Hello from Washington, DC!
I hope you all are doing well. Holy smokes that month of March just flew by! I don't know about you but I've been eating Easter candy since St. Patrick's Day. It's been hard to find toilet paper but not egg-shaped Reese's peanut butter cups.
Thanks again for all your kind emails, texts and phone calls! I love hearing from you all. If nothing else, this last month has given me so many wonderful opportunities to re-connect with friends and family. I am so grateful for each and every one of you.
I have a few things to update you on as well as some fun things to share with you. However, I just want to remind you all to go to this site for any and all updates on the coronavirus.
#1: Earlier this week the President announced 30 Days to Slow the Spread. It is critical at this time that all Americans stay at home. Please follow the guidelines of state and local authorities but it is encouraged that everyone engage in school and work from home, avoid social gatherings of 10 or more people, only make essential travel (ie.work, grocery shopping, pharmacy), and practice good hygiene.
#2: Small Businesses and non profit organizations should begin applying now to the to the Paycheck Protection Program. This will provide small businesses with much needed funds to pay up to 8 weeks of payroll costs including benefits. Funds can also be used to pay interest on mortgages, rent, and utilities. A top-line overview can be found here.
#3: The Treasury Department has announced that economic impact payments will begin in the next two weeks and will be distributed automatically. Check here to see if you or a family member qualifies and where you can get other information about IRS assistance.
#4: CDC is now recommends wearing cloth face coverings in public settings where other social distancing measures are difficult to maintain (ie. grocery stores and pharmacies) especially in areas of significant community-based transmission. Our good friend Jerome Adams, the Surgeon General, offers a how-to here.
#5: If you or a family member gets sick, you most likely will have to ride it out at home. Most people who are infected with the coronavirus will not be hospitalized. This article has helpful tips from doctors on what to have at home in your "emergency care kit"
Now on to some fun stuff. Here are a few suggestions on how to keep yourself busy when you're not homeschooling or tele-working:
#1: My super creative step-sister out in Seattle has just published this beautiful coloring book called Color to DeClutter. This is such a thoughtful and unique collection with a focus on bringing your inner and outer worlds into alignment. Please order a copy of it to enjoy while you are at home!
#3: Thomas Hargan has tried to teach me how to play chess and I am terrible. I loathe Monopoly and my boys cheat at cards. But, I just read that Cards Against Humanity released a new game: Cards Against Humanity: Family Edition. It is FREE to download and you can play it now with your bored family (like MINE). This is a PG version of the now-iconic adult game and it's fun. I highly recommend it.
#4: Since you've watched everything on Netflix (Tiger King) you should check out some of the other free movie streaming channels available to watch on Apple TV or Roku (above I mentioned Crackle). I also recommend watching for FREE the collection of James Bond movies on Pluto TV.
#5: You may have already heard of this but the Hargans are all about Houseparty right now. It's a free app to download to your phone and up to 8 people can play games together via video chat. The boys and I have been playing with my Mom.
#6: How freaking cool is Google Arts & Culture? Today I checked out 10 Places that Inspired Your Favorite Books. Not only can you virtually tour over 2000 museums around the world but you can also explore Hollywood Blvd or the Time Life photo collection. This is a great resource to use with your kids or to just have fun exploring all by yourself.
Finally, I wanted to share this great article I read a few days ago in the NYT. For those of us who are usually hyper-focused overachievers, this current crisis may have us feeling out of sorts. I have to admit that right out of the gate I was trying to get everyone to adhere to a pretty strict schedule around here--including the dog. Guess how that went? Anyway, you have to read the article. It made me laugh to actually see my exact feelings in print in the New York Times--and if you know me, I am not one who regularly reads the New York Times. But seriously, why in the world am are we putting so much stress on ourselves and our families during a time that is already so stressful? If we don't adhere to a strict exercise schedule or get our closets cleaned out, so be it.
To end on a lighter note, check out these dog Tik Tok videos. I can't help myself--they're hilarious. And if you haven't made dinner tonight, order a delicious chicken sandwich from Popeyes and kick back on your patio with a John Daly. It will go great with your dinner.
As always, keep us in your prayers as we hold you close in ours. Stay safe and healthy.