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Let me begin by saying I will not be offering medical advice or talking about data, or copying and pasting graphs. 90% of us do not know what to do with that data. I have opinions on Covid 19, of course I do but enough people are sharing opinions and they are getting mixed with fact and none of it helps and mass hysteria does not help the health service cope in a crisis.

We have all seen images of countries in a forced lockdown. If we get there we do not know how long it will be. If we stay at a stage where some are self-isolating because they are sick or they are avoiding people for their own reasons there will be either through choice or not long periods indoors. This can be hard to navigate.

coffee cup on bedI am no stranger to being sick, as a spoonie mum, I am immunocompromised and I suffer with my mental health. What this has done has left me very calm in these times. I also am strangely prepared as a spoonie I batch cook as some days I cannot get up and function. I had a strange experience this morning in the shops where fresh food was in abundance but no pasta, bread, baked beans, tinned soup or toilet roll. A woman was upset because there was no tinned soup or bread. I am going to share my recipe for fool proof no knead kneading is tough for me due to my disability) bread on Instagram so please look out for it. If you are going to buy things here is my suggestion for good foods to have in. Remember to be mindful of others in your community, many of whom have to budget weekly and check in on local Facebook groups to see if people have basics – if they don’t SHARE!

My food suggestions;

  • A selection of beans/lentils/pulses
  • Plain flour
  • Bread flour
  • Fresh vegetables that you can pre prepare as meals or freeze cubed.
  • Eggs
  • Tofu
  • Milk (UHT and plant based keep in the cupboard)
  • Tinned tomatoes
  • Rice/pasta
  • Dried Yeast
  • Sugar
  • Fruit Juice (that can be kept in the cupboard)

This is a list of vegetables that freeze well;

  • Peeled and sliced all types of onion
  • Leeks, sliced and washed
  • Cubed carrots, squash, parsnips –  most root veg really
  • Potatoes – I have not had great results with but freeze them as potato cakes or as mash and they are fine
  • Peas
  • Mushrooms, sliced
  • Apples, sliced
  • Pears, sliced
  • Avocado, peeled and cut into chunks
  • Courgette and Aubergine, cut ihttps://archieandtherug.com/category/food/nto chucks and cooked from frozen they do mush up but can still be used in sauces and stews/soups
  • All herbs

When using home frozen veg I always cook from frozen.

Follow this link to find all of my recipes that I have frozen successfully. If you are just looking for general meal inspiration follow this link.

dark and moody image of a window seat

As someone who suffered at the hand of social isolation it can be hard even if unlike me you don’t suffer from psychosis. So let’s talk about you first and then I will talk about any children you may be home with.

It might initially sound like a time to just be very TV and movie heavy but here is the thing prolonged and enforced TV watching when you are not breaking it up with a day at work is going to damage you. I will not link you to all of the research on how this impacts on your brain and your ability to rest because quite frankly we could all do with stepping away, well away from reading ANY MORE MEDICAL BASED ARTICLES. Needless to say this is not like binge watching your fave TV show and going to work this is being stuck in. As a disabled woman who is stuck in often let me guide you through this.

Variety is key here. Make variety whenever you can. Read, puzzle, craft, watch, be out in nature if possible (this will not be possible for everyone). Even if you do not normally do these things do them now. Trust me if you are at home worrying how the hell you will afford life afterwards you will need a distraction from that.

watercolour image with doodles

Here is my non exhaustive list including some shopping suggestions (sooner rather than later on shopping as the government can U-turn any day);

  • Reading – keep it cheap, go to a charity shop, hit the library, swap with friends now
  • Internet research – NOT MEDICAL STUFF, historical figures, online classes, lunar cycles go down some rabbit holes
  • Craft – (see my list of craft item suggestions below)
  • Listen to podcasts
  • Find new music – Try Bandcamp
  • Dance around to music – any exercise you can do WILL help your mental state and physical too obviously
  • Find good news – journal 3 pieces of good news you find daily.
  • Puzzles – you can buy a few puzzle books and there are lots online to print out – do whichever is cheapest and easiest for you.

Let’s not spend a fortune, not many of us can so here are my suggestions for craft items you can buy. I will be doing regular Lives of craft alongs on Instagram keep an eye out.

  • An embroidery hoop
  • a cheap set of embroidery thread
  • A couple of sketchbooks
  • Air dry clay
  • Pencils and pens
  • a few paintbrushes – again pick up inexpensive ones
  • An inexpensive watercolour palette (you can get them for as little as £1.50
  • An old book you don’t mind cutting up
  • Glue sticks
  • Knitting needles size 4 and size 8 are good ones I use all the time but any will do.
  • Some wool
  • A crochet hook
  • PVA glue

Things you may have a round the house that could come in handy are old paint sample pots, magazines, newspaper, card from packaging, string, sticky tape, your camera phone, old bedsheets or broken clothes for fabric scraps.

Okay so children cooped up. I have mentioned that I am a home educator before but I don’t talk of it often as it is not the focus of the blog. I am an old hat at having children with me ALL day and working around that. If you are trying to work from home, late nights will be your thing – believe me! Here is a list of resources from your friends in the home ed community.

wooden train set on the floor
Khan Academy
Especially good for maths and computing for all ages but other subjects at Secondary level. Note this uses the U.S. grade system but it’s mostly common material. Also for pre schoolers check out Khan Academy kids, also free.

BBC Learning

This site is old and no longer updated and yet there’s so much still available, from language learning to BBC Bitesize for revision. No TV licence required except for content on BBC iPlayer.

Free to access 100s of courses, only pay to upgrade if you need a certificate in your name (own account from age 14+ but younger learners can use a parent account).

For those revising at GCSE or A level. Tons of free revision content. Paid access to higher level material.

Free taster courses aimed at those considering Open University but everyone can access it. Adult level, but some e.g. nature and environment courses could well be of interest to young people.

Learn computer programming skills – fun and free.

Creative computer programming

Ted Ed
All sorts of engaging educational videos

National Geographic Kids

Activities and quizzes for younger kids.

Learn languages for free. Web or app.

Mystery Science
Free science lessons

The Kids Should See This
Wide range of cool educational videos

Crash Course
You Tube videos on many subjects

Crash Course Kids
As above for a younger audience

Crest Awards
Science awards you can complete from home.

iDEA Awards
Digital enterprise award scheme you can complete online.

Paw Print Badges
Free challenge packs and other downloads. Many activities can be completed indoors. Badges cost but are optional.

All kinds of making.

Prodigy Maths
Is in U.S. grades, but good for UK Primary age.

Cbeebies Radio
Listening activities for the younger ones.

Nature Detectives
A lot of these can be done in a garden, or if you can get to a remote forest location!

British Council
Resources for English language learning

Oxford Owl for Home
Lots of free resources for Primary age

Big History Project
Aimed at Secondary age. Multi disciplinary activities.

Geography Games
Geography gaming!

Blue Peter Badges
If you have a stamp and a nearby post box.

The Artful Parent
Good, free art activities

Red Ted Art
Easy arts and crafts for little ones

The Imagination Tree
Creative art and craft activities for the very youngest.

Toy Theater
Educational online games

DK Find Out
Activities and quizzes

This is more for printouts, and usually at a fee, but they are offering a month of free access to parents in the event of school closures.

Sci Show

A You Tube channel filled with short imformative videos and experiements Also check out Sci Show Kids for yournger audiences. Most of the sci show kids experiments can be done with household items.

The Royal Institute

You can watch a selection of past series of their annual Christmas Lectures aimed at children.

Board games, story cubes, letting your kids make a movie on your phone of a story they create are all great activities, hang in there.

image of magazine on a tabletopOkay, are you still with me? Good because this is the really important part. There are countries where people who are in their 40s and they have lived their whole life in a refugee camp in fear for their life. This is a virus, yes it can be scary and life lost is sad but this is not a crisis in the same way that people deal with everyday so check your behaviour because if the crisis was worse I despair. Stories of people pushing a shoving in supermarkets, mothers desperately asking for baby formula and nappies as shelves are bare. Check on your local community, be a good person, share, be kind, help whenever you can. Help whoever you can, even if it is your annoying neighbour who parks outside your house, I don’t care, they may be in need, step up and be good.

Last but by certainly no means least. I have not spoken about the medical issues because that is not helpful. At a moment when a government is neck deep in COBRA meetings signing petitions is not helpful, (this does not mean I love our government). Sharing anything that has not come from the NHS (or the health authority in your country) or WHO website is not helpful, even if they say I am a doctor in their Facebook post. Slow down the information epidemic it does not help our medical staff and it does not help you and those around you to cause health anxiety, especially in our children.

Look out for my Instagram Lives over the coming weeks and months. Please feel free to share links to any cool You Tube channels or online courses in comments. Or tips and tricks.



Take Care Lovelies. x


March 11, 2020
March 27, 2020