Life has rapidly changed for so many of us as coronavirus has altered the state of the entire world. While there is little that we can do to combat COVID-19, we can all contribute to slowing the spread of this novel coronavirus by staying at home and practicing social distancing. For some of us, staying at home and practicing social distancing is the norm – especially for some people with disabilities – but for many, this is new and can feel uncomfortable at best, and terrifying at worst.
To make the best of the new situation we’re living in, here’s a few ideas of activities you might try while you’re practicing social distancing.
Become e-Pen Pals with a School Aged Child
Many kids are now being homeschooled instead of attending class with their friends and seeing their teachers for 7+ hours per day. This means parents, grandparents, daycares, babysitters, and loved ones are trying to figure out how to homeschool kids for the first time ever! One skill everyone can use is learning how to communicate in writing.
I have begun emailing my 9-year- old niece every day and I have “assigned” her the task of replying to my emails with at least 50 words. We talk about lots of different things. One day I sent her a video of the penguins roaming the Chicago aquarium and asked her what she thought about it. On March 18th, I told her that on March 18, 1942, Jackie Robinson tried out for the Chicago White Sox and I explained who he was, why he was important, and how segregation impacted everything in our nation, even baseball. I even sent her a kid-friendly YouTube video about it. Today, we’re talking about how bills are made and I sent her the School House Rock “I’m Just a Bill” video. Our emails help her to learn to read, write, and she gets to learn about new subjects with each correspondence!
Teach Your Dog a New Trick
No, I’m not kidding. Do you have a dog? A cat? A turtle? Well, you have a lot more time to spend together now, so why not spend that time trying to teach them something new? Admittedly, I am having a much easier time teaching my dog new tricks than my cats, but I have started to teach my cats “wait” when it’s feeding time. Before, they used to just run to the bowls, but after a week of training, they now sit and wait for me to put the food bowls down before they dig in. Click here to watch a video of me teaching my dog some new tricks!
Play Interactive Phone Games
I am not really into phone games, but I do miss interactions with my friends so I recently downloaded a game on my phone that I can play with my friends who are also self-isolating. While we usually get together for game night, we cannot do that anymore, so the best we can do is play on our phones. It’s not the same, but it helps to keep us connected. The best part is, I am finding some friends that I have never played with before also have the same app, so I am starting to build stronger friendships with them by playing games together!
Take an Online Class
Have you also wanted to pursue your education further but never had the time? I bet you have the time now! The best part is, there are TONS of online classes being offered FOR FREE right now! Ivy League schools are offering over 400 courses online free of charge, so take advantage of them while you have the time. It’s a great way to take your mind off coronavirus for a while and expand your own knowledge!
About Stephanie Woodward: Stephanie is a brand ambassador for Quantum Rehab® and works as a disability rights activist. She has received many awards for helping communities become more accessible, as well as for her actions in fighting for the rights of disabled individuals as it relates to Medicaid and other support services. Click here to learn more about Stephanie.