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Mon, Mar 23 9:15am · How to Keep Kids Occupied & and Your Sanity during Self Quarantine in About Kids & Teens

Someone posted a video yesterday on Facebook where they made an obstacle course for their kids using pillows, chairs, etc., and with painter's tape to show how to run it. They put arrows on the floor and cushions and so forth, using blue painter's tape. It was really cute and the kid that was running the course in the video seemed to be having a great time. Just one more option for those parents whose kids are starting to get a little stir crazy in the house.

Sun, Mar 22 6:36pm · How are you getting together with others virtually? Zoom etc. in COVID-19

Funny because I have used Zoom for work and we had issues with it hanging up on people. Maybe they have boosted their infrastructure to handle the increased traffic. Btw Google Hangouts is free also.

Sun, Mar 22 1:15pm · How are you getting together with others virtually? Zoom etc. in COVID-19

My knitting group met by Google Hangouts this morning. We had to work out a few minor technical issues, but once we did, we had a great time and it gave us a chance to connect with and support each other. We plan to keep doing this weekly until it's safe to gather in person again.

Fri, Mar 20 12:35pm · What are your tips to work from home and not be distracted? in COVID-19

That's a great question. I have been working from home for almost 30 years and it definitely requires a different sort of discipline than being in the office. Here are some suggestions:

1) Set up a designated work area that is not in the middle of where the family will be hanging out or watching TV. (A lot of people try to use the dining table and find it's a noisy difficult place to work). Make sure you have a desk that's the right level and a comfortable chair so you don't end up with a repetitive stress injury such as carpel tunnel syndrome.
2) Set designated times when you start and end work, just like you did at the office. Schedule breaks and take them at the scheduled time. During your working time, remain focused on your work and ignore or delay any distractions until after your work hours are over. (Unless someone is bleeding, of course.)
3) Train your family that when you're working, they should not disturb you. The standard we use in our house is that if you would not have called me in the office about it, it should wait until after I am done working.
4) Unless being on social media is part of your job, stay off of it during working hours. If you feel like you really must check social media, do it during your breaks and keep track of how long you are on it. A quick 5 minutes to check Facebook can easily turn into an hour of surfing around reading stories online.

Finally, while some people have trouble with distractions when working at home, others have trouble shutting work off and leaving it behind at the end of the day, or with stopping when it's time in order to ensure a work/life balance. That's why the designated start/end times are so important, and also why it's helpful to have your work life in a separate area of the house. In my case, I can literally walk away and shut the door, which is a visual reminder that I'm done working and need to let work issues go.

I'm happy to answer questions if anyone is having struggles or wants advice on how to make this work.

Wed, Mar 18 12:27pm · Age 65 and Good Health: Can I get my own groceries? in COVID-19

Hi @mcryan. While nothing is 100% safe, it's definitely safer than spending time in a crowded grocery store. I found this article from Consumer Reports that gives some ideas for what you can to do make sure your grocery delivery is as safe as possible:

https://www.consumerreports.org/food-shopping/how-to-protect-yourself-from-coronavirus-when-grocery-shopping/

Best wishes to you and hope you stay well.

Wed, Mar 18 11:47am · Lab work: Should I get it done as scheduled? in COVID-19

I think you should call your doctor's office and ask them what the best course of action is. Depending on what other conditions you have and what the medication is, they may advise you to wait, or they might want you to go in now. They can best advise you on this.

Tue, Mar 17 9:56pm · COVID-19 Coronavirus and Lung Health: What can you do? in COVID-19

I have to respectfully disagree. What my kids are learning from this is that as a country, we can band together to protect our weakest citizens and make small personal sacrifices for the greater good. Yes, some people are panicking but my kids are not. They are figuring out how to adapt to an unpredictable situation and take care of each other and their neighbors. As parents, I think that the example we set is important. The example that I am setting is to be calm and follow the advice of experts. Of course, it helps that my kids are all college educated and my daughter could explain the micro biology of coronaviruses to us.

Tue, Mar 17 8:11pm · COVID-19 Coronavirus and Lung Health: What can you do? in COVID-19

@joelars, I think I can understand why you feel passionate about this, although I will admit that we probably won't agree on the facts of the situation. I have minimal underlying conditions myself, so I suspect that I would survive a case of covid-19 but having had Influenza in the past, I don't relish the thought. I spent last weekend with my 20-something children and they are remarkably calm about this and okay with sacrificing some social life for the common good. Yes, there will be economic impacts to all of this but we have lived through difficult times before and we can get through this. The goal of shutting down public life is to "flatten the curve" of people going into our hospitals so that we don't have a huge surge of patients and run out of bed space or ventilators. In Italy, people are stacked in hallways and doctors are having to decide who gets treated and who does not. If we can slow down the spread of the virus, hopefully we can avoid that happening here and there will be care for everyone who needs it.