Wednesday, April 8, 2020

Sam's Weekly Quarantine Digest #5: April 7, 2020

Hi all,

In this week's edition of the Quarantine Digest, there are lots of options to help your local community - read on to learn more. I have contributed to every cause listed below, and I challenge you to join me by donating to any of these options (or to another organization of your choice). We are stronger together!

There are also some evolving resources included - e.g., restaurants that have started including board games or toilet paper along with your pasta, or Time Out New York, which has officially rebranded as Time In New York (new logo and all) and launched a newsletter called "Couchbound."

Ways to help others
  • Does your company offer gift matching?  Don't forget to take advantage of it!
  • Have a spare iPad sitting around gathering dust?  Donate it to a local hospital to allow patients to FaceTime with their loved ones since visitors are not allowed in hospitals right now.  It's a terrifying situation for both patients and their families, and this is a small step you can take that can have a tremendous impact on those whom you help.  I donated my iPad this morning. Please join me! If interested, email, or see here for more info.
  • Across the country, restaurants and organizations are finding ways to deliver meals to essential medical workers.   Here are a few local options:
    • A restaurant in Greenpoint, Eagle Trading Co. has been delivering meals to medical staff at hospitals in Manhattan.  You can donate $12 here to cover a meal and drink for a medical worker.
    • The owners of Tarallucci e Vino created Feed the Frontlines as a way for city residents to gift meals to health-care providers, while also supporting local businesses.  You can donate single meals or larger amounts through this form.
    • And if you love pizza, you can share the love through the Slice Out Hunger’s Pizza vs Pandemic initiative — feeding front-line health providers by coordinating large orders with independent pizzerias in Manhattan.  Visit the website to make a donation or suggest a local health center in need.
  • If you're interested in helping out hospitals but don't have any masks or other PPE to donate, please consider donating money directly to hospitals in need. If interested, you can donate directly to the hospitals rather than through government or organizational intermediaries.  Here are some of the direct links for a few local hospitals:
  • Have masks, gloves, or other PPE?  Drop them off at any hospital, police station, or fire station, or visit
Ways to help yourself
Eat well
  • Cooking classes
  • Like Milk Bar? Christina Tosi is offering baking tips on Instagram Live every day at 2pm. She even posts the ingredients the night before in case you want to follow along in real time.
  • Recipe of the Week: Chicken Pineapple Quesadillas: The beauty of this is that it requires only a handful of ingredients that are relatively easy to find, even during the apocalypse - you can even use canned fruit.  Start by turning on your broiler.  Slice an onion and mince a few slices (2 tbsp minced).  Medium-diced about ½ cup pineapple; if using canned, drain and discard the juice.  Heat a drizzle of oil on medium-high.  Add sliced onion, cook 4-5 minutes til softened.  Add pineapple, salt, and pepper and cook 2-3 minutes until lightly browned.   Remove from pan and set aside; wipe out pan.   Pat chicken dry w/ a paper towel (I used about a cup of large-diced chicken (bite-sized pieces)).  Heat another drizzle of oil; add chicken and whatever spices you’d like (I used chili powder, sweet paprika, garlic powder, and onion powder).  Cook, stirring, until chicken is browned, 4-6 minutes.  Add onion and pineapple, a squeeze of lime juice, and a pinch of chopped cilantro.  Rub one side of two tortillas with oil; place oiled-side-down on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Evenly sprinkle with ½ cup cheese (I used mozzarella), then the filling, then another ½ cup of cheese.  Fold each tortilla in half to create quesadillas.  Broil until golden brown on top, 1-2 minutes; flip and repeat; watch closely and don’t burn them!  Cut into wedges; top with pico de gallo (diced tomato, chopped cilantro, minced onion, a squeeze of lime juice, salt, and pepper) and sour cream.  Enjoy!
Stay stocked up and stay home
Exercise (and protect) your mind
  • Missing math and physics classes?  Check out World Science Festival's new series, Your Daily Equation, in which Brian Greene offers "brief and breezy discussions of equations that can tickle the mind and change our understanding of reality."
  • Meditation: Just a reminder that Murray Hidary is continuing to do free meditation sessions via Instagram Live a few times a week.  Follow Murray Hidary or MindTravel on Instagram and keep an eye out for their announcements of the schedule or for notifications that they've gone live.
Relax, and have fun!
  • Want to play games with friends from afar? JackBox Games has made Drawful 2 available for free as their contribution to the quarantine effort. Just download the game to your computer, share your screen (and computer audio - a separate setting in Zoom), and then everyone joins in with their phone to play. Feel free to reach out with any questions.
  • The New York Public Library has announced some additional online resources worth checking out:
    • For adults: They have a new virtual book club as part of the "Get Lit" program. The first edition of the monthly series will include a live-streamed conversation and Q&A with the author.
    • For parents and children: They'll be hosting storytime with librarians across the city, with a new video posted every weekday morning at 10am, and they will include read-alouds, songs, and early literacy tips.
  • Time Out New York has rebranded as Time In New York, and has launched a new newsletter called "Couchbound," which includes a wide variety of helpful items, from NYC-centric news (e.g., park closures and donation opportunities), to ways to get fresh produce delivered directly from local farms, to online classes from MoMA, to info about a virtual singalong from Marie's Crisis. It's basically an edgier and longer version of this digest, published every few days.
  • Quarantine Cartoons: Fort Greene Resident Arielle Royston has been creating cartoons that really capture what quarantine life is like in NYC. Stop by daily for a new creation.
  • Watch puppies sleep and play! Warrior Canine Connection (based in MD) has several puppycams set up so you can tune in any time for some serious sweetness.

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