Time to . . .
"Some old-fashioned things like fresh air and sunshine are hard to beat."
--- Laura Ingalls Wilder
We had a glorious weekend here -- windy, but warm(ish). Perfect for long walks -- and even a little time in my garden. (Although I know it's way too early to do anything substantial, I did cut back a few things.) (It felt GREAT.)
I hope you were able to get outside for a bit . . . in your corner of the world.
The Women's Prize for Fiction long list was announced last week. Did you catch it? I tend to put my to-read lists together each year based on a few of the prize lists: the Man-Booker, the National Book Award, and this one -- the Women's Prize. 16 new titles to add to your to-read list! I've read 4 so far . . . and can't wait to dive into the rest.
Ever wondered why hardback books are published before paperback books? Here's the answer. (And it turns out . . . it's pretty much what you figured.)
Let's talk COVID-19 for a few minutes. These are scary times, my friends, but we can remain calm and arm ourselves with information. (I think the most frightening thing is how unprepared we are - as a country - for something like a pandemic. Which, to me, makes it even more important that we learn what we can and prepare ourselves, our families, and our communities for whatever comes our way.)
Here are a few things I read and found helpful this weekend:
We're all aware by now that washing our hands is the best defense against diseases like COVID-19. But do you know how to properly wash your hands? Here's a detailed hand washing how-to from the CDC.
And here's the low-down (also from the CDC) on when and how to use hand sanitizer.
Of course, if the shops in your community are anything like mine, you can't find hand santizer anymore. There are lots of D-I-Y recipes for making your own . . . but . . . beware of your ingredients. Not all "alcohols" are strong enough to be effective! You need at least 60% alcohol (90%+ is preferable) -- and vodka won't do it. Here's a hand-sanitizer recipe that will work -- but it's really best if you wash your hands for 20 seconds with soap and water.
Wondering about disinfecting your phone? Here's the scoop from Wirecutter.
Stocking up for a potential quarantine or "self-isolation" and wondering what to keep on hand? Here's a list (also from Wirecutter).
And if you're tired of singing "Happy Birthday" while washing your hands, here's a Twitter feed with alternative song choruses you can sing instead. (I switched to singing "Landslide" last week when Erin shared this feed with me.)
And, lastly, and probably most importantly . . . remember that the coronavirus will impact poor and vulnerable populations much more than those of us with access to health care, support systems, jobs we CAN work remotely from, and the ability to stock up ahead of a crisis. What can we do - as individuals - to help vulnerable people in our communities?
- Shop responsibly. Don't panic-buy or overbuy supplies. That only jacks up prices and makes it even harder for people on limited incomes to buy the supplies they need. (And if you DID overbuy, think about what you really need -- and donate your "extras" to local food banks.)
- Speaking of food banks . . . Now is the time to donate! Not everyone has the resources to "stock up" and have food items on hand for "self-isolating" or staying home when sick.
- Seek out local charities who are poised to help people in need during a crisis and support them -- with donations or your time. Find out what's happening in your community to help vulnerable populations.
- Look out for your community. Check on your elderly and disabled neighbors. Know what to do in an emergency. Stay informed.
That's it for me this Monday. Here's hoping we all have a good - and healthy - week.