Neighborly Advice: Maintain health, sanity and safety in the time of Covid-19

Our readers stepped up with suggestions to help each other manage our lives, maintain a modicum of normalcy, boost our morale, help our children and at times exceed our own expectations during the Covid-19 shutdowns.  Thanks to all who shared their tips and photos.

Maintain your health & sanity

Baking can be a relaxing — and delicious — task.

Amanda Stearns, Andover: Shopping is a bit intimidating but I send my husband and he is our designated shopper and errand runner.

Lynn Way, Chester: I just went to Lisai’s and with Lonnie’s permission left a box with some books and some DVD movies (mostly kids movies) on the porch. Bring one to share and take one. Bring back the movies for someone else when you watch it.

Kyla Koske, Weston: We started seeds yesterday, and it’s been a great time to hit start spring cleaning … washing walls, cabinets, floor boards. It’s looking good around here.

Ann DiBernardo, Cambridgeport: I’m cooking a lot more. It keeps me busy. I’m also running two humidifiers, drinking more water, eating a more alkaline diet, higher dose of vitamin D3, dancing in the kitchen and on my iPad more connecting with people.

Make the sweet stuff!

John Thibodeau, Londonderry: Making the sticky sweet stuff. Keeps me busy and tastes amazing!

Neal Baron, Perkinsville:  Stress is extremely damaging to the immune system. Laughter is the best medicine. Exercise is a close second. Even a short walk. Please keep washing your hands.

Scott and Leslie Blair, Chester: We have been taking  advantage of having more time for taking our dog on more walks and getting things done around the house and yard.

Chris Cox: Cleaning up yard debris, Netflix, shoveling snow and drinking red wine.

Aurora Laurel, Chester: Meditation, going for walks, lifting in vibration with remote healing sessions, exercise, playing with my pup and Facetime with my loved ones and clients for spiritual coaching is helpful.

Ella Rachel, Londonderry: People don’t realize that most disabled people in America have been living like this all along. Nothing has changed for me except I am canceling doctors’  appointments that aren’t necessary and wearing a mask if I have to go.

Get outside; get in touch with your equine side.

There’s internet, TV, crafts, pets, meditation/exercise of sorts, cook, clean, reorganize, declutter. If you have kids you wont need to worry about being bored. Enjoy the outdoors. I’m temperature intolerant and have exercise intolerance so it’s a struggle but I do my best while sitting.  Music, aromatherapy, bubble baths. Don’t be on electronics all day — you need to be busy actually doing things.

Heidi and Britta Gustafson, Chester:  Spend time outdoors! Sunshine kills all kinds of germs, and raises our spirits. Take this opportunity to do something new; turn a negative into a positive. Hug a horse! We still need physical touch and many people aren’t getting it.

Maya Drummond, Londonderry: Feed the birds and play music, and tidy up the house and bake cookies.

Katherine Henry, Chester: Finding simple little things to re-center are useful. I have a family check-in group on Messenger – everyone takes a moment each day to just check in with a picture or a comment – so that we all know that each of us is OK.

Safety First

Say no to envelope licking.

Michele Bargfrede, Chester: During this crisis one thing no one is talking about: Stop Licking Envelopes. We need to keep our postal service employees safe.

Shawn Cunningham, Chester: For surface cleaning, if you can’t find wipes, soak an old — but clean — washcloth in alcohol of at lest 60 percent strength (rubbing alcohol is 70%) Put it in a sealable plastic bagging to carry with you when you go out or to stash in your vehicle for use on the car. And don’t smoke while wiping up or clean around open flames.

Laurie Marcheaux of Plymouth: I have a box of wipes in my car that I added alcohol to. I use them to open doors and to pick up any product I might need. Then dispose of in a plastic bag for the trash.

Keep the kids busy & learning

Take a walk, get some sun and fresh air. Photo by Janelle Marie.

Sarah Edelman of Ludlow: Do activities that are low/no mess that everyone in the house can do easily together. If you use workbooks: Provide materials as a free choice option. Student-led learning can lessen the fights. Printouts can be used in lieu of workbooks! There are MANY free resources available for printables. Just Google “workbooks” and the subject matter or check Pinterest.

Janelle Marie: Lots of fresh air!

Amanda Stearns, Andover: Singing, painting, games. Yard work.

Randi Spittle: Create a “Wall Mural” together.

Amber Miller, Londonderry: Outdoor poetry theatrics, arts & crafts, starting seeds, lots of cuddles and meditation.

Create a ‘wall mural.’ Photo by Randi Spittle.

Steffanie Shoemaker Baker : We’re incorporating math in our baking session. Our son has been continuing his PE sessions with practicing his Taekwondo forms, riding his bike when the snow is gone or turning the garage into a roller rink.

Brainstorming and writing stories has become learning the art of writing a letter — in email form — to older community members. It cheers them up and he gets to learn how to type, too! We’ll be making paracord items to sell as fundraising merchandise for Cub Scouts, as one of his art projects. Plus, he now has lots of time to get reading in, too.

Ella Rachel:  Now is a good time for kids or young adults to write letters or draw pictures for the elderly in towns. My grandfather told me he never had a nap he didn’t enjoy. My kids don’t nap so that’s not an option for me but our immune systems are stronger if you get plenty of rest. If you can, take a nap for me!

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Filed Under: CommunityCommunity and Arts LifeCovid 19 CoverageFeaturedIn the Community

About the Author: Cynthia Prairie has been a newspaper editor more than 30 years. She has worked at such publications as the Raleigh Times, the Baltimore News American, the Buffalo Courier Express, the Chicago Sun-Times and the Patuxent Publishing chain of community newspapers in Maryland. She and her family moved to Chester, Vermont in 2004.

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