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The Best Television Shows to Binge During the Coronavirus Outbreak

Monday , March 30 , 2020

The Best Television Shows to Binge During the Coronavirus Outbreak

If the COVID-19 quarantine has taught us anything, it’s this: Being alone for days on end is BORING.

To alleviate the tedium, many people are turning to that old, faithful companion of days gone by – the television.

With streaming services galore and constant new releases, there is no end to potential entertainment. Still, many people find themselves asking, “What should I watch?”

Here are our suggestions, from game shows and sitcoms to soap operas and telenovelas.

Old-Fashioned Entertainment 

“The Andy Griffith Show” 

The Andy Griffith show follows widower Sheriff Andy Taylor and his son Opie as they bumble through life in quiet Mayberry, North Carolina. With virtually no crimes to solve, Andy spends most of his time calming down his excitable cousin, Deputy Barney Fife. The series originally ran from 1960 – 1968 and is now available on Netflix and Amazon Prime.

“I Love Lucy”

I Love Lucy is an American comedy that ran from 1951 from 1957, for a total of six seasons. Audiences loved watching fiery redhead Lucy Ricardo drive her Cuban bandleader husband crazy with her whacky antics. Today, you can catch Lucy and Ricky on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and CBS.

“The Brady Bunch” 

The Brady Bunch revolves around a large blended family with six children: Architect widower Greg Brady has three sons and his new wife, widow Carol, has three daughters. Together with their maid Alice, the bunch gets into lots of silly (and often heartwarming) escapades. You can watch it on Hulu and CBS.

“The Honeymooners” 

Though it only ran from October 1955 to September 1956, The Honeymooners remains one of America’s most beloved sitcoms. Starring Jackie Gleason, the comedy show follows perpetually flustered NYC bus driver Ralph Kramden, his wife Alice, and friends Ed and Trixie, through their lives in a shared apartment building. Watch it on Amazon Prime.

Game Shows to Challenge Your Mind 

“Password Plus” 

Password originally ran from 1961 – 1975. During each half hour show, two teams consisting of a celebrity guest and a contestant guessed words from clues. You can’t watch the original today, but you can find the later revivals – Password Plus and Super Password – on Amazon Prime.

“Family Feud”

Family Feud, which originally aired in 1976 with star Richard Dawson, has gone through several different iterations and hosts. The show, in which a contestant tries to guess the most popular answer to a survey question, remains a family favorite to this day. You can watch current host Steve Harvey on ABC or catch older episodes on Amazon Prime.

“Jeopardy”

Jeopardy, everyone’s favorite television quiz show, has been on the air for an astounding five and a half decades. During each episode, three contestants (including the previous show’s champion) are given answers and they have to supply the questions. After three rounds, the person with the most money wins. You can watch Jeopardy on ABC, Hulu, and Netflix.

“Ellen’s Game of Games” 

This one is more “fun” than “brain power,” but we all need a little entertainment right now! On Ellen’s Game of Games, the mischievous host airs live versions of some of the most popular games from her daytime show. Even better? You can download the app and play on your own at home! Available on NBC, Hulu, and YouTube.

Shows for the Whole Family

“Bill Nye the Science Guy”

Bill Nye the Science Guy is a live-action science program that originally aired from 1993 to 1998. Host Bill Nye was known for his quirky sense of humor and rapid-fire pacing. Studies found that

Viewers were better able to generate explanations and extensions of scientific ideas than non-viewers. Today, you can catch Bill Nye on Amazon Prime, YouTube, or Vudu.

“The Voice”

The Voice is an American singing competition aimed at finding unsigned talent. The twist? Judges have their backs to the contestants so they can’t see what they look like – this competition is based on singing abilities alone! You can watch judges Nick Jonas, Blake Shelton, John Legend, and Kelly Clarkson scout the talent on NBC or YouTube.

“Full House”

Jump back into the 90s with everyone’s favorite sitcom family! Full House follows widower Danny Tanner and roommates Joey (a stand-up comic) and Jesse (a party boy) as they raise Danny’s three daughters together. You can watch Full House on Hulu, Amazon Prime, and YouTube.

“Planet Earth”

Planet Earth, a 2006 British television series, is known for being the most expensive nature documentary ever filmed, as well as the first to be filmed in high definition. State-of-the-art imagery takes you around the world to view everything from the oceans to the polar ice caps. You can find it on Amazon Prime, YouTube, and Vudu.

Soap Operas and Telenovelas

“Days of Our Lives”

This long-running saga follows the lives of the prominent Horton, Brady, Kiriakis, Hernandez, and DiMera families in a fictional Midwestern town. Love stories, tragedies, and triumphs about. You can catch the drama on NBC and Hulu.

“The Young and the Restless”

The Young and the Restless (often called Y&R) is set in fictional Genoa City, Wisconsin. Each hour-long show follows upper class families the Newmans and Abbotts as they struggle for power, love, and (often) revenge. You can watch the long-running soap on CBS and YouTube.

“Yo soy Betty, la fea”

Yo soy Betty, la fea (which translates to “I am Betty, the Ugly one”) is a Colombian telenovela which ran from 1999 – 2001. The hugely popular series spawned a number of spinoffs, including American hit comedy “Ugly Betty.” Today, you can still catch the original on Netflix.

El Señor de los Cielos

El Señor de los Cielos (or “Lord of the skies”) is an American telenovela created for the broadcast channel Telemundo. The series, which first aired in 2013, is based on the life of Amado Carrillo Fuentes, the former leader of the Juarez Cartel. You can watch El Senor de los Cielos on Netflix, Hulu, or Telemundo.

Cooking and Baking Shows 

“Ugly Delicious” 

Available on Netlix, this new program follows James Beard award-winning chef David Chang as he travels the world in search of unique regional cuisine. Guest stars include the likes of Nick Kroll, Ali Wong, and Jimmy Kimmel.

“Chopped”

Former Queer Eye for the Straight Guy host Ted Allen guides contestants as they turn a basket of mystery ingredients into a three-course meal. The twist? Ingredients are unexpected and often downright strange – including items like a leftover Jell-O mold and dried fermented scallops. See what they’re cooking up on The Food Network or Hulu.

“Good Eats”

Recently revived in 2019, Good Eats follows host Alton Brown as he explored the origins of ingredients and how they interact with each other as he whips up a tasty dish. Often called the “Mr. Wizard of cooking,” Alton has long been a Food Network favorite. You can catch the show on its home network as well as Hulu.

“The French Chef”

We can’t talk about cooking shows and not mention Julia Child! Julia gained notoriety as America’s favorite cooking show host way back in 1961. Audiences loved her iconic high-pitched voice almost as much as her love for all things French.

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Things to do at Home When You’re Under Quarantine

Monday , March 23 , 2020

Things to do at Home When You’re Under Quarantine

I never thought I’d start a blog with, “Things to do at home when you’re under quarantine.”

Strange times indeed.

But now that you’re stuck in your house with no end in sight, you may be wondering, “What should I do?”

No one can go to restaurants or museums or the theater. Senior centers have cancelled gatherings and classes. In some communities, even the public parks are closed.

That doesn’t mean you can’t interact with your friends and loved ones, keep your mind engaged, or even have a little fun!

Here are some creative ways to pass the time and remain social:

  1. Phone a friend. In today’s day and age, it seems like no one talks on the phone anymore. They text or email or chat online. But when you’re missing that daily face-to-face interaction with others, nothing beats hearing a loved one’s voice. Think about all those old friends you haven’t heard from in ages – wouldn’t it be nice to take this time to catch up?

  1. Start a workout routine. Exercise has a slew of benefits for older adults, from increased muscular strength to improved mental health. In fact, several studies show that exercise can increase life span. Why not use this time to start a home workout routine? There are plenty of workouts you can do at home – just be sure to check with your physician first to find out what’s safe for you.

  1. Read a book. Almost everyone I know has a “to-read” pile of books at home. Use your time at home to read all those novels you’ve been buying over the years but haven’t had a chance to pick up. Have a difficult time reading for extended periods? Try an audio book instead!

  1. Binge a new television show. It’s difficult to justify spending hours in front of the television when there are more important things to do. But being under quarantine is a special circumstance, and many people are using the time to catch up on television programs and movies. Reach out to friends and loved ones to see what they recommend, then spend a few days binging a new show.

  1. Commune with nature. Even under lockdown, most communities still allow citizens to take a walk around the neighborhood. Walking around outdoors is a great way to soak up some sunshine and enjoy the fresh air. Even better? Experts say that going outside can help improve memory, reduce stress, and lower blood pressure. Just remember to stay at least six feet away from your fellow walkers!

  1. Cook something new. If you enjoy spending time in the kitchen, now is the perfect time to perfect some old favorites or to try something new. YouTube is full of cooking videos geared toward home chefs. Because the classes are online, you can pause, rewind, and go over each step as many times as necessary until you get it right. Need an ingredient that’s not already in your pantry? Use home grocery delivery instead of venturing out to the store on your own. Delivery greatly reduces touch points and, therefore, your risk exposure to illness.

  1. Take a virtual tour of your favorite museum or zoo. Now that COVID19 has the world locked up in their homes, hundreds of museums and zoos are making their exhibits available online – FOR FREE! Check out Google Arts & Culture for some ideas. Local options include the Philadelphia Museum of Art, Valley Forge National Historic Park, and the Philadelphia Zoo.

Tell us: What are you doing to keep your mind occupied during this difficult time? Have you come up with any creative ideas not listed here?

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How to Tell the Difference Between Flu, Allergies, and COVID-19

Monday , March 16 , 2020

How to Tell the Difference Between Flu, Allergies, and COVID-19

Runny nose? Sneezing? Watery eyes?

That might be the start of seasonal allergies, or perhaps a cold . . . but probably not COVID-19.

Medical experts say that if you’re displaying symptoms of the novel coronavirus or you’ve been exposed to someone who has symptoms, you should contact your primary care physician right away – but it can be difficult to tell the difference between flu, allergies, and COVID-19.

Here’s what you need to know:

 

Differences Between Allergies, Flu, and Coronavirus

 

Seasonal Allergies

Symptoms:

Sneezing, runny/stuffy nose, itchy/watery eyes, itchy nose, itchy roof of mouth

 

Duration:

Allergy symptoms last if you are exposed to the allergen. Seasonal allergies can last for weeks on end.

 

Time of year:

Seasonal allergies are more common in the spring and autumn.

 

How to tell the difference:

Although rare, other illnesses (including COVID-19) may have similar symptoms to allergies. The difference is often that allergy symptoms happen all at once, whereas a viral infection tends to cause one symptom at a time (headache, then runny nose, then cough, etc.).

 

Flu

Symptoms:

Fever over 100.4 F, dry cough, chills and sweats, congestion, sore throat, muscle aches/weakness, and fatigue. Some people may have vomiting and diarrhea, although this is more common in children than adults.

 

Duration:

For most people, the flu is a short-term illness that resolves on its own. Symptoms typically appear one to four days after exposure and last for five to seven days.

 

Time of year:

Influenza is more common between late fall and early spring, but can occur at any time of the year.

 

How to tell the difference:

Headache, aches and pain, sore throat, and fatigue – symptoms that are common with flu – don’t typically present in Coronavirus patients.

 

COVID-19

Symptoms:

Fever, cough, shortness of breath or difficulty breathing. Symptoms can range from mild to severe and are often worse for the elderly and those with preexisting conditions.

 

Duration:

Symptoms usually appear 2 to 14 days after exposure and how long they last depends on the severity of the case. People with more mild symptoms appear to get better in 10 to 14 days, while more serious cases may result in pneumonia and last quite a bit longer.

 

Time of year:

The COVID-19 strain of coronavirus appears to be brand new and researchers are still studying the virus. It is assumed that the illness will be most prevalent between late fall and early spring, much like the common cold or flu.

 

How to tell the difference:

Experts say people should look for the big three: A combination of fever, cough, and shortness of breath. Unlike flu or cold, these are often the ONLY three symptoms present with a coronavirus infection.

 

What to do if You Feel Ill

 If you feel ill and suspect that you may have coronavirus, call your primary care physician and ask for guidance.

According to the CDC, you should:

  • Stay at home and avoid public spaces
  • Separate yourself from other people and animals in your home
  • Wear a facemask if you are around other people
  • Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue when you sneeze or cough
  • Clean your hands often
  • Avoid sharing personal items (toothbrush, utensils, bedding, etc.)
  • Clean high-touch items often (keyboards, phones, remote controls, etc.)
  • Monitor your symptoms

If your illness gets worse (shortness of breath) call a medical professional immediately, and in the event of a medical emergency call 911.

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