Coronavirus: Staying home.

by Olia

We cannot control what happens to us in life, but we can control how we react to it. Staying home and doing our best of it is the most valuable contribution each of us can make to help our doctors to stop this emergency. In Italy, we deal with the coronavirus over three weeks already, and we had to find creative ways to adjust to the situation, close what we could off-line, and continue our daily life activities online.  In today’s post, I want to share some things that we do here, in our town. We follow by a letter the regulations and precautions that are given by the authorities and using what we have at hand to adjust to the situation.

Work and study, daily needs.

Though schools and Universities are closed, our teachers continue to work, and our children continue to study. Besides the platforms we usually use, our teachers use Google Classroom, WhatsApp, and place videos on YouTube to stay in touch with our littles. One of our elementary school teachers, for example, continue “reading together” activities that she was doing in class so the children can still see her, hear her voice, and it helps a lot to reduce their anxiety. Official free studies platform ClasseVivaWeb was updated quickly. Now our school students can use free chats, Webinars, and video calls to ask questions and get help doing their homework.

All offices and companies (the ones that could do it, of course) made arrangements to provide a possibility for the staff to work from home or take the accumulated days off to work only half a day. Our mayor at this time is close to us than ever. She is using daily Facebook and WhatsApp to inform, answer questions about the new regulations, restrictions, and how they must be followed. She coordinates the work of various volunteer and local organizations, police, and commercial infrastructure to arrange help for those in need, so nobody in our local community is left behind. Today she made a video for our children singing “Rainbow song” and asked them to draw the rainbow on anything we have at home and place it on the balcony or window to spread some love and cheer in the town.

Our grocery shops marked with solid tape 1 m range, so we know the distance we must maintain to be safe when we go shopping for groceries and indispensables. We try to buy all we might need for 3 – 4 days only, not make a stash for one month, so our shops have time to restock and to refill the shelves. Only one family member goes shopping groceries (with a list) following all the precautions suggested by our authorities and doctors. And we try to buy all that we can online. Many local off-line shops are closed for the public, but they are permitted to arrange home delivery (following the sanitary procedures applied) to help people have what they need without leaving their homes.

Recreation and Social life

Even we cannot go to the stadium to see a sports game, or concert, can’t go to see a movie, party with friends and many other things we are used to, our social life did not stop- we continue it online. Our local yoga and fitness center goes live on Facebook to teach a class every evening. The staff of the center lives in different towns, but they made a weekly schedule (published it on their fun page with all the info), and each of them teaches one class a week from their homes.

Our musicians perform from homes using Instagram Live. And even bands (imagine that each member of the group goes live from his own house) sing, play and chat with us, helping to stay positive and keeping us a company. Our museums opened their doors and made virtual tours on social media.

Family time

Staying three weeks inside with three very active children is not easy, so I “undusted” my Pinterest boards to get some fresh ideas and made one public board with articles about simple but fun activities for children of different ages. It has three sections:

  • Activities for Baby (0 -3 years)
  • Activities for Child (3 – 10 years)
  • Ideas of “happy” meals for little children to bring some cheer to home meals at this time

All of them have many photo tutorials and use things everyone has at home. If you need some ideas, please, have a look.

Click here to access the board

Kids and I sat down together one morning and made a list of all the things we wanted to do for a long time, but with our hectic life, they were always put aside. Yoga classes that we started and did not continue, reading aloud books together, prepare some new home decorations for coming Easter, try some new arts and crafts and do home cooking classes. All the beautiful things we never find time to do together.

That book that is waiting for months to be read, that sweater or other project that you never had time to finish, the home improvements or cleaning you wanted to make but never had time to do. I am sure every family has this “bucket list,” and now it’s a perfect time to have a look at it.

With a bit of creativity, life continues. Let’s now focus not on what we can’t do and what we can’t have, but on what we can do to adjust and help our families, our communities offline and online. Let’s use this time home at its best: to reflect, to rest, to recharge, to reconnect with our families. Let’s despite everything treasure this time we can spend together with people we love.

I hope that it will give you some inspiration and maybe help you to find even better solutions. If you found this information useful, please share it on your social accounts or email it to a friend. Let’s help each other!

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