Four Skills I Learned During Quarantine

Four Skills I Learned During Quarantine

Ever since we were first put under mandatory lockdown orders, it felt as if my little world had come crashing down around me. For the first time, I could not just walk out of my own home. Whenever I did brave the outdoors to go to the store, I was always amazed at the nearly empty streets. It was as if the apocalypse had come. It was as if the entire world had just stopped.

The world had seemingly stopped in March-April. And yet, we couldn’t just sit in front of the TV all day, mindlessly absorbing Netflix or Hulu on repeat. So, many of us went online, the only place where we could escape the reality of living under lockdown. I was one of those people who went online, but not to post mindless posts about how much it sucked to live under quarantine. I went online for a different reason.

I decided to revive my old blog, Crispy Confessions. I haven’t written in so long, and I kind of missed it. I used to write stories and poems all the time in high school and college. And now, with the craziness of life, I just didn’t have the time to write anymore. I wanted to change that.

In the process of reviving my blog, I ended up learning and gaining a few skills. Because of this, I am so thankful to this time for giving me the time to be able to do some of the things that I love doing.

Four Skills I Learned During Quarantine

1–Cooking Well

Before quarantine, I wasn’t really good at cooking. I ate a lot of processed foods and ramen noodles. But now, I have been watching cooking videos and searching for new recipes on Pinterest. I’m finding that I enjoy cooking. I enjoy that feeling of starting with the basics like meat or noodles and then combining them with vegetables and seasoning to create something delicious. The last thing I made was chili completely from scratch, and surprisingly, it was actually good.

My Chili!

2–Baking a Cake

I’ve made cake before but the Betty Crocker version. I’ve always wanted to bake a cake from scratch. So, one day, after I bought all the ingredients, I made a cake. Surprisingly, it wasn’t that hard. It just required a few basic ingredients, like flour, eggs, sugar, butter, and milk. The ingredients were then mixed together, poured into a cake pan, and then baked.

Here’s the recipe for the cake that I made that day. It was pretty good, especially with chocolate icing on top, because chocolate always makes everything better.

3–Using Instagram Effectively

I was using social media before lockdown. But I wasn’t using it effectively. I was just using Instagram to post pictures of the kids.

So, I decided to rethink my Instagram strategy. I know that Instagram can be a pretty powerful social media marketing tool. So, a few weeks ago, I changed my brand and the content. Using Canva (which has been a godsend), I have been using my graphic design skills that I learned in college to create Pinterest-worthy Instagram pictures to post. I’ve also rethinked my strategy for Instagram stories as well. Ever since then, I’ve increased my engagement on Instagram by twofold. I am still learning, however, and I’m excited about the things I will continue to learn from using this tool.

4–Using Pinterest Effectively

Before lockdown, I didn’t use Pinterest at all. I had an account that I had created years ago, but at the time I dismissed it as a glorified bookmarks tab. It sounded cool and all but I didn’t think I had the time to use it.

But then lockdown happened and suddenly I had more time that I knew what to do with. I decided to add Pinterest to my social media marketing strategy. After all, visual search is trending now; more and more people are using visuals to search and to obtain information. But besides that, I’ve learned that I can use Pinterest to find keywords for my blog posts. I can use Pinterest to see what is trending, visually, and possibly get inspiration from them.

I feel immensely proud at having gained these skills. Of course, I’m no expert. I’m still learning. And I like it. Life happens when learning happens after all.

What skills have you gained during the pandemic?

See also: The Five Best Hobbies To Do While Social Distancing

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The 5 Best Things About Going to School During a Pandemic

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The year 2020 has been the wildest, craziest year in … well … decades. So it is no surprise that the ’20-’21 school year will be off to a bumpy start, due to, of course, Covid-19. There has been a considerable amount of debate both on social media and off regarding the question of where to send the kids to: brick-and-mortar or virtual. Moms and Dads, even grandparents, aunts, and uncles, have all been weighing in on the pros and cons of both, ultimately making their decision based on what is best for the family and ultimately the child.

But no matter where the child ultimately goes to school, they are going during an unprecedented time. They are going to school during a pandemic and during one of the biggest events of the decade. With the increased level of precautions and protocols that schools are mandating, it is harder and much more stressful to be a child and a student these days.

But despite that, there is still some good to going to school during a pandemic. Here are the five best things about going to school during a pandemic such as Covid-19.

1–Clean Environment

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The Coronavirus has given rise to an increased demand for hand sanitizer, soap, and cleaning products. People are now actively and energetically washing their hands, trying to stay clean and “germ-free.” One of the best ways to avoid transmitting the virus is by washing hands, as well as social distancing and wearing masks.

Schools are now taking measures by sanitizing the classrooms. My daughter is starting preschool this year. Her school regularly cleans and sanitizes toys and other shared objects after play time. This means that her school will be cleaner than ever. Hopefully, this will result in less incidents of kids getting sick with the common cold or the flu. It will also hopefully instill a healthy obsession love of washing hands.

2–Strong Character

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Going to school during a time of one of the nation’s greatest unrest can help to build strong characters. There are protocols and mandates in school, and yet these kids are going to school. They are making the best in a scary situation. They are trying to regain some sense of normalcy. They are enduring, hoping, and surviving. They are resilient, brave, and strong.

This generation of kids is learning that even when the situation absolutely positively sucks, you can make the best of it by hoping, praying, and enduring. And eventually surviving. This is an important life skill to learn.

3–Being Adaptable

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This generation of kids is learning about change. They are learning that change happens. It is a fact as surely as we can expect taxes and death.

They are learning that it’s okay when things change. They can adapt. They can learn new technological skills to better prepare them for success at distance learning. They can design and make cute masks to match their outfits and also to stay safe.

4–Finding Strength in Numbers

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Covid-19 may have forced physical social distancing upon us, and yet it has also brought us closer. Students may be forced to wait in line in the cafeteria by maintaining six feet of distance from their peers. Or they may be forced to sit at desks surrounded by clear Plexiglas. Or they might be forced to sit by themselves on the school buses.

And yet, students are still able to be close. Thanks to the wonders of technology, students can talk to their peers using social media sites like Facebook or Twitter. They can use Zoom or Facebook video calls to “hang out” with their friends.

Because kids can still maintain these virtual connections, they won’t ever truly be apart. As long as these connections remain intact, they remain united. And united is the only way that we can fight any adversity, even one as silent as Covid-19.

5–The Power of Love

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As kids grow, they start to disengage and distance themselves from their parents. It is only natural and part of the growing up process.

But this school year is different. Kids are returning to school after having spent months in quarantine with their home bound (and, sadly in many cases, unemployed parents). During those months, many have revitalized their familial bonds. They have discovered that their parents might not be so boring after all. They have discovered that their parents are “real” people, affected by this pandemic, and yet still trying to support and provide for their families.

Kids of this generation are returning to school under this mindset. During lock down, they have learned that it is love that kept the family together. When the health of jobs, schools, and the family’s finances were threatened, the family remained intact. That is only possible because of love.

Kids hopefully will see that love is quite possibly the only thing that will get you through. Being guided by the love of your parents and siblings is probably the most important thing that any child can have.

Kids going back to school will learn that as long as they have love, they can conquer anything.

All they need is a spray bottle of Lysol, a heart full of love, a willingness to adapt, a huge arsenal of strength, and an army of friends to help beat down that metaphorical door blocking their way forward. Then, this generation of kids will be set for life.

They’ve got this, ya’ll.

The Five Best Things About the Coronavirus Pandemic

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Yes, you read the title right. The year 2020 has been the craziest, strangest year so far. In so many ways, it has sucked ever since we were pushed into lock down and quarantine mode, many of us forced out of jobs, and lacking basic supplies such as toilet paper and hand sanitizer.

But no matter how crazy and crappy something is, it is always good to look on the bright side. It’s awful having to wear a mask to the store or being stuck inside all day, but there is a silver lining. Never fear! So, without further ado, here they are:

1–Reconnecting with family

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The past few years, we’ve all been so disconnected from people, especially the people who are supposed to be the closest. We live, share a space with these people that we love, and yet we often fail to connect with them. We are all too busy texting, playing games, facebooking, or whatever-ing on our phones. Don’t be ashamed. We’ve all done it. You’d be sitting in the living room with your spouse and kids but you wouldn’t be exactly present. Why not? Because you, your spouse, and even your kids are all on the tablet, phone, or the TV, absorbed in these fictional, virtual worlds.

Since Covid-19 happened, it has allowed many of us to just stop, step back, and enjoy the people and things around us. When the world stops, like it did back in March, we started to enjoy the simple things more.

I know I did. I just had my baby boy just two months when we were forced into lock down. Because of Covid-19, I was able to really enjoy him. When life stops and you find yourself at home every day, all day, you can’t help but start to appreciate the things and people around you better. A whole lot better.

2–Picking up a hobby

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With so many of us out of work and school, it gave us so much free time. I noticed a lot more people on Facebook, just lurking and posting. I imagine people hunched in a corner of their room, humped over their phones, trying to pass the time away on Facebook, or Twitter, or Instagram. I know I’ve been guilty of it.

With so much free time available to us, this is the perfect time to pick up a hobby. Learn something you’ve always wanted to learn but never had the time because of work or school. Now with no work or school, it is the perfect time. Start a blog, a YouTube channel, or learn a new craft. Learn how to knit or crochet and make a nice scarf for your loved one for Christmas. Sit by your window and paint a picture of what you see.

During lock down, I’ve been reevaluating myself, trying to figure out how to better myself. I’ve started blogging again (yay!) and hopefully will keep at it forever and ever (fingers crossed). I’m looking at ways to generate more income, such looking for some side hustles (I’m seriously planning on becoming a notary agent).

3–Starting a creative enterprise

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Since lock down has begun and people have been encouraged — even forced — to wear masks in all public places, many creative enterprises and ideas have sprung up. Remember the college student who invented the clear mask to make it easier for the deaf and hard of hearing to be able to lip read? Or the hundreds — thousands, maybe even millions — of people who’ve started sewing masks, and then selling or giving it away to friends and family?

Yes, the Coronavirus has absolutely sucked, but it has made way for all of this creativity to blossom to help make other people’s lives blossom. Thinking of this makes my heart soar. Yes, there is hope. There are so many people who are doing things for the betterment of others. That is something to celebrate especially in this individualistic world.

4–Using technology in new ways

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So many people went sent home. Some were fortunate enough to be able to stay home and work remotely. Some weren’t. As the new school year starts back up, people are choosing homeschooling or virtual schooling for their kids. People are using apps such as Zoom or Skype to have work meetings, classes, and more.

Before Covid-19, technology was already so advanced but now we are being forced to use it more just to survive. Before it was just optional. Now, it is a requirement. Now we’ve had to shop online, use apps for curbside pickup and have work Zoom meetings in our underwear and dress shirt. We should be thankful that technology has evolved so much to allow us to do this. Imagine if we still had the technology of the early ’90s. Imagine how much different and hard it would be to survive.

How have you used technology during this pandemic? Do you find that you’ve used more or less of it?

5–Cleaning Up the Earth

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Just weeks — maybe even days — after we were forced into lock down mode, I saw news articles about less pollution and cleaner air. This is so remarkable and so amazing. It is no secret that the Earth is in trouble. It’s good that Covid-19 forced us into our homes. We needed it just to let our beloved Earth — our home — heal. It makes me wonder if perhaps we should all stay home regularly — once a month or once a year — to help save and clean up the Earth. What do you say?

What do YOU think is the best thing about the Covid-19 pandemic?

What I Fear the Most During the Coronavirus Pandemic

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  • I fear that kids today will see mask wearing as the norm. They walk into a Walmart or a Target and see faces that are half obscured and covered. They no longer see people laughing and smiling. All they see is the fear in people’s faces as they stay apart from one another.
  • I fear that kids today will now grow up distancing themselves from their peers and other people around them. We are teaching them to stay away, stay apart, and don’t touch. This mentality is bound to affect them as they grow up.
  • I fear that this will last for years, bringing about even more deaths.
  • I fear that life will never go back to normal.

What do you fear most about the pandemic?

Five Best Things To Do During Fourth of July 2020

It is no secret that the Fourth of July will be unique and vastly different from Fourth of July’s in the previous years. With the Coronavirus pandemic still continuing to rage on, we all need to be extra cautious and not congregate. In years past, we celebrated the Fourth by having cook-outs with family and friends and then going to see the fireworks. Unfortunately, that is not really an option now. I know that my city has canceled their annual display of fireworks due to the virus. So, here are five alternative best things to do during the Fourth of July in 2020.

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1–Watch Fireworks Virtually

To avoid the crowds and having to wear a mask, you can watch the fireworks virtually. You can go here to watch some fireworks, some of which are prerecorded and some are live. I know, I know, it’s definitely not the same as watching fireworks late at night with your loved ones close. But 2020 is not a normal year. So why not watch fireworks in an unconventional way this year?

2–Have a Cook-out In Your Backyard

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Some people like to invite loads of extended family to celebrate the Fourth of July. Since this might not be an option for some, why not just have a small cook-out with your immediate family. Go to the store, get some hot dogs, burgers, buns, chips, and soda. Then bring out that grill and cook up your food with your parents or kids. You can still invite your extended family virtually to join in on the fun!

3–Dress Up in Red, White, and Blue

Just because you can’t go out doesn’t mean that you can’t dress up in red, white, and blue to celebrate the holiday. Dress up your kids and even your pets too.

My baby boy dressed up in his red, white, and blue on his very first Fourth of July (2020)

4–Play Games with the Family

Since we can’t go out, why not just stay in and play games with the family. Get those board games out and have mini competitions with your parents, siblings, and kids. No time like the present to brush up on those gaming skills!

My four-year-old daughter loves to play Sorry!

5–Go To The Beach or the Pool

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It is often unbearably hot on the Fourth of July. You can go to the beach or the pool to cool off. Just be sure to stay six feet away from others outside your immediate circle. Or, to be extra safe, turn on the sprinklers in your own backyard and let your kids and even the grown-ups run back and forth. No better time to be a kid than on the Fourth of July.

What do you enjoy doing on the Fourth of July? Did you find that your movements had to be restricted due to Covid today?

The Ten Best Reasons Why You Should Wear a Mask Today

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I just found out that my city has mandated that all persons over the age of two have to wear a mask. Here are ten best reasons why we all should wear a mask during the Coronavirus pandemic.

1–You can accessorize your mask with your outfit.

I’m still waiting for the day that they design masks for the pool.

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2–You can chew gum obnoxiously.

Or grind your teeth or stick your tongue out.

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3–You can wear bright green lipstick.

Or any color really.

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4–You don’t need breath mints when going out in public.

You can eat as much garlic as you dare.

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5–You suddenly look like everyone else. There is unity in conformity.

In a world where we are often torn apart by the color of our skin, it is nice to share this commonality.

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6–You can talk to yourself.

Just don’t talk out loud or others will know what you are doing.

7–It’s a new place to hide your money.

I mean, c’mon, who would think to look for money behind your mask?

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8–You can hide that nasty pimple on your chin or cheek.

No more make-up to cover up!

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9–You can look at a person’s eyes when speaking to them.

Don’t stare at their mouth, or any other body part.

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10–You can be safe!

And keep your family, friends, and neighbors safe.

Tell me below in the comments why YOU wear a mask. 🙂