Routines are different, office desks are now kitchen tables, and the city playgrounds are starting to close. On March 23, Washington Gov. Jay Inslee announced his “Stay Home, Stay Healthy” order that prohibits social gatherings and non-essential business activity in Washington for at least two weeks.
Strict guidelines on social distancing can take its toll both mentally and physically. So how do we manage? Here's our list of recommendations to stay sane and support those who need it most during this strange, difficult time.
Support small businesses.
There are many ways to continue supporting local establishments while you practice social isolation:
Buy a gift card. If you don’t need anything now but still want to support local, buy gift cards to spend later.
Shop online or by phone. Many Downtown Bellevue retailers have online shopping available.
Double your impact! Now through April 24, The Bellevue Collection will donate two meals to Bellevue LifeSpring's emergency response program, feeding children in our community every time you order take-out from one of their restaurants. Participating restaurants are listed here.
Blood donation is a community responsibility. The new coronavirus is challenging our healthcare systems worldwide, and as the pandemic worsens, the need for donors goes up. If you’re healthy and feeling well, consider making an appointment with Bloodworks Northwest to donate.
Listen to something other than the news.
There’s a lot going on, and it’s important to stay informed. However, we encourage you to take a healthy break from the broadcasts and immerse yourself in another time or world. Get your free KCLS Library eCard, which allows instant access to KCLS’ online offerings. This includes streaming music and film, eBooks, online magazines, research databases, exam preparation tools, and online classes. The library may be closed for now, but online resources are open 24/7!
Audible has also launched the Audible Stories platform that allows kids and teens to stream free audio books on the desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. You can also check them out from your local library and download them digitally onto your device via OverDrive’s Libby app.
Stay curious & creative.
Although museums and entertainment venues are closed, many have gone online and produced fantastic content! Hear from some of Bellevue’s creative innovators during this challenging time:
KidsQuest Children’s Museum launched an early and young learners video series focused on STEAM concepts. Watch science experiments, read books, and get art inspiration on their YouTube channel.
Reality Escapes now offers Play at Home Puzzle Hunts. Families piece together clues and find out the details of a crime; you only need access to a printer to play.
Bellevue Arts Museum is offering ways to experience the world of art, craft, and design from home during this period of social distancing. Virtual tours and fun craft tutorials are available online.
Get off the couch.
Regular exercise is one component of a healthy lifestyle that can help reduce stress and prevent illness. Lucky for you, several Bellevue workout facilities are now offering free online classes and guides. No gym membership needed!
The Bellevue YMCA is partnering with other Ys around the country for the YMCA 360 video series. Videos include an active older adults workout, Barre, boot camp, and yoga.
Bellevue Club offers an abundance of wellness resources on their Reflections blog. Explore at-home yoga practice, healthy kitchen tips, and other exercises that can be done in your living room.
SoulCycle studios may be closed, but their instructors are taking to their personal Instagram pages for motivational videos and workouts. Get connected and browse all instructor profiles here.
Enjoy some fresh air.
“Stay home” may sound like you’re not supposed to leave the house, but that’s not the case. Going outside is not only allowed, it’s encouraged. Gov. Inslee specifically mentions walking, hiking, running and biking for activity. Just make sure to practice good social distancing, and not gather in groups.
As of March 25, the City is closing playgrounds, sports courts, ball fields and picnic shelters to follow with Public Health / Seattle & King County recommendations of practicing social distancing. The closure includes active recreation areas where people may be in close contact. Parks, trails and beaches remain open for walking and activities that do not require close proximity and allow for the recommended six feet between people.
We encourage our Bellevue Downtown community to follow guidance from public health officials regarding social distancing and proper health etiquette if and when visiting businesses and public spaces. The priority for everyone is to take appropriate steps to limit the spread of COVID-19 and ensure our entire community remains healthy. Together, we’ll get through this.
We will continue to pull the latest information from King County Public Health, the City of Bellevue and other agencies on our website. See our dedicated COVID-19 resource page for more information.