcare professionals. 

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Great Quarantine Reads You Likely Haven’t Heard Of Before

Since we all have an indefinite amount of time left in our homes, it’s important to find ways to keep our mind, bodies, and spirits active. Reading is one of the best leisure activities one could do in the middle of a pandemic as it helps us use our brain muscles, stimulates the imagination, and emotionally separates us from the harsh reality that is 2020. So here are some book titles that you may have never heard of before that you can pick up to enjoy for yourself:

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Such A Fun Age By Kiley Reid: In this debut novel from Reid, the reader is forced to face the realities of racism in America, both subtle and overt. After a family crisis, white blogger Alix Chamberlain calls her black babysitter, Emira Tucker, to take her toddler to the local market as a distraction. When at the market, Tucker is accused of kidnapping the child she’s been hired numerous times to babysit, the situation that continues to unfold after exposes the selfish realities of what it actually means to be an ally for the black community. 

Untamed By Glennon Doyle: If you’re more of a memoir reader, you’ll love Doyle’s third novel Untamed where she recounts what it was like to reflect on her metamorphosis as a full-grown woman. Throughout the novel she details how she was able to discover herself through independence after being married and a mother for so many years. She discusses ending her marriage, falling in love with a woman unexpectedly, and then going on to marry that woman and build a whole new life with her.

We Ride Upon Sticks By Quan Barry: This fiction novel is an amazing and easy read for those who love adventure with a hefty mix of young adult drama. The book follows a girls field hockey team in Danvers, Massachusetts; the site of the original Salem Witch Trials. Taking place in 1989 the girls are on a major winning streak which they soon discover may be a result of their town’s spooky history. The book is filled with classic 80’s pop culture references and witchcraft, how could you go wrong? 

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The Southern Book Club’s Guide To Slaying Vampires By Grady Hendrix: In this feminist horror novel Patricia Campbell joins a neighborhood book club to keep herself entertained and away from her mundane nuclear life at home. This 90’s-set thriller isn’t your average tale of mom best friends reading a book and drinking wine while discovering something much deeper about themselves…it also has vampires and a bunch of cool fight scenes. 

All Adults Here By Emma Straub: If your family has been driving you a little crazy after 4+ months of quarantining together this book may be the one for you. Straub writes a layered love story that also celebrates what it is to live in a modern multigenerational family. The Strick family in the novel has a lot of expectations brought on by matriarch Astrid, who will need to reexamine past traditional values and new modern ways of thinking to keep her family together. 

The Island of Sea Women: By Lisa See: Best friends Mi-ja and Young-sook are best friends who are about to begin their long careers on an all-female diving collective in an island off Korea. The book not only follows the two on their journey, but discusses decades of Korean history in relation to female sports and diving, while also following the personal coming of age stories of the two.