I think I speak on behalf of everyone in Salt Lake City (and beyond) when I say “well crap.” Now that I’ve gotten that off my chest, let’s get real for a second. COVID-19 is a serious virus and should by no means be downplayed. According to the CDC, there are currently 4,226 cases of Coronavirus the United States alone and 75 reported deaths. There is currently no vaccine to prevent COVID-19. Which means the best and only way for now to prevent this illness is to avoid being exposed.

Top experts and scientists in the country are severely advocating for Social Distancing. If you don’t know what Social Distancing is by now, let me explain. Social Distancing is the simple act of staying away from other people (at least 6 ft). But there’s more to it than just that. It also means no nonessential travel, no public transportation, work from home if possible, and no social gatherings (stay away from crowds of ten people or more).

The act of Social Distancing applies to everyone on earth right now. But most importantly, to young people who seemingly have yet to understand the absolute vitality of this global pandemic. I unfortunately have seen my own friends and family disregarding these recommendations and continue to socialize. Being young might put you at a lower risk for this virus, but it doesn’t mean you’re invincible.  For instance, a 21 year old Spanish soccer coach died of the Coronavirus just days ago. Yes, he was also battling leukemia, but this goes to show that it’s not just elders who are immunocompromised. By continuing to go out and socialize, you could essentially be contributing to the growing number of cases. If you’re ignoring these recommendations, you are not only putting yourself at risk, but the lives of your community members.

So everyone, do your part as a citizen of this beautiful planet, stay home as much as you can, stay aware and above all be kind to one another. We’re all in this together.

With that said, it looks like most of us might be spending more time inside than we’re used to. Here are a few ideas to help pass the time:

        • Read a book/magazine: Hey! We should all be reading without a global pandemic, but nonetheless, use this time to dive into that book you bought four years ago and never read. Reading is stimulating, fun and takes your mind off of things! The King’s English Bookshop is offering $1.00 shipping rates for online orders, drive-by pick up and free local delivery. My recommendation: Ishmael by Daniel Quinn. 
        • Board Games (A deck of cards or a puzzle will do too!): Super fun way to keep the whole family preoccupied! Plus, most of us have old board games laying around. Make it fun. It’s a great at-home date night idea too. For instance, my partner and I put an adult spin on Candy Land last night, every red card, take a sip of wine, etc, you get the point! Cheers!
        • Pick up cooking: So, like the rest of America, you probably panicked, went the the grocery store and bought over $200 worth of food. Congratulations you can officially feed a small country! But oh no! You forgot bread. Why not learn how to make it? Not only is a french baguette time consuming (which IS a good thing right now) but it’s damn tasty. Here’s our recipe: You’ll need: 2 ½ cups warm water, 1 Tbsp. dry yeast, ½ cup honey, 4 Tbsp. vegetable oil, 3 eggs, 1 Tbsp. salt, 8 cups unbleached all-purpose flour, Preheat oven to 375. Use a large bowl. Pour in the water and sprinkle the yeast over it. Stir in the honey, vegetable oil, 2 eggs and salt. Add the flour a cup at a time and stir well after each addition. When it gets too stiff to stir, use your hands and knead in the flour. Then continue kneading until dough is smooth and elastic. Put it back in the bowl, cover with a clean damp cloth and let rise until double, about 1 ½ hours.Punch down the dough, divide it in half and knead it some more. Add flour if the dough gets too sticky. Divide each half into thirds and roll each one with your hands to form a long strand about 1 ½ inches thick. Pinch the ends of three strands together and braid them together, pinching the ends together when you finish. Repeat with the remaining dough. Place on separate oiled baking pans, cover with a damp towel and let rise an hour or so. Beat the last egg and brush it over the tops of the loaves. Bake about 40 minutes and let the bread cool before slicing and showing it off. 
          • Take a youtube workout class: It’s recommended to get at least 30 minutes of physical activity in everyday. Though gyms might be closed, you can still get active at home. Got a treadmill? Go for a walk or a run! Not into running? No biggie, that’s what good ol’ youtube is for! Don’t know where to start? Here’s a youtube workout I’ve been using for years:

            • FILL OUT YOUR CENSUS: If you haven’t already done this, do it now while you have some time. The census is imperative for communities to continue to develop. The 2020 Census will determine congressional representation, inform hundreds of billions in federal funding every year (for issues like COVID-19), and provide data that will impact our community for the next 10 years.
            • Watch a film you haven’t seen before: There’s no way you’ve seen every film. I don’t care how much of a self-claimed movie critic you consider yourself, there’s always more films to see. I recommend my favorite movie of all time, Better Off Dead, featuring a dreamy young John Cusack

        • Learn how to make jewelry: Channel your inner 12 year old! Or make jewelry with your 12 year old! Either way this is an entertaining way to pass time. I am currently making funny bracelets for my coworkers and friends with letter beads.
        • Painting: Pick your favorite place in the world and paint it! Paint a portrait, paint your dog (but don’t paint on your dog), paint anything! Release creative energy through painting or any form of art!
        • Gardening: It might not feel like it, but spring is finally here! The days are longer and the weather is slowly starting to change. It’s the perfect excuse to breath in some fresh air. Whether it’s in your backyard, or just a porch, gardening is a therapeutic task that has beautiful (and tasty) results! Need some inspiration? Check out our article about 4 things you should plant now! 
        • Spring cleaning: Take time to tidy up your home! I know, I know- I can hear your groans from miles away. But there’s something therapeutic about tidying up. And if you’re anything like me you probably haven’t gone through your closet in over a year. Whether it’s going through your closest, filling a box with things you no longer need, or just organizing your kitchen, it’s important to take some time to straighten up. So put your favorite podcast on, grab a broom and go to town (don’t actually go to town though- stay home, please).
        • Take an online class: Don’t stop learning! We are so lucky to live in the age of Google, where learning anything can happen instantly. Pick a subject, and get learning! I recommend Plant Biology. Did you know that a banana is technically a berry and a strawberry is not? Crazy, right?

    • Learn a language! Rosetta Stone offers a huge variety of languages. Think about all the people you’ll impress when you tell them about your time quarantined in fluent French!
    • Don’t isolate yourself. Unfortunately, this sort of issue is a breeding ground for feelings of depression and loneliness. So don’t isolate yourself, I mean do, but be sure to stay in touch with friends and family and reach out for help if needed. (Click here to speak with someone now).
    • Don’t forget to be a good neighbor! Check in on your elderly neighbors and be sure to offer assistance or help if possible.

    Above all, stay safe and be well, respect the recommendations of scientists and health officials and remember to support one another during these uncertain times.

    For more information about COVID-19, click here.