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Combating COVID-19 cabin fever

Seek and find in Fishtown: Susan Casey shared a scavenger hunt she created for parents and kids on her social media. PHOTO COURTESY OF SUSAN CASEY

It’s been a little over a week and a half since social distancing recommendations were rolled out and a few days since the City of Philadelphia’s implemented its stay-at-home order amid the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the U.S. and countries around the world.

Gov. Tom Wolf four days ago tweeted that schools would remain closed until at least April 6.

All nonessential industries are shut down, and restaurants are now allowed to offer only call-ahead, curbside take-out or delivery.

Cabin fever is in full swing, and individuals and businesses are taking to social media to share ways to combat it.

And, while there may be a shortage of toilet paper at your local grocery store, luckily for River Wards residents, there are plenty of local options to stay busy while still adhering to social distancing guidelines.


Dr. Seuss storytime with John McBride

John McBride, the voice talent behind the Star’s A Magic Sleigh Ride with John McBride, is posting a recorded reading of a Dr. Seuss book between 8 and 9 a.m. on every weekday that the stay-at-home order remains in effect.

Monday, March 2, was Read Across America Day, which celebrates the birthday of the famous author by promoting reading amongst youth.

Choosing Seuss stories to share was easy as “the good feeling from it was still tangible,” according to McBride.

“If I give parents a five-minute break or so each day, and that helps, then the goal has been realized,” he said. “I just want to do my part for as long as necessary.”

McBride records the readings in his home studio, and videos are posted to his personal Facebook page, the OttoVox Studio page and on the Bridesburg Recreation Center page.

Each recording remains posted until a new one is posted the next day.


Fishtown-ingo fun 

Fishtown artist Susan Casey found it difficult to work from home once her parent-care trade for her 2½-year-old daughter ended due to the stay-at-home order, and was inspired to offer some distraction to fellow parents in the neighborhood after seeing parents post scavenger hunts on social media.

“I thought I’d make one for my neighborhood that local parents would appreciate,” Casey said.

Originally titled Fishtown-ingo on a Fishtown Facebook page, the scavenger hunt Casey sketched includes everyday items in the neighborhood from a STOP sign, to a stroller, to a squirrel. The middle space is an unintentional “X.”

“When I showed [my daughter]  the first bingo sheet, she was excited until she realized there was no bus,” said Casey, jokingly. “So, if she asks any one of you, the middle free-space is supposed to be for buses.”

Casey made another scavenger hunt, Stay-at-Home-ingo, for those parents staying in the house with their children.

And, while it’s sure to provide some entertainment for little ones – Casey recommended making rules such as finding things in a specific color – the target audience is parents.

“We are over-stressed trying to do too much by working at home and keeping our children happy, safe, fed and educated without the help of our usual village,” she said. “I think this game may be the right kind of distraction for parents and kids to tap into the silver lining of this situation, which is quality time together.”

Visit https://imgur.com/a/RNpy9DE for a copy of either scavenger hunt.

Casey is taking suggestions for another scavenger hunt on her Instagram @susancasey.studio. Comments should be left under the neighborhood-ingo post.


DIY pizza kits

Pizza party: SliCE is offering $10 DIY pizza kits. PHOTO COURTESY OF SLICE

Being a mom of seven means entertainment is always welcome for SliCE Fishtown owner Marlo Dilks, and she hopes to provide some to families staying at home with the pizzeria’s DIY pizza kits.

For $10 — less than the cost of its small cheese pizza — SliCE Fishtown, and the other two locations, is providing a basic kit with dough, sauce and cheese.

“We wanted to discount them slightly to make them a little more affordable,” Dilks said. “We wanted to make it something fun the whole family can enjoy.”

Other varieties and toppings are offered for a slight charge, and the kits will remain available for the duration of the quarantine recommendations, if not longer.

“Overall, we just want people to have something fun and different to do,” Wilks said. “If I can relieve a little stress for a family out there with a fun dinner, I am thrilled.”

All SliCE locations are open for lunch and dinner regular hours for pickup and delivery.

Additionally, Wilks owns P’UNK Burger in South Philly, which is offering Kids Eat Free on Wednesday nights “to help alleviate some financial stress on families.”

To place an order for a kit in Fishtown, call 215-425-1555. For other locations, visit www.SliCEpa.com.

Have creative tips for adhering to social distancing rules while still having fun? Email mkomar@bsmphilly.com for a chance to be featured on our website or in print.


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