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UPDATE (6/25/2020): Now that much of the world is starting to emerge from quarantine, it’s important for us to take advantage of what we’ve learned throughout the shutdown. Things like:
- You should have a bigger toilet paper supply.
- Don’t take your gym membership for granted.
- Barbershops are essential businesses.
- Everybody needs to know how to cook.
- and more…
Whether you think we played it smart or you think this was just a big overreaction, we all want to get back to “normal.” If there’s a second wave of the Coronavirus and we end up having another shutdown, these 6 luxuries can be essential to your level of quarantine contentment…
CNN recently reported that the US government is gearing up for multiple waves of illness due to the Coronavirus over the next 18 months. That doesn’t necessarily mean that everything is going to be shut down for that whole time. On the other hand, this may be the wake-up call that some of us need to set up our homes for long periods of social distancing and other emergencies. Even if your healthy yourself, most people have somebody in their family that at risk of contracting the Coronavirus.
We’re not advocating for heading down to your local store and hoarding all of the toilet paper and water bottles. Even though it’s smart to have a few weeks’ worth of those types of essentials, we want to concentrate on supplies that improve your quality of life.
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If you haven’t looked into getting a Ring doorbell, this may be the best time, regardless of the Coronavirus pandemic. For a limited time Ring is offering the Ring Doorbell 2 for 15% off! They are also offering their monitoring service free for the first month. Answering the door without opening your door has never been more important.
With many stores closing, running on limited hours, or out-of-stock, ordering online has increased exponentially. Besides the possibility of more packages coming to your door, food delivery services like Postmates have request no-contact drop-offs.
Why is this important? The CDC says that the virus can spread from person to person up to 6 feet away and without contact. The Ring doorbells allow you to view and communicate with your delivery person without opening the door. Once they’re out of the “danger zone,” you can safely open the door and disinfect whatever was delivered. Also, any brave solicitors can be told to “kick rocks” from the comfort and safety of your mobile device.
You also get the premium security of having a motion-sensing device that captures video of any unwanted visitors. On top of Ring’s own home security monitoring service, your Ring doorbell can be easily added to many existing home security systems.
Video Chatting Devices
Another piece of technology that can make social distancing a little more bearable is a video chatting device like the Amazon Echo Show. These plug-and-play devices are simple to set up and they can even be set up and then sent to your technically-challenged loved ones. Additionally, they give you an abundance of features besides the ability to “drop-in” on any family member or friend that has an Echo device. Check the news, weather, calendar, and more with simple voice commands. They also work with Ring doorbells, so it’s even easier to check who’s at the door.
With assisted living facilities and nursing homes on lockdown, these devices are even more essential for these types of residents. If they have the ability to give simple voice commands, this is the best way to stay connected to the outside world.
Stocking up on non-perishable foods is a great idea no matter what the situation. The problem is, finding nutritious non-perishable foods is hard enough, but it’s almost impossible right now. Dried fruits and veggies are some of the healthiest types available and would be a necessity if fresh fruits and veggies become even harder to come by.
With spring coming, this may be the best time to get that home garden going, especially since most of us have some extra time on our hands. If you’ve ever managed a home garden before, you know that you don’t usually have the option of harvesting a little at a time. When it’s time to pick, you need to have an action plan ready so you can process the fruits of your labor. You don’t want all of that hard work rotting away.
Dehydrating is one of the best ways to store fresh produce for 3 main reasons:
- Dehydrated foods shrink so they take up less storage space than canned or frozen versions.
- They lose very little nutritional value.
- Dehydrated fruits can last up to 5 years and dehydrated vegetables can last up to 10 years.
If you want to take dehydrating to the next level or you have foods you want to save and store for the long haul, a vacuum sealer is a must. Vacuum sealing can stretch the shelf life of any food for years. Besides pandemics and emergencies, vacuum sealing foods is a great way to take advantage of deals and bulk savings on fresh produce.
Foodsaver is our favorite brand in the vacuum sealing industry because they have options for beginners all the way up to experienced skill levels. Besides saving food for a rainy day, they also allow you to save time by prepping and cooking in bulk. Store marinated and cooked meats individually for quick and easy cooking or reheating on demand.
With most gyms and fitness chains closed because of the Coronavirus, investing in home gym equipment is the next best path to remaining healthy. Hitting the hiking trails can also be a great option, so download the AllTrails app on your phone to see if you have any options near you. On the other hand, if you live in a heavily populated area this might not be a convenient option compared to treadmills or other cardio equipment. Inclement weather can also be a limiting factor in staying active outdoors, so it’s nice to have a backup plan.
Since the Coronavirus infects your throats and lungs first, treadmills are one of your best options for keeping your respiratory and cardiovascular systems in shape. Instead of “Netflix and chill,” replace a piece of furniture in your living room so you can “Netflix and move.” You don’t have to train for a marathon, but any way to motivate you to stay active can make a huge difference in your overall physical and mental health.
Home Schooling Programs & Supplies
If you have kids like me, this is one of the most important things to consider. With schools out everywhere, keeping those little ones actively learning is of the utmost importance. If you know anyone that homeschools their kids, they may be your best source of information.
Most school districts and institutions are still scrambling to figure out ways to supply lesson plans. If you want to be proactive, there are plenty of online learning programs that are reducing or even eliminating the cost of their programs. If you don’t have online access, many companies like Spectrum are offering free internet service for at least a few months, so ALL kids have a chance to stay connected. They’re even waiving install fees, so hit up your local internet provider to see if they have any similar offers.
In addition to those programs, there are many education professionals offering free lessons covering art, math, reading, and other subjects. Here are some of the best options for all of you “beginner home school teachers” across the country: