Ready for the New normal? Here are some items to make your life easier and keep you safe as workplaces re-open in phase two, and as you work from home or shelter in place when possible.
So it is May 19, 2020 and we are realizing we need to adapt to a new normal for the summer and upcoming year. For some this means working from home where possible, for others long term safety measures at the workplace. Either way as Simon Sinek said, we are not going back to normal, we are going back to abnormal, so we need to adapt a little.
Getting ready for reopening for some feels like a combo of getting ready for back to school and getting ready for war.
I will start with the safety items for COVID-19 and the pragmatic items first and get to the fun hobby items after, so that you can stay safe, comfortable and make the most of this difficult time!
A case of paper towels for all your cleaning, disinfecting and hand drying needs.
A thermometer, and since most of the trusted ones are sold out a femometer alternative. Discalimer: thermometer and oximeters can still have errors. They are just to give an idea but do not replace medical care.
Visor, it doesn’t replace a medical visor, but it offers a barrier so it’s better than nothing and offers UV protection too.
A cloth face mask or sew some diy face masks for yourself, your family and perhaps your neighbors! All you need is some thread, needle, an old tshirt or bedsheet, pipe cleaners to pinch and secure around your nose and some elastics for the ear loops. Here are the instructions on sewing face masks by the CDC. Remember to read about how to properly put them on, take them off, and clean them. And to still abide social distancing regulations given by authorities as masks do not make you invincible, they just are better than nothing.
You will get thirsty and hungry so be prepared so you dont need to grab water of food outside at work lunch breaks more often than you feel safe to. Foods and their packaging bought outside that you cant reheat, disinfect or leave to hang out in your pantry for over 14 days pose a risk. A water bottle and a thermos so you can reduce contact at cafes and avoid water fountains this summer. A freezable lunch box bag to keep your food cold and food safe. A leak proof lunch box set and portable utensils (with case).
Hands-free automatic soap dispenser bottle, so you know your soap bottle stays clean without hassle! Great in the kitchen too when dealing with raw meat and raw fish.
A small washroom garbage can with a lid or for places where several people will be disposing of masks, a medium or large garbage can with a lid and a foot pedal can help prevent transmission from used masks, gloves, kleenex, etc. Also if your sinuses are bothered by all the bleach and disinfectant around the lid also helps to keep the chemical smell at bay normally. In the first weeks of disinfecting I developed throat and sinus issues and worried I had the flu. But it was actually all the disinfectant messing with my sinuses. I can’t say how much simply having a garbage can with a lid has saved me from sinus symptoms, especially for times when I am taking a bath, etc and just around the disinfectant in the washroom and tiny apartment longer and we are all pretty housebound now with less fresh air.
A tabletop Ipad arm stand for your Zoom and video chat conference meetings and lectures when you want to look professional and sit comfortably and ergonomically.
Planters are great for safe, homegrown salad greens and herbs in an apartment but they are either sold out or expensive online so unless you need small planters for a narrow windowsill herbs or succulents, an alternative to planters is some grow bags for economical online alternative to planters-they are also breathable and said to be better than planters. Or hanging planters for succulents if you don’t have windowsill space and still want some greeery and life at home and something to care for. Grow chard, lettuce, spinach and windowsill herbs of all kinds such as rosemary to use in your homeamade focaccia bread and it is always healthier and safer these days to eat homegrown salad and raw foods so you dont worry who handled it. Pack your homegrown salad and homemade bread or other meal prep lunches to avoid eating out much during the pandemic.
See the many under Shop balcony garden for more tips.
Sunblock, I like this natural Green Beaver Sunscreen that is normally sold at Whole Foods and Choices but is also online.
Blow up pool for the kids for your backyard if you have one.
A fan if staying in a hot apartment gets too uncomfortable. However using an AC in not advised during the pandemic.
A skipping rope is the safest and cheapest way to get cardio exercise during the pandemic.
Kettle bells are an alternative to dumbells and weights which are sold out
See the menu under Shop yoga and workout gear for more ideas
Danish dough whisk for all your bread baking needs! Or a stand mixer which is a kitchen appliance for the dedicated baker who needs some brauny help kneading and mixing (note I cannot guarantee the price and availability as these get out of stock and fluctuate in price due to pandemic shopping for bread making items, so I will add a second link here just in case to compare)
A kitchen scale to measure flour properly especially if recipes call for grams
A large bowl you can get your hands into for kneading and mixing and for proofing your bread in. it helps to have two large bowls, one for mixing, and one to transfer into.
Check out my focaccia bread art recipe for more tips.
There is a lot of panic about flour shortages right now-though I did find this 1kg of Italian soft wheat flour for $3 (though usually at this point gluten free flour is more commonly available for the same price as regular all purpose flour online) as well as worry over potential price spikes of groceries that are high in demand, so a case of large bags of oats is helpful not only for oatmeal but because you can use it in muffins or oatmeal cookies or grind it up in a food processor into oat flour for oat bread and oat pancakes. You can also make oat milk as in my recipe. honestly I’ve had 10 kg of oats before (and got some again) and they don’t go bad all year and get used in many recipes once you have them such as granola. For paleo bread and quick diy almond milk there is almond flour.
And if you bought a lot of dried chickpeas and dry beans ( and if not, they are cheaper and healthier than canned beans and keep well so you will safely have protein for the year), an Instant Pot will make your life so much easier as it cooks legumes and beans in minutes! Check out this black bean Instant Pot recipe for more tips on how to cook 5 minute beans in the Instant Pot.
If you are new to the Instant Pot and want to ease in by slow cooking before pressure cooking this genuine Instant Pot slow cooker lid is a basic Instant Pot accessory.
Some silicone mitts for your Instant Pot and baking needs.
And some coffee if you don’t want to actually go to the coffee shop or Tim Hortons for safety reasons.
And for other stockpiling a case of coconut milk is always useful. See Shop Food for more stockpiling ideas, I will be updating and expanding as things change daily these days!