“Staycation” ideas during the COVID-19 quarantine

19 March 2020, Quezon City– An environmental health organization has come up with a nice list of activities to do at home as Filipinos cooperate by staying home to slow down the novel coronavirus disease (COVID-19) contagion.
In a bid to maximize the month-long coronavirus quarantine, the EcoWaste Coalition released a list of family-oriented ideas for the unique “staycation” right in the comfort of one’s own home.
The ideas were contributed by members and leaders of the coalition who, like most individuals in quarantined areas, have to work from home because of the coronavirus outbreak.
The “staycation” due to the COVID-19 health crisis provides an extraordinary, 24/7 opportunity to also create happy moments, stay positive and strengthen family bonds and values, as well as foster greater health and environmental awareness, said the coalition, an advocate for a zero waste and toxic-free society.
Here are some of the ideas being pitched by the coalition during these unusual times of extended class and work suspensions, cancelled mass gatherings, ban on mass transportation, social distancing and, on the bright side, drastically reduced traffic congestion and pollution and solidarity in times of crisis.
1. Together learn the basic protective measures against the novel coronavirus such as by washing hands frequently and thoroughly with soap and water, not touching the eyes, nose and mouth, observing good respiratory hygiene, shunning crowded places, and maintaining social distancing.
2. Do general house cleaning as one family; try good old recipes and practical tips for budget-friendly and non-toxic home care; bring in some indoor plants to clean the air and remove toxins.
3. De-clutter your home room by room, cabinet by cabinet; sort and manage unwanted stuff by recycling, repurposing or donating the useful ones to people in need or charity.
4. Hold fun activities to upcycle waste materials into decorative, novelty or functional items.
5. Clean your library, re-arrange the books, and take time to read.
6. Conduct a waste assessment and brand audit to understand the waste your household is generating, and to agree on ways to modify your family’s consumption choices and lifestyle.
7. Review and improve your system for managing household discards: separate waste at source, reuse or recycle the non-biodegradables, compost the biodegradables, safely store and dispose of hazardous waste.
8. Learn and set up a suitable way of turning your garden and kitchen waste into organic compost or organic liquid fertilizer.
9. Plant vegetables, herbs and flowers in your backyard. If you don’t have enough space, plant in pots and used containers, or try vertical and rooftop gardening.
10. Boost immunity by eating nutritious and well-balanced meals, drinking lots of water, taking vitamins, exercising, and getting plenty of sleep. Work and going around have deprived us of sleep, now take advantage of the abundant time to rest and sleep.
11. Cook your family’s favorite food and avoid food delivery as much as possible to cut down on packaging waste.
12. Improve your health through at least 30 minutes of daily exercise or any physical activity, including playing games, dancing or simply running around the house with your kids.
13. Learn simple at home relaxation techniques such as meditation and yoga to counter the stream of negative messaging, give space for positive thoughts, and relieve anxiety and stress.
14. Take care of the family’s mental health; find time to discuss what is happening around and deal with the concerns, anxieties and fears, especially of the little ones.
15. Keep your family informed about developments on COVID-19, but don’t forget to have some news or social media breaks to avoid paranoia, anxiety, tension, and panic attacks.
16. Be a responsible “netizen” as sharing fake and unverified information and advice can be as dangerous as the coronavirus itself.
17. Perform random acts of kindness such as checking in on neighbors, especially the elderly with underlying medical conditions and those struggling with loneliness and mental health concerns, sharing extra food and reaching out in any way that is judicious and safe for everyone.
18. Supplement the learning of children at home by following textbooks and exercise books, as well as by watching educational programs on YouTube or TV.
19. Set time for sharing stories and discussing family values.
20. Revisit your to-do list and try to accomplish those that can be done without leaving the safety of your home.**

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