• Tracy Bottiglieri

We're All In This Together

Updated: Jul 23

It only seems fitting to have the first blog post be about the only thing anyone can talk about right now…COVID-19. In the midst of this history-making viral pandemic, we have all witnessed varied reactions. As always with this blog, let’s focus on the positive!


On March 30, 2020, our Maryland state Governor Larry Hogan directed residents to stay at home to help drastically reduce the spread of COVID-19. Some people were happy to stay at home, although the feeling might have faded over time. For many people, the “Stay-at-Home” executive order meant a completely new life: a life where one spent all day trying to juggle performing their job; helping to teach their children; and running their household with minimal social interactions.


Most people I know were quickly looking to connect to people in any way possible. Enter Zoom, Google Hangout, HouseParty and more applications to virtually visit with friends and family. During this time, I noticed that people were looking to enjoy themselves and also were willing to be more vulnerable, to discuss their fears and concerns. After all, no one has the “right” answers to our changing reality. This is the perfect opportunity for us to truly support each other. No judgement, just helping one another through collaborative problem-solving.


I would like to propose the first of many toasts! Here’s to all my friends and the many Zoom calls we have enjoyed/endured over the past 3+ months!



Stay connected through Virtual Visits & more with:


Friends

  • My friend, Katie, delivered handmade face masks to friends’ mailboxes.

  • Another friend, Abby, dropped off chocolate-covered Oreos from her small business, Dazzle Party Girls.

  • My mom delivered homemade treats to her neighbors.

  • (Make Judy's Best Banana Bread recipe for your neighbors!)

  • A group of 14 friends started a group text that has been going strong since our state went into Quarantine. The texts not only helped us to better understand and sort through the information overload we were encountering ("did you hear about...?" "do you know if this is true...?"), they also gave us HEADS UP on where to find Clorox wipes, toilet paper or paper towels (!!!) and reminded us we were all going through this crazy time together. I'm so grateful for the love and support of all my friends!


Family

Multiple Age Groups

We held multiple Zoom Family Game Nights; our family extends from Pennsylvania to Maryland to Georgia; this was a fantastic way to reconnect while having fun; it was challenging to make the games applicable for all ages (from 4 to 70+), but we made it happen!

Following are links for instructions on how to play 2 of the games. I hope you and your family and/or friends enjoy!

At-Risk Family Members

As unsettling as COVID-19 is for most of us, it is especially so for our at-risk family members. Let me share some ideas to help them feel less alone and more loved:

  • make sure to text or call more often

  • for a more personal contact, use a visual option, such as FaceTime or Zoom

  • cut their grass, or pay for a lawn service to weed or mow their yard

  • send a special surprise through the mail/UPS

IDEAS FOR GIFTS TO SEND:

Goldbelly is a specialty food delivery company. They send foods from small food manufacturers, restaurants and chefs to people across the country. Imagine you are craving a cheesesteak. Now you can order one shipped to you from Philadelphia! Does your mom miss a food from her childhood, but can't find it near where she now lives? Check on Goldbelly.com...they just might have it!

  • A letter detailing a special memory, possibly even a photo to go along with it.

  • Anything that will surprise your loved one and make them feel special.


What ideas do you have to help connect during our current "normal"

of Social Distancing or Quarantine? Please share in comments below.


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