Coronavirus Quarantine (WFH, homeschool, tips, etc.)

Looks like increasing numbers of towns are implementing school closures, events are being cancelled, and businesses that can have started requiring work from home. So, there’s going to be a lot of people more or less confined to their homes for the next few weeks. So, it might be nice to have a space to discuss or share experiences.

An interesting little piece to get started:

With 2 elementary school kids and museums / libraries presumptively closed, we’re mostly trying to figure out what to do with them. They’re being sent “remote learning” materials, but let’s be honest, there isn’t much special material a 1st grader needs to learn remotely. Right now, we’re planning on implementing “home school”, just to give the day a little structure. My wife has been looking into homeschooling resources for a few weeks now to prepare for this. Fortunately, the weather is starting to warm up a bit, so I’m also starting to look for “outdoor classroom” activities that we can do in the woods or backyard.

We’re also pre-emptively giving ourselves permission to let them just…waste time. We usually have some restrictions on TV / screen time, but we’re expecting to loosen those a bit as the days wear on.

Maybe reading to them as well? As entertainment, I mean. If one of you has the time, it could be an opportunity to instill a love of books.

Yeah, they love books already (we have a bit of a book hoarding problem ourselves), so that’s just part of our normal play cycles. But it’s hard to read aloud for more than 30 minutes or so at a time.

We haven’t had any community measures here yet, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot and talking with my wife. We have a one - year - old who goes to daycare and an eight - year - old niece we’re thinking about.

Our governor is giving a statement at 10am. We’re thinking it may be an announcement of our first case. We’re planning to stock up on food before then, in the event that schools and daycares start to close. Mostly mac and cheese, ravioli, canned veggies, organic milk, stuff we know the kids will eat that won’t go bad for a month or more.

I’m lucky that I could work from home starting anytime, and my job is not one that is likely to be affected for a long time, if at all. So I’ve let my sister know that if she needs me to watch my niece during a school closure, we can handle that with no problem. My niece has a Switch, and Animal Crossing comes out next week, so she’ll be well taken care of.

That’s about as far as we’ve made it! I should also call daycare and see what their normal schedule is for our daughter’s room, so we could mirror that as much as possible.

Not panicking, just making sure we take it reasonably seriously. Worst case, we overspend on groceries for a month. Best case, we can self-quarantine for two weeks with minimal interruption.

I went to the store and they didn’t have any bidets at all. Am I too late?

Stores in my area of northeast PA are decimated as of last evening. I haven’t been able to find toilet paper in 3 days , lol. They keep saying stock is coming but by the time I can make it into the store is gone already. I took a long weekend so now I am on the hunt for TP.

Otherwise we have a good 1 month supply of everything we normally use at home.

Many stores in my area are out of :
TP
Napkins / Paper towels
Rice
Beans
Pasta
Canned goods (veggies/soups)
Cleaning supplies/wipes/laundry detergents

It is so weird to call a store and ask if they have toilet paper in stock.

We went to a Trader Joe’s yesterday and was amazed at what was and wasn’t there. I’m kinda glad people are overreacting, might help flatten the curve.

I have a cold my own self, which is stressful enough. My wife’s school district is considering shutting down, but like many, kids without school also mean kids without meals and supervision, so it’s a tough call to make.

I was just thinking about creating a thread like this.

I’m thinking it’s probably a good time to start getting into gardening. This is a good time, too. Start getting seedlings ready now.

But it has a bunch of advantages. It’ll keep me busy. I can grow some of my own food (which could be very helpful). It’s pretty solitary. And it lets me do something outdoors in the nice weather and not worry about crowds.

My wife works for Head Start, and her class is almost entirely low-income, homeless, and refugee families. She’s far more panicked about what’s going to happen to them than to us.

Yeah same. A lot of her kids are low-income as well, so it has to be scary for them and their families.

I’m working from home indefinitely now, and my son’s school is closed for at least six weeks, so quality time I guess? My wife and I are working out plans for stuff he can work on more or less by himself with occasional assist from me. Something like math in the morning, writing in the afternoon. Sounds like his school’s principle is trying to set up a kind of online daily check-in to help keep things as normal as possible in a situation like this, plus we may end up hiring some additional help for an hour or two per day, especially if my daughter’s daycare ends up getting shut down.

And that’s not even getting into getting into the toilet paper situation, which probably isn’t really worth getting into.

The best toileting experience I ever had was on a toilet with one of these. I plan to get one for the house as soon as I get around to renovating the master bath:

Yeah I am on work from home starting Monday until April 1st, at least. My sons school is doing ‘extended spring break’ and establishing Google classrooms should class not resume April 1st, a distinct possibility.

I’m lucky that, as a tech worker, all my ‘real’ work can be done remote. It is only face to face meetings (which since it seems I am being groomed for a manager type position is an increasingly relevant part of my day to day) that will be suffering. We have video conferencing tools so mostly can cover, but there is some loss of team integration across scopes.

My son is in kindergarten. The teacher is sending additional reading homework for the ‘spring break ++’. We’ll see. Right now things are orderly and fine. If cases dramatically increase in coming weeks that is a different story.

As luck would have it, my wife went to Target about 1 1/2 weeks ago, and went ahead and picked up a 48 (?) pack of TP just because we were close to needing some, not because of CV. It’s just us - no kids - so we should be good for awhile. Especially since we also have the seat-top bidets (seriously - greatest invention the Japanese ever gave the world).

And I normally go shopping early Sunday morning (7:30) while everyone is at church. Usually fairly empty - maybe a dozen or so shoppers at that point. Anyway, because its seems like some of the grocery stores around the US (reading here, anyway) were starting to run out of stock on some things, I decided to go first thing this (Friday) morning, when they opened at 6 AM. I’ve done that before when I needed to pick up some stuff when the wife was sick, and it is pretty much always empty. Maybe one other person, and of course the various workers stocking shelves for the day. Today, it wasn’t packed or anything, but there was a little bigger crowd than when I go Sundays - maybe 15-20 - and it seemed that baskets were a little more filled than normal.

Having said that, other than sanitizer (both hand and the stuff in cleaning supplies), I didn’t really see anything they were completely out of. I meant to look for TP, but forgot - however, walking up/down aisles I didn’t notice a large section of empty shelves, and did notice they had a fair amount of napkins, so I assume there was still some TP to be had. Of everything else - there didn’t seem to be anything you couldn’t get, but you may not get your normal brands. Bread was down about 1/3 from normal. Dried beans seemed hit fairly hard (probably down 80-90%), but canned beans were still normally stocked. Pasta was down maybe 20%, but I had no issues finding whole wheat pasta, which is what I eat. Rice looked OK - at least in the Asian section. The one thing they were just about out of - the cheap Ramen noodles (at 19 cents a pack). I saw a few packages left of the low-sodium version, but everything else was gone. However, you could still get the Ramen packages they sold in the Asian section of the store - that looked to be still pretty fully socked (albeit at 99 cents a pack). And most means looked available, but the ground beef was very picked over. Had to go to the meat counter to get that. Although other ground meats were fine (pork, Italian sausage, turkey, etc). And chicken breasts were still plentiful.

So yea - got a little more than normal just in case - if the store were hit hard all over and I couldn’t get food there, I think we have enough for about a month. But I plan to keep going every week and keep those reserves as a ‘in case’ need. Plus, it’s not like most produce lasts. Same with dairy.

Also - I quit going to my hockey games. Didn’t want to, but being a type 2 diabetic, I figured the extra chance wasn’t worth it (although ironically, the exercise is good for me). I hope to get back into it by the summer league (if there is one) or the fall, and still hope the national tournament in June is still on (we’re defending champs, so have an auto bid). But we’ll see.

My work is on recommended WFH for at least the next month and the school is closed for at least two weeks. The in-laws are currently visiting, so it’s a bit crowded but everyone’s having a good time. (And today is the older kid’s 5th birthday.) We’ll see how it goes; my mother is currently still planning to fly in from CA on Wednesday.

One of our regular farmer’s market meat suppliers sent out a pleading email because the markets are all getting cancelled. They offered free shipping and a ribeye steak for all orders over $200 so we got a quarter pig to fill our chest freezer. Mmmm…

Well, if it flattens the curve then it’s not overreacting, I guess.

What’s your zone? Start with peas. This week is roughly when you put peas in (1 month before last frost) For NYC last frost is 4/15.

For tomatoes you needed to start seedlings around valentine’s day but it’s still ok

Zucchini is a good newbie plant too, lots of yield.

The more sun you get the more options you have.

8 Bravo.

I usually buy tomato starters from Costco.

This year, I think I’ll skip the sunflowers and go for more vegetables.

Well, maybe one sunflower.

I’m working from home, but my company has given us some flexibility around working hours especially around child-care, since they recognize that schools are closing. We’ve been thinking about putting in a vegetable garden in one corner of the yard for a while. Maybe it’s time!

Here’s one thing that you could do (or do to keep your kids busy) while on quarantine… play Ring Fit Adventure.