I’ve been working remote for over 2 weeks now. I’m used to working remote, but not quite to the degree I am now. There are a bunch of new challenges as a result including having more people in the household. So, this has inspired me to start writing regular posts with some tips and tricks for working remote, using technology to help solve the challenges we’re facing in “the new norm”, and helpful links to help provide solutions to some common challenges.

Remember, during this time of social distancing, we need to make sure that we stay healthy, both physically and mentally. We’re all in this together.

Prevention How-To Guides

Resources for Education and Activities

Games, Videos, and other Mediums

  • Amazon’s Audible will have all stories streaming free as long as schools are closed.
  • There’s a YouTube channel called Crash Course that includes videos for many common school subjects.
  • Disney has released Frozen 2, Onward, documentary called Elephant and more on Disney+ well in advance of  their anticipated release dates.
  • Nick Jr. Noggin decided to offer educational videos, games, and more that are free for 90 days.

Reading and Research

  • Have Fun Teaching published a list of Relief Packs available from preschool to 5th grade.
  • The Khan Academy has put together daily schedules for students from preschool through 12th grade.
  • There is a list of Education Companies offering free subscriptions while schools are closed at Kids Activities Blog.
  • Announcing the National Emergency Library, a collection of books that supports emergency remote teaching, research activities, independent scholarship, and intellectual stimulation while universities, schools, training centers, and libraries are closed
  • Scholastic Learning has put together a list of resources for learning at home.
  • The West Pittston Library has a daily story as well as other sessions streaming live on Facebook.

Science

Travel

  • Cancelling your Disney trip? You can virtually ‘ride’ Disney rides from your living room.
  • Miami’s Jungle Island offers free online lessons for children Monday-Friday at 11am ET.
  • Hershey Park’s Zoo America offers free looks inside the zoo along with lessons Monday-Friday at 11am ET.

Helpful Tips to Stay Safe

Here are a few helpful tips to stay safe during this time. Several of these tips are good to follow every day regardless of what’s going on in the world. If you have helpful tips that you’d like me to include, please leave a comment or send me a message on Twitter @jgaylord.

  1. Stay Home - If you must go shopping, only one person in the household should be out and shopping. It’s also best that the same person handles the shopping. Be sure to keep your distance and follow the recommended 6 feet (or roughly 2 meters) distance from others. Also, if you do have to go out, limit your trips. Try going only weekly.
  2. Keep Your Distance - Whether you are shopping or spending time outside getting fresh air, be sure to follow the recommendation for safe distancing. The general recommendation is 6 feet, or roughly 2 meters, from others.
  3. Wash Your Hands for 20 Seconds - As Pennsylvania Secretary of Health, Dr Rachel Levine reminds Pennsylvanians during every press conference, wash your hands for 20 seconds which is roughly the amount of time needed to sing Happy Birthday twice.
  4. Keep Packages Outside - When shopping online or heading to the grocery store, you are bound to get items that are in cardboard, paper, or plastic. Be sure to keep packages and non-perishables outside or in your garage (if possible) for at least 48 hours. The virus can survive on surfaces and this is just an extra step to help keep it out of your house or living space.
  5. Don’t Stock Up for the Apocalypse -  Be mindful of others and only pick up what you feel you’ll need between the time you are shopping and you’re next visit. There are shortages of food, household supplies, and medical supplies.
  6. Leave Shoes Outside - If you are traveling to areas, such as to the store, where someone could have had the virus and coughed, the moisture droplets could be on the store floor and you could be bringing them into your house. This may seem like an extreme measure, but generally speaking, shoes carry a lot of germs to begin with. This will help keep your family safe.
  7. Don’t Touch your Face - This is tough for many individuals, myself included. Just keep in mind that the virus can enter through your eyes, nose and mouth and that’s about it. So, if you limit or eliminate touching your face, you have a better chance of staying healthy.
  8. Stop Smoking or Vaping - Sure, this is an addiction and is easier said than done. But COVID-19 is a respiratory virus. Cutting back or quitting may be enough to help your lungs should you contract the virus.
  9. Masks and Gloves Help - Wearing cloth masks won’t prevent you from getting it. However, if you have it, whether you know it or not, it can help prevent others from getting it. Don’t run to your local store looking for masks. Leave those for the medical professionals in the unlikely chance that the store is carrying them. Instead, use a scarf or bandana to cover your mouth. If you wear some type of glove, be sure to take them off inside out. You should dispose the gloves, but if you can’t, wash under high temps.
  10. Wipe Down Surfaces Often - Be sure to wipe down light switches, door knobs, counters, and other surfaces often. If you don’t have Lysol or Clorox wipes, you can mix 4 teaspoons of Clorox with 1 quart of water. Be careful which solutions you use on electronics. You should not spray directly on electronics nor should you use a cloth that is saturated as you’ll not only destroy the bacteria, but you’ll also destroy the electronics.
  11. Cover Coughs with your Elbow - Do not cover your coughs with your hand, but rather your elbow. This will help to prevent moisture droplets to land on your hand and have you inadvertently touching objects.

Below you’ll find the list of other posts in the series:

  1. COVID-19, Resources, and Technology
  2. Free Technical Training and Welcome Spring
  3. Use Docking Station from Home and Add Home Projects
  4. Technology Events in 2020
  5. Google’s Stadia Gaming Free for Two Months
  6. Debugging COVID-19 Data Using Excel
  7. Hiding Your Background When Working From Home
  8. Pixel by LabCorp Releases At Home Test
  9. Blockbuster Surviving Covid-19
  10. DevAroundTheSun a 24-hour Fundraiser May 12
  11. Repairing My Lenovo Yoga Pro 2
  12. Hard Drive Docking Station
  13. TechBash 2020, TechBash 2021, and COVID-19
  14. 2020 Year in Review Thus Far