Thriving While Confined

by Emerald Staff

Presenting Community-Sourced Tips for Coronavirus Coping


As restrictions on gatherings, social distancing, and fears of contracting the coronavirus have left many scrambling to navigate school, business, and community hub closures, we’ve compiled a community-inspired list of activities to help the South End cope. We’ll continue adding to this list as we receive more suggestions. Please send them to editor@southseattleemerald.com (and include a picture if you can)!

RESPONSE HANDBOOK FOR CREATIVES

King County Creative has published a new online COVID-19 Response Handbook for Creatives in an effort to keep comprehensive, up-to-date public health information circulating through the cultural and creative communities in our region during COVID-19 and beyond.

This handbook will serve as a central source of information and resources. We know that there are many other similar efforts emerging. We’re not seeking to replace or duplicate those efforts, but to complement and fill-in any industry gaps. We also especially seek to be a primary resource on issues of public health for the creative industry.

This handbook is for artists and professionals in the artistic community. It contains public health news, information, tips, and resources as the COVID-19 landscape changes through the next several weeks and months. We will be updating it frequently as news and information evolves and changes.

PLAY ONLINE GAMES

From communal puzzles to trivia, there are online games galore. Here’s just one list to keep you occupied for hours.

VIRTUAL CONCERTS

Whether your musical taste lean toward John Legend or the symphony there are plenty of virtual concerts you can enjoy from your living room. The Seattle Symphony has begun rebroadcasting some of its live performances. Stay At Home Fest allows people to track house concerts of their favorite artists.

VISIT A MUSEUM (Virtually of course)

Always wanted to explore the Louvre, or National Gallery of Art? CNN has a great list of museums offering virtual tours.

SHARE A POT OF JOOK (RICE CONGEE)

Jook is to the Asian community what chicken soup is to the Jewish community; it’s soft cooked soup is truly comfort food – often eaten while sick, but also it’s like a warm blanket around you. It can be made from even the barest of food pantries: a little rice and a lot of liquid cooked into a mush: preferably chicken, fish or kelp broth, but plain water will do. Chinese use green onions and ginger, Japanese use pickled plums as condiments, but sliced chicken or pieces of fish, shrimp make it a meal in one. Take a hot bowl of jook to your elderly neighbors. Many recipes online; even Martha Stewart has one.

KEEP LEARNING

Explore Khan Academy, which offers free K–8, high school, and university-level classes on mobile and online platforms. They also have a curriculum for 2–7-year-olds. Though Seattle Public Library branches are currently closed, the library’s website has a great selection of online resources, including checkout of e-books and audio books, free downloadable music and streaming through Freegal, and free online movie streaming through Kanopy. LinkedIn Learning is a great way to learn a wide range of business, technical, and other career-development skills, and they offer a 30-day free trial.

WORK OUT AT HOME

(courtesy of Mark Bryant at the Columbia City Fitness Center/8 × World Champion Powerlifter / Powerlifting Hall of Famer /Powerlifting Coach of the Year)

Since most gyms are closed and people are working from home, why not exercise from home? Here’s some exercises you can do to ensure you say in shape no matter how long  this crisis last.

(All are 3 sets of 10 reps)

Monday: Push ups and Triceps

Tuesday: Back and Biceps

Wednesday: Thighs and Calves

Thursday: Abs and Stretching

Friday: Biceps, Shoulders, and Triceps

Saturday: Home Movies and Rest

Sunday: Rest, and Positive Thoughts

You may do these exercises in any order you like.  This is just an example of how to group them together.

Throughout this process you need to think positive. Thinking positive also helps with promoting good health.

Make sure you’re drinking water and eating healthy, nutritious foods as well as exercising and resting too.  – Mark Bryant

Mark Bryant (and his many powerlifting medals)

Another option is  Seattle Kettlebell Club, off Rainier Avenue. Starting Monday, March 30th,  they’ll be doing a 21 Day Online Challenge. They welcome novices – using dumb bells, a loaded backpack or whatever you have handy at home – each day, they post a lesson that you can use on your own schedule; the lessons will remain posted throughout the Challenge. You can also participate in Zoom workouts with Seattle Kettlebell Club’s members and coaches. For more information and fees: frontdesk@seattlekettlebellclub.com

SUPPORT LOCAL BIZ/ FOOD DELIVERY

Buy art from local artists online, order a commission (get that family or dog portrait you’ve always wanted!). Buy books from local authors online. Schedule in-home work to be done by a local crafts-person,  and get your yard in shape with the help of a landscape artist. Local author and activist Ijeoma Oluo co-organized the Artists Relief Fund, so you can donate to help creatives in our community who rely on the many gigs that have been canceled.

If looking to support local businesses with food delivery, you can look no further than this public Google spreedsheet seeking to capture all Chinatown-International District and South End restaurants offering home deliveries.

PRACTICE KINDNESS (& LOVINGKINDNESS)

Do you know someone in the neighborhood who is restricted to their home? Give them a call to check on them or, better yet, have the kids do it. Or maybe you can put together a “thinking of you” care package (dried fruits, trail mix, candy, travel hand sanitizers, etc.) for a local group home or senior center. The sky is the limit on creative acts of kindness. Make a meal and share it with your neighbors and/or community members stuck at home (especially the elderly and immunocompromised).

Cleveland High school staff members organized a food pantry at The Station coffee shop and community members have already began dropping off—and picking up—goods. Give and receive non-perishable food, soap/body wash, toothbrushes, deodorant, and other items.

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Image: Luis Rodriguez, co-owner of The Station, via Facebook.

Local yoga praciticioners are also hosting free virtual classes. Rainier Beach Yoga is offering a 4-week class on Metta, or lovingkindness. It is the meditation the Buddha offered to people when they were afraid. It is a practice of inviting in safety, happiness, health and peace into our lives and the lives of others.

Here’s a DIY guide to it courtesy of The Lion’s Roar.

DECLUTTER/ORGANIZE

What a great moment to spend time organizing photos, Kondo-izing the kids’ rooms, or going through those 5-year-old boxes from the last move! Local declutter expert Erica DeMiele is host of the A&E show Hoarders and offers tips and stories online, or check out Marie Kondo’s Tidying Up streaming on Netflix.

FACING BEING AT HOME WITH LITTLE KIDS FOR ETERNITY?

Write a micro-managed schedule to avoid falling into screens and day drinking too soon 😉 (Thank you to our columnist Sarah Stuteville for this one!)

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SPRING HAS SPRUNG

This is primetime to tidy and weed the yard and get your vegetable garden started. Urban Feed and Garden on Beacon Hill offers free delivery of orders of $40 or more to most of South Seattle, including Beacon Hill, Columbia City, Seward Park, and Georgetown. Seattle Tilth has a great website of resources, and though their classes are temporarily suspended, they have a garden question hotline you can call Monday through Saturday 9 a.m. to 5 p.m  (206) 633-0224.

GET OUTSIDE

Going for a walk or a hike  is a great way to rejuvenate in small groups or on your own. There are plenty of beautiful natural places to explore in, or not far from, the South End. Lakeridge Park in Rainier Beach offers a shaded forest walk through Deadhorse Canyon to the headwaters of Taylor Creek. Kanaskat-Palmer State Park, a short drive east of Kent, offers a gorgeous, easy walk through the Green River Gorge. And the paved Chief Sealth Trail along the crest of Beacon Hill offers a lovely place to bike or stroll between Jefferson Park and Kubota Garden.

DONATE BLOOD

It doesn’t cost any money, it takes little time and you could be saving someone’s life. Bloodworks Northwest has had shortages before, but the coronavirus has caused the cancellation of local workplace and community blood drives. According to Seattle King County Public Health, local blood supply is in danger of collapse. Before the coronavirus became a pandemic, other states were sending some of their blood to Seattle; that’s not likely to continue now that every state is facing the same kinds of blood drive cancellations.

Blood is constantly in need of being replenished for cancer treatment, trauma and other cases that don’t stop because of our lives are being disrupted with the coronavirus. It is safe to donate blood and there’s no risk of getting the coronavirus while donating. All blood donors and Bloodworks staff have to be in good health in order to donate. Afterwards, donors relax with cookies, OJ and other snacks before leaving. Everything is done in about one hour.

To learn if you are eligible, find the closest donation site and to sign up to donate blood, go to: bloodworksnw.org/

LEARN AN INSTRUMENT

Now would be a good time to learn how to play that instrument you’ve always wanted to. Meter Music School in Columbia City is now offering virtual classes online.

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CROWD-SOURCED STORY TIME

Looking for a great activity for bored kids at home? The game leader starts with a story prompt (“Once upon a time, there was a lonely spider …”) and each player takes turns adding the next line (“… who lived under a bucket so he never saw the sun …”). Each contribution should be open-ended so the story can continue for as long as you want. BONUS PLAY: One player writes down the story, so that any kids playing can later illustrate the story they helped create.

TAKE ADVANTAGE OF FREE Wi-Fi

Comcast is providing Xfinity Wi-Fi network FREE including unlimited data and confirms its commitment to connect low-income families. According to their press release, this is a comprehensive change to keep people connected, including eliminating data caps, opening free public Wi-Fi hotspots and 24/7 network monitoring to keep EVERYONE online during these unprecedented times.

“During this extraordinary time, it is vital that as many Americans as possible stay connected to the internet – for education, work, and personal health reasons,” said Dave Watson, Comcast Cable Chief Executive Officer. “Our employees also live and work in virtually every community we serve, and we all share the same belief that it’s our Company’s responsibility to step up and help out.”

According to Nick McDonald, External Communications Manager of Comcast Washington, here’s the best way to get these special services:

Low income households: www.InternetEssentials.com

60 FREE DAYS for low income homes that are not currently connected; this is normally $9.95/month for low income families. In addition, the speed of service will increase from 15/Mbps to 25/3Mbps for all new and existing customers.New customers can sign on with their smart phone; free installation kits will include a cable modem with wifi router; no term contract, credit check or shipping costs.

Community Hotspots:  http://www.xfinity.com/wifi

There are dozens and dozens of free hot spots throughout the South End. Go to the site and input your address and you’ll see where the closest hot spots are located. They are in cafes, community centers, schools, libraries and many other places. While many of these facilities are closed, you can access their wifi signal from their parking lots, front steps, or nearby.

Comcast is also halting data limits during this coronavirus pandemic.

For more information and updates from Comcast related to Coronavirus, visit.

FIND THE THING

Pick a unique object: A small toy, trinket, or other item that can be hidden somewhere in your house/apartment. Start by selecting who hides the thing first. Throughout the day, players can actively look for the thing, or just keep an eye out as they go about their daily activities. The person who finds the object gets to choose the movie/TV show to watch that night — or some other reward. And the next day, the winner gets to hide the object so that somebody else can find it.

GUEST DJ

Make a Spotify mix! Or, if you’re old school, make an MP3 mix, or a CD mix. If it’s Spotify or another digital source, share it with friends. You can challenge your skills by making a themed mix. Ask a family member or friend to give you a title or theme, and make a mix to match that mood. (Not quite lo-fi)

MAKE UP A HOLIDAY

Pick a date on the calendar during the next few weeks and declare it a holiday. Get silly: Mismatched Socks Day, Opera Day (“a real thing at my house,” says one reader), Breakfast for Dinner Day. Then celebrate accordingly. Alternately, you can re-celebrate an at-home version of your favorite holiday. Halloween in March, anyone?

CHIN PUPPET THEATER

Ask older siblings or parents for use of make-up and other accouterments to create the puppets. Devise a story the puppets will act out and then stage a show for the rest of the family. Film it for Tik Tok, YouTube, etc. Here’s one chin-puppeteer lip-syncing a song.

MANAGING STRESS

Get enough rest, limit screen or video game playing time, get outside, exercise, wash hands, practice social distancing. Take a bath. Eat healthy foods. Listen to music that makes you happy.

STAYING HEALTHY

Seattle Public Schools is offering its  free lunch program as a “grab-and-go” service between 11 a.m. and 1 p.m. at various locations throughout the South End through all Covid-19 closures.

If you need help with childcare or want to volunteer to help someone in need, there’s a new community-organized group, Seattle Help for Parents & Caregivers During Covid-19 Outbreak.

Washington’s state health system has opened a special enrollment period for its Apple Health program for people without insurance.

Check out South Seattle Fitness’s virtual yoga classes.

COMMUNITY RESOURCES

The online group Covid19 Mutual Aid – Seattle has a number of resources for both those in need and volunteers wanting to offer assistance.

Often, neighborhood Facebook groups can be cesspools of ick — full of thinly-veiled racism, classism, and spreading of inaccurate information — but right now, we’re seeing lots and lots of helpful community organizing and support happening on Facebook. Some groups have been posting great resources and volunteer opportunities to help one another during this time (free babysitting, food, rides, and other stuff). It’s worth considering joining/rejoining one. Here’s a handful to check out:

Beacon Hill: https://www.facebook.com/groups/beaconhillseattle/

Central District: https://www.facebook.com/Central-District-Seattle-462742467161882/

Columbia City: https://www.facebook.com/groups/columbiacity/

Hillman City: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hillmancity/

Hillman City – Brighton Park: https://www.facebook.com/groups/213325722058561/

Othello Neighborhood: https://www.facebook.com/groups/367590350069459/

Rainier Beach & Skyway: https://www.facebook.com/groups/498330166944852/

White Center: https://www.facebook.com/groups/whitecenter/