By Bruce A. Smith
As I go into my third week of selective self-quarantining, I am amazed at the outpouring of creative tips from around the world on how to stay safe and sane. These welcomed suggestions range from Neil Diamond strumming his guitar in an official Public Service Announcement (PSA) to state-sponsored mealtime etiquette videos from Thailand.
So, grab your guitars – and maybe a box of Kleenex – and let’s start singing.
First up is “Diamond,” as he is known in the music industry. Once famous for demanding that all of his stagehands not look him in the eye backstage in order to preserve his privacy, Diamond leads us in a sing-along to “Sweet Caroline” in this YouTube clip, with a few words changes to remind of us how to keep safe by hand washing and utilizing good sanitizing routines.
Next is a delightful mash-up of hygienic routines from the Thai government’s TV. It promotes plenty of Covid-preventive behaviors that are very familiar to us in the United States, but one item is unique: spoons. The traditional Thai family meal does not use serving spoons, according to one of my family members who once lived in Thailand. Rather, he tells me, each family member dives into the common food bowl with their own personal spoon or utensil – the very one that they use to eat with. As a result, the Thai regime is looking to change how its people eat in order not to spread coronavirus.
But a special note: The Thai government does not promote social distancing, apparently, so the dancers are often clumped together in this video.
Another ditty about safe Covid practices comes to us from a singer-songwriter from Nashville, using the moniker: “Tennessee Build.” It’s a cute parody about quarantine.
Another gem comes from private sources in Singapore via “The Straight Times.” Its finale brought me to tears, as the Italian Air Force puts on an aerial display of the Red, White, and Green.
In addition, my friend and former intern, Gayle Deacon, writes again from Seattle with another great idea for keeping kids busy. Gayle’s initial ideas for creative play was posted on the Mountain News-WA a few days ago, and here’s another tidbit:
In the spirit of this being the Mountain News-WA, I wanted to suggest an at home project based on Mount Rainier. This is an adaptation of a STEAM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Art, and Mathematics) based block play activity I have seen many variations of, and have done with my childcare kids, using the Space Needle as our structure to emulate.
The basic idea is to challenge your children to create a model of a structure, usually a famous man-made structure, in this case Mt. Rainier, out of their existing block or building toy collection.
In case you do not have a vast collection of blocks or building toys, you can try any of the following materials commonly used in other STEAM challenges to fashion the tallest towers, strongest bridges, etc.
- Toothpicks and modeling dough or clay
- Toothpicks and Marshmallows
- Popsicle sticks and clothespins, binder clips, etc.
- Recyclables to arrange (May also tape together and Papier-mâché over)
- Cups to stack, in a variety of sizes
- Paper or Cardstock to manipulate into shape (fold, scrunch, or cut out shapes)
- Tinfoil to scrunch into shape
The idea is to study the shapes and forms of the mountain, or other structure, and challenge your children to create their own model from what they’ve learned. Then discuss their designs in comparison to images of the mountain, and ask how they might improve them. If your children love this challenge, you can adapt it to any structure you want to have them learn about.
And if you are interested in which parts of the Mount Rainier region remain open, you can check into that here: https://visitrainier.com/temporary-closures/.
Lastly, TV suggestions. Victoria from Yelm sends the following link to the new Star Trek series featuring Sir Patrick Stewart in his iconic role as Captain Jean-Luc Picard:
“Star Trek: Picard” is now free to non-subscribers to CBS All Access.
Or, put more accurately: Non-paid subscribers. You’ll still have to sign up for the CBS streaming service to watch the show, but now there’s a coupon code that unlocks Picard: “GIFT.” The code will unlock a one month free trial which includes all shows on the service (so if you want to check out Star Trek: Discovery or old episodes of Next Generation, you can do that too).
Happy Quarantining, everyone.
Covid Photo Gallery
Thank you, Victoria from Yelm, for this pix. Thanks, also, to the unknown photographer on the Internet who snapped the picture.
I LOVE Dr. Fauci, and I know Donald….
Thanks to Facebook and the folks who posted there.
Yours truly and my Red Rocket, BC (Before Covid).
What my Quarantine HQ looks like in Eatonville. The home base for the Mountain News and the Covid Journal.