By: Nana Aduba-Amoah
Social distancing has become the new norm for Chicagoans after Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot and Gov. JB Pritzker implemented a statewide order for Illinois residents to stay at home due to the recent coronavirus outbreak, effective March 21 through April 7, 2020. So far, there have been over 10 deaths and 1,000 reported cases associated with the virus in Illinois. The ability to effectively self-quarantine is essential, as the government seeks options to limit the disease from spreading, while discovering a treatment or cure. If you are looking for ways to keep yourself from browsing through social media all day while practicing social distancing, we’ve come up with a couple of options for you.
If you’re self-quarantined at home, it might be difficult to get a continuous influx of food. The Greater Chicago Food Depository offers agencies and programs that provide pre-packaged boxes of food and groceries. Alternatively, food delivery services, such as UberEats, are amending their guidelines to accommodate with social distancing and waiving certain delivery fees.
Although local gyms are closed, there are still ways to keep your body physically active. Gyms like Planet Fitness are offering virtual workout classes via Facebook live. Now might also be the perfect time to work on small projects around your home if you are feeling well enough. Remember that closet that you promised yourself you would organize and clean out? Well, time to get started on it!
Social distancing might also give you an opportunity to refresh your knowledge. Chicago Public Library’s website offers ebooks and Audiobooks of magazines and other publications. If you have children staying at home until Chicago Public Schools (CPS) re-opens, you may visit the city of Chicago’s Enrichment Learning Resources for additional educational activities. The Shedd Aquarium also has digital educational resources that features exhibits for both children and adults.
Now might be the perfect time to binge-watch new shows or movies, checkout online streaming services, subscribe to podcasts, and follow news websites and blogs. You may also contact support groups to inquire about their online services. For instance, local places of faith, such Christ Pentecostal International Church in Uptown, has an online streaming service via Facebook live on Sundays.
Due to the onset of the virus, the national unemployment rate has risen, leaving some Chicagoans concerned about their bills, on top of their health. It is uncertain when all businesses will officially re-open, as such, now is probably the best time to reevaluate your finances. The city of Chicago Department of Finance has a Utlity Billing Relief Program for residents whose finances might be impacted from the epidemic. Also, if you are paying student loans, you may contact your student loan company to inquire about deferring your payment without a penalty. If you are unable to make your car payment on-time, some automotive industries have created payment plans to assist with financial difficulties.