Posts Tagged ‘covid-19’

Silver Linings

April 2, 2020

Life in New York City has been pretty tough these days. We have been quarantined for almost 3 weeks, and the end is nowhere in sight. Everything non-essential is closed and we are walking around with masks and gloves, avoiding one another like they have the plague, because, frankly, they might. All of my catering events have been canceled, and the restaurants I work with are shuttered. Temporary mobile morgues are lining the streets. I know more people that are suddenly unemployed or furloughed, than those who still have jobs. It’s easy to get depressed with a lack of income, lack of entertainment and a complete lack of hope. Just when my reserves of patience and optimism had been almost depleted, replenishment arrived in some unexpected ways.

About a week or two ago, I launched a meal service for my community providing fresh, homecooked meals to my neighbors. I was surprised at the response, and I have a small and growing little group of people who are ordering from me regularly. I’m not raking in big bucks by any means, but I am keeping busy, generating a small income, and serving my immediate community in the process. I get excited by their orders and am grateful for their praise when they love their meal. Although I have not met any of them during my contact-free deliveries, I believe that our communications are a thread that keeps some of them connected to the world around them as they fear to venture out during this time.

Today, a friend asked me to make some meals for a team at one of the local hospitals. She got wind that her coworkers on the front lines were existing on pop tarts and cup noodles. Hardly the fuel they need to get through the endless days and nights filled with patients dying alone while their family says goodbye on an Ipad. The act of cooking them a meal and bringing it to the hospital brought me a great sense of satisfaction. If seeing the boxes of thoughtfully prepared, fresh food brought them even a fleeting moment of joy, then I am humbled to be a part of that. As for my friend who gifted them this meal anonymously and prides herself on being a Grinch, I have to say she is failing at that role miserably.

But here is where the real magic took place… I posted a photo of the meal on my social media channels and the positive comments started rolling in. Someone from out of town immediately contacted me to offer a generous donation to provide more meals for the front line workers. I reached out for contacts at other hospitals and was flooded with people connecting me to other people who worked in local hospitals. I am getting messages from friends of friend’s friends, who came together to make this happen. I am beyond touched by the generosity of people who are offering to subsidize the feeding of total strangers, and those across the country making connections to help. I hope I can continue to pay it forward and show how much our medical professionals mean to us in a dire time. If you would like to subsidize an ER or ICU group, please email me at indigojonesnyc@gmail.com. I am not sure of the logistics yet, but I am quickly getting up to speed as to how to make this movement grow.

The bright light in these dark times?
We may be physically distancing right now, but we are not social distancing. In fact, we are coming together in ways I never thought possible, and that is filling my heart and soul with the hope that we can get through this together.

photo: Spencer Jones

The Other Covid-19

March 28, 2020

We’ve all heard of the dreaded Freshman 15, which refers to the 15 pounds many college freshmen put on as they adjust to being away from home and ease into dorm life filled with midnight pizza runs, underage binge drinking and other less than healthy habits. Today I’m here to talk about The COVID 19. Not the virus strain itself, but the phenomenon that after being quarantined for weeks or months on end with a pantry filled with shelf-stable snacks, a freezer filled with pizzas, tacos and vodka, and the desire to find comfort in a bag of Cheetos with a double stuff oreo chaser, will result in an average weight gain of 19 pounds.*

(* Mileage may vary )

Add in the additional bonus of not being able to leave the house, and it’s almost guaranteed.

The goods news is, not every freshman gains weight, and you don’t need to either. ( At least not 19 pounds!)

Here are some tips to avoid The COVID-19 and survive “living the vida corona.”

Fill the freezer and cupboards with healthy choices. I realize that we aren’t going to be able to eat fresh food every day, and for me, the risk of going to the grocery store outweighs my desire to have fresh fish and vegetables on hand.

Not every meal is going to be a healthy one, but we can utilize frozen fish filets, chicken breasts, and shrimp, and well as frozen vegetables to create balanced, healthy and satisfying meals. Eggs stay fresh for many weeks at a time if properly stored in the refrigerator. Have we eaten pasta? Sure. But it isn’t the only option for making a meal during the quarantine. Embrace the lowly bean and all the wonderful benefits they hold. They are cheap, shelf-stable and nutritious and versatile. What’s not to love?

Don’t buy junk food  I know that sounds blithe and maybe even a bit condescending, but if it’s not there, you can’t eat it. I don’t recommend starving. But I do recommend taking the temptation out of the equation. Dire times call for dire measures people. Eat an apple (if you have one).

Be mindful of your alcohol consumption: Here we are, anxious and bored, and in need of something to boost our spirits. Don’t let that default be, well spirits. I am not here to preach about abstinence. I too enjoy a nice glass of red. But we are likely to be in this situation for a long time, and several months of over-consumption of alcohol can leave us with dependency issues we might not recognize, as well as much tighter pants. ( Seriously, when was the last time you wore pants with a zipper? ) Try some herbal tea, and listen to a guided meditation or practice controlled breathing. You might just find these alternatives calming, and you may feel better the next morning as a result.

MOVE! While New York has some of the most stringent rules for isolation, it has been decreed safe to leave the house to walk, run or do other solitary activities outside, as long as we keep a safe physical distance from others. I have walked the dog, and run along the river a few times, and it makes me feel so much better. It’s important to be conscious of those around you to ensure that there is always at least six feet between you and them. On the days that you don’t leave the house, there are plenty of gyms and studios offering free online workouts that you can do at home. I have seen them at all levels and durations. You don’t need any equipment for most of them, and a good sweat might ease some of the anxiety of being cooped up. Check out some of the popular health and fitness sites such as Self, Women’s Health or Men’s Health, Popsugar Fitness, Fitness, Well + Good, and Equinox’s site Furthermore for home workouts and other tips.

Don’t beat yourself up over it: If you do in fact gain weight, or lose hard won stamina and muscle tone, don’t beat yourself up over it. We are literally fighting for our lives. This is hard. REALLY hard. Do what you need to do to get through this, and stay as healthy as possible. If that means new jeans when this is over, at least you will be supporting the economy. Just be kind to yourself.

What are you doing to beat The Covid 19 during the quarantine?

What Are You Waiting For?

March 23, 2020

That song by R.E.M. keeps playing in my head. You know the one that goes: ” It’s the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine?” I mean, it’s (hopefully) not the end of the world, but it sure feels like it could be. Most of the planet’s population is on lockdown and those who aren’t should be. Everything that is non-essential is closed, and we are all being asked to stay at home to avoid the spread of the Covid-19 virus. Those who can are working from home. Those who can’t, are either on the front lines or have been laid off or forced into a holding pattern for an indefinite period of time. We’re isolated, frustrated, anxious and bored.

So, why not make the most of things? What are you waiting for?

Tonight, eat off of the good china and pour yourself a glass of whatever you’ve been saving for a special occasion. You can eat cereal, ice cream or some weird concoction that you’ve created out of the dusty recesses of your pantry using pasta, peanut butter, and anchovies if that is all you have left. You’re in isolation so nobody needs to know. Put on your best ball gown, and eat Cheetos in front of the T.V.  Drink your tea from a fancy cup. Spritz a little of that perfume that you’ve been hoarding or light a candle. If you’re out of toilet paper, use a lace hanky if you must. The point is, don’t wait for the perfect time to enjoy those special things. Live in the moment, and find joy any way you can.

How are you #livingthevidacorona?

Global Time Out

March 20, 2020

Someone once said, “Everything happens for a reason.” I’m not sure who it was, or what prompted them to say it, but I suppose on some level, it’s true. If that is the case, it begs the question: Why are we going through the global hell that is the Coronavirus outbreak?

For the last few years, we have been a country divided. Politics have taken over our lives, and that divisiveness and hatred have spread across the planet. Either we loathe and distrust the President, or we see him as the next Messiah. We either eschew science and facts or cling tightly to them, frustrated that nothing is being done to affect the change we deem necessary.

Privilege is often defined by race, wealth or gender. Discrimination can be blatant or more obtuse, but it has become a big part of our society. We live in a world where it is acceptable to exclude, belittle and disrespect those who are different from us, hidden under the guise of something else.

Then in walks Corona. Some refer to it as the China Virus, since that is the source of origin, yet it has spread the world like a wildfire, bringing with it sickness, economic decline, and terror. It doesn’t recognize borders, race, religion, or gender. It doesn’t care about wealth, poverty, good or bad, smart or challenged. It certainly doesn’t give a damn if you are a Republican or a Democrat, a Socialist, or a Communist. It is not China’s virus. It belongs to all of us, and it is deadly.

It’s forcing us to re-evaluate how we live, how we travel and how we treat one another. Soon, all the deniers who refuse to take it seriously will become believers, as it takes its toll on our communities and our loved ones. Soon, we will be so frightened, and so cooped up, that we are forced to look to our fellow humans for support. Soon we won’t care about where it came from, as we stay focused on where it is going. We won’t care about finger-pointing, or bad-mouthing others, as we struggle to stay healthy and financially solvent. It’s not a ripple or a wave, it is a tsunami, and is ripping through our lives, leaving devastation in its wake.

It could be the illness itself that causes you the most suffering, or it could be the loss of income that can never be recouped. If you are lucky, it could simply be the inconvenience it places on your charmed lives that hits you the hardest, as restrictions to keep us safe and homebound are inforced. But mark my words, in some way, shape or form, it will affect us all.

This nasty virus has put us all in a big global time out. Please use this time of isolation to look inward, and to search your soul for ways you can be a better person. Please use this time to shake off the hatred you may have for others, and the rage you feel about all the things gone wrong, and look for what you can do to make things right. Assess your health, and your relationships, and how you can make them better. If we can emerge from this pandemic stronger, healthier and more compassionate, perhaps we will be able to find reason in the unfathomable situation it is presenting us with.

photo: Glasshouse Images

 

The Best Laid (Quarentine) Plans

March 16, 2020

I have walked away from this space for a variety of reasons. I am not sure what the future will bring, but for today, it feels like the right medium for communication. If you stuck around and are actually reading this, thank you!

We are hunkered down here in NYC, with most places required to close for the next eight weeks or so. Gatherings with more than 50 people have been restricted, and although my gym remains open for now, I have frozen my membership to keep myself, my family and the amazing and dedicated staff there safe and healthy. All of my work commitments have been canceled and I don’t expect any new bookings until the summer if all goes well. That leaves me, as it leaves most of you: home, bored and anxious. I’m back on this platform, not for personal entertainment, but for a sense of community and accountability. How can I set some goals during this time, and help others do the same? Whether 14 of you see this, or 140,000, I am going to give myself some ground rules of quarantining, so that I emerge from this healthy, productive and sane. So let’s dust this old blog off and get going!

Indigo Jones Quarantine Plan:

Find a way to exercise without the gym or major equipment purchase

As the weather starts to get warmer, I hope to be able to run outside along the river, at a safe distance from others. Youtube has lots of exercise videos, as does many of the health and wellness sites. We own a few weights and some resistance bands, and there is no reason not to keep working on my fitness, other than complacency. I have been building back up my stamina and strength after a long period of injury and a busy work schedule, and have first-hand recent knowledge of how hard it is to get back on track. I have nothing standing in my way to prevent me from working out right now, and I am publicly committing to finding a way to do some form of exercise daily during the quarantine.

Eat healthfully and mindfully

I stocked the kitchen with healthy foods and avoided buying a bunch of junk foods to mindlessly eat out of boredom. Yes, there are snacks brought back from my daughter’s dorm room stash, and Halloween candy in the freezer. I am a baker with a fully-stocked larder filled with 50-pound bags of flour and sugar, and a deep freeze with balls of cookie dough at the ready. But that doesn’t mean that I need to spend my days baking and indulging for the sake of something to do. I also have a freezer stocked with chicken breasts, fish filets, shrimp and vegetables, as well as some soups and sauces made from an abundance of leftover vegetables from a previous job, and a few packages of tofu. I have the time to cook healthy meals with what we have, and plan to do so to keep us nourished and fulfilled.

Inbox Zero

Yesterday, I deleted thousands of unread emails in just one account and need to tackle the other one. Once they are clean, I am committing to deleting things every few hours to avoid the buildup. I hope this can become a habit, even during busy times.

Closet cleanse + Housekeeping

 

I despise cleaning out closets, and I seem to have trouble maintaining them for any period of time. If I can exit this period of isolation and lack of work with clean closets and organized storage areas, it will be a huge win.  Sidenote to the other inhabitants of this household: Please help me KEEP them clean by putting things back how you found them.

Practice kindness

Social media is filled with so much hate and animosity. I try not to get sucked in, but right now I feel like I am in the vortex of a tornado, pulling me into the fray. This is a terrible time for everyone worldwide. We don’t need to exacerbate things by treating each other disrespectfully. Can we come out of this crisis not as Democrats or Republicans, Socialists or Capitalists, but as Humanitarians?

Gear up!

No, I am not talking about buying a hazmat suit. I am looking for ways that I can utilize this time to propel my fledgling business along. Maybe it’s recipe testing, photographing things to update my website, and coming up with some marketing strategies to get back on track once this crisis passes. Marketing ideas and alternative pathway suggestions are welcomed!

What are your quarantine plans? Let’s share ideas and keep each other accountable, so we can emerge from this stronger, and healthier than ever before.

all photos: Glasshouse Images


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