Do you remember exactly when you started self-isolating at home? For me, it was just before St Patrick’s Day, which always falls on March 17th which was exactly 43 days ago. Back then, I thought that Quarantine was the perfect word to describe the length of time which we would be told to stay home. Back in the 1300’s, ships entering Venice, Italy that were suspected of carrying an infectious or contagious disease were put into quarantine for 40 days in an effort to stave off the plague. The word quarantine comes from Italian quaranta or Latin quadrāgintā, meaning “forty.” And now that we have surpassed that historical number of days, there is a light ahead of us as local and state governments start lifting restrictions with caution.
HUNTING FOR FOOD ON A BUDGET
Meanwhile, with only 6 hours of sleep each night, I wake up ready for the day ahead, concerned only that I will be too distracted to stay productive. If you are like me, you have probably discovered many new ways of getting things done without leaving the comfort of your home or surrounding streets. I have ordered groceries online through Amazon, Walmart and Target. I recently drove through Pollo Tropical to pick up marinated uncooked chicken in addition to onions, peppers, lettuce, rice and beans all at prices equal or less than what you’d pay at any supermarket. I joined a subscription club called Misfits Market that sends me a box of fresh organic fruits and vegetables every two weeks and forces me to learn how to cook stuff I would have never purchased in the past including eggplant, turnips, squash and zucchini. If you’re willing to drive a few miles, you might like this interactive map of florida farms selling direct to the public showing you where you can pick up boxes of mixed vegetables at extremely reasonable prices. Let me know if you’d like me to add more local farms nearby.
Staying at home shopping, cooking and eating, it’s easy to put on a few extra pounds, so I am pleased to share with you a free app that was introduced to me by my son which encourages people to either run or bike through neighborhoods and compare your stats to other people you might know who are doing the same. If you are using an Android or Apple phone, download Strava and send me a “follow” request. Every morning, for the past week, I have run 5k and only stop long enough to take a photo of the beautiful nature which surrounds us. Prior to using this app, I had only run that far during the City of Coconut Creek’s annual Butterfly Run. By forcing yourself to get outdoors, you too will benefit from fresh air, get away from the constant barrage of news which can have a negative impact on our psyche and health and see others who had the same idea. Be sure to give each other a wave as you pass on alternate sides of the street as it may be the closest thing you have to interacting with strangers for at least a few more weeks.
Whether it’s running around my neighborhood or trying to fall asleep after midnight, I have also discovered the benefits of listening to podcasts. I wasn’t sure how they worked but I heard about one in particular that interested me so I went to the “Play Store” on my phone and searched for a podcast app. There were so many to choose from but I chose Google Podcasts only because I know how Google tries to make things easy to use. Once I downloaded the app, I was able to search for podcasts which are mentioned in passing while listening to NPR. For example, Make Me Smart. They are usually between 30 and 60 minutes long, which is just enough for a run or falling asleep but always educational in some way.
I know that many of you have been practicing self improvement while stuck indoors. I have seen so many examples of friends doing online yoga and workouts via Facebook, YouTube and even private classes via Zoom. If you are not already participating with friends, check out any of the top 100 YouTube/Instagram fitness vloggers to get yourself hooked on a fitness regime that will help with all those extra calories you have nibbling late at night. (Oh, wait, is that just me?)
I’m always keeping my eyes and ears open to other online resources and do my best to participate in town hall meetings, conference calls and Facebook live broadcasts from local politicians such as Congressman Ted Deutch or business improvement webinars such as those offered by SCORE. However, if you’re looking to get away from current day news, I would also recommend checking out any of the following websites:
- 9 free online courses to elevate your digital marketing and leadership skills from Think With Google
- Free photography classes from Nikon
- Photography tutorials and tips from Canon
- Free video lectures related to learning more about viruses
- Free exercise classes from the YMCA
- Free online learning resources for children
- Wide Open School online learning for elementary, middle and high school children
Here are 3 more that will cost you after free trials but might be worth it if you are looking for a new career:
- Udemy (also offering a series of free online courses)
- SkillShare (14 day free trial)
- LinkedIn Learning Personalized learning experiences, courses taught by real-world professionals. 30 Days Free
If you have followed me for the past 10 years, you’ll know that the backbones of my website, Weekend Broward, has always been a calendar showing, hour by hour, where you can find live music in and around your neighborhood bar, restaurant or public venue. Over the past couple of months, that calendar has been transformed to indicate which bands and musicians are playing online with links to their Facebook or YouTube channels so you can click on the link when they are expected to be online. Some musicians are trying to be consistent in terms of putting on a show from their homes at the same time and day of the week as if they were a paid gig. Others are winging it by simply posting notice a few hours ahead of time then hoping that there will be enough of an audience once they start their live feed. Unfortunately, that leaves my calendar half-empty even when there are many more musicians playing than listed. However, I have supplemented the calendar with a few other musicians that I personally recommend or am interested in seeing myself. Here are 3 that I have enjoyed seeing week after week:
1. Mike DelGuidice from Long Island, NY. He is a Billy Joel tribute artist that happens to also be good friends with Billy Joel. So much so that Billy Joel let Mike perform on the official Billy Joel page last night. You can hear Mike every Wednesday and Saturday on the Mike DelGuidice & Big Shot page.
2. Another amazing performer who I discovered thanks to the Stay at Home order is Nadéah Miranda, an Australian singer-songwriter, model, and actress who streams live from her home in Paris every Sunday morning at 6am EST. If that’s too early for you or you can’t wait to see what I’m talking about, you can see her past Pyjama Party’s on her timeline at https://www.facebook.com/
3. Other than the fact that I have not been to Casablanca Cafe in Fort Lauderdale for the past 10 years, I’m not sure why I have never seen the duo of Beth Cohen and Jon Curtis Rose perform together prior to catching what they call the Quarantini Lounge act every Friday night. On the other hand, if you have ever seen the rock group Boston in concert, you may have already seen Beth on stage with them. Surprise!
Want to know what time these superstars are online? Check out the calendar at https://weekendbroward.com/
TIPS FOR PERFORMERS
Although I wish I had enough income to Venmo, Paypal and Zelle every musician I see doing what they do best online these days, I would like to share some non-monetary TIPS with special thanks to Doug Kaplan of Live Stream Entertainment: 12 Live Streaming Tips for Musicians
I don’t usually cover Film Festivals but since we are all stuck at home and looking for something new and exciting to come our way, I thought I’d share the following:
- South by Southwest’s 2020 Film Festival now online via Amazon Prime Video April 27–May 6
- “We Are One” film festival to benefit WHO and local relief organizations beginning May 29 on YouTube
I’d like to send a shout out to a few of my fellow bloggers who are doing a great job adjusting to our new reality:
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