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While we typically try to provide you with a roundup of noteworthy, local events for our Getting Out Calendar, precautions against COVID-19 have led to the cancellations and postponements of gatherings in our area. Instead, staff has assembled our top five picks of activities for you and your household amid social distancing.
Everyone has those cultural touchstone movies and television shows that they somehow passed by or didn’t get around to watching. In this golden age of streaming content, you can find most of those big titles, as well as new content to get you through the quarantine.
There are plenty of classic TV pillars that can fill your list, including Breaking Bad, Mad Men, The Sopranos, The Office, and Parks and Recreation. For new content, Netflix has pumped out plenty of time-filling reality shows, such as the social media competition The Circle or the cringe-inducing, yet utterly fascinating Love is Blind.
For family content, Disney+ added Frozen II to the service three months early, and there are new episodes of Stars Wars: The Clone Wars every Friday, along with six previous seasons to catch up on.
People may be discouraged from going to the gym during the coronavirus pandemic, but they can still stay active at home or elsewhere. Pump some iron if you have free weights at home.
If you don’t, you can still crank out push-ups and sit-ups in your living room. Fitness YouTuber Jeff Nippard suggests using furniture to aid in leg curls and squats.
This can also be a time to practice yoga. Not only will the stretches keep you limber, the breathing and meditation techniques will keep you calm and steady during these stressful times.
There are plenty of people out jogging outdoors—but if you’re one of them, remember to keep social distancing practices in mind and, of course, use plenty of hand sanitizer and practice good hygiene when you’re out. Hiking and walking don’t require gyms or exercise equipment, either.
The Northwest Open Space in San Juan Capistrano is an ideal spot to get the heart rate up in the great outdoors, and there’s plenty of land to ensure you won’t be crowded together and risk spreading or getting the coronavirus.
There’s no better time than now to work on those indoor cleaning and uncluttering projects you may have been putting off at home. So slap on some gloves and bust out those brooms, dusters, mops and vacuums.
Bathrooms and kitchens are always good places to start with any deep-cleaning project. You can start by getting the grime out of those sinks and bathtubs or showers, followed by cleaning out the area underneath the sinks.
Next, grab those dusters to clean fans, window shades, shelves and areas behind major appliances and furniture, including your TV. And don’t forget to wipe down windows and mirrors throughout the home.
Once you’ve dusted, you can sweep, vacuum and mop up the floors of the whole house. And don’t neglect your couches—where many of us spend quality time at home. Vacuum up crumbs and other dirt that may have gotten trapped in between the cushions and then vacuum under the couch.
Old junk and storage boxes cluttering up your garage? Take a stroll down memory lane by going through that stuff and deciding what should be kept and what you can part ways with. From there, set aside what you want to keep and store, and then separate what can be tossed and what you can donate later.
Whether you’re self-quarantined or simply looking to make use of some pantry staples that have sat on the shelf long enough, pasta dishes are an easy, filling and convenient dish to cook amid social distancing efforts.
PANDEMIC PESTO PASTA SALAD
Start to finish: 25 minutes
16 oz pasta (your choice of which kind)
1 cup of store-bought pesto
14 oz white beans, rinsed and drained
14 oz canned artichoke hearts
6 oz canned sundried tomatoes
2 cups of arugula (optional)
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Salt and black pepper to taste
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package directions. Drain and rinse the pasta with cold water. Transfer the pasta to a large bowl.
Add the basil pesto to the pasta and stir until the pasta is well-coated. Gently stir in the white beans, artichoke hearts, sun-dried tomatoes, arugula, and Parmesan cheese. Season with salt and black pepper, to taste. Serve immediately or chill until ready to serve.
For those of us who tend to keep packed schedules, back-to-back appointments or live extroverted lifestyles, social distancing can be an opportunity to slow down and reexamine our regimen.
Those paused moments of self-reflection can be particularly difficult while caring for loved ones or carrying through day-to-day life. Updates from health officials are critical during this pandemic, but for the sake of your sanity, take a moment to log off social media, tune out the news and clear your mind.
There are a plethora of guided meditation and yoga instruction videos on YouTube. Perhaps, take a complete break from screens and write out your post-pandemic resolutions, your fears about what’s happening in the world, what you hope for and everything you appreciate.