There are some things to be aware of when thinking about the COVID-19.

First, the government WILL NOT ask you for your bank account number, credit card number, pay pal number or social security number in order for you to get money from the government.

There are NO test kits for the virus except the ones provided by medical professionals. Scammers are selling kits online and door to door, but they are fakes and will not detect the virus.

There are NO oils, pills, tinctures or anything else that will prevent or cure the virus.  Scammers will use the faces of celebrities they claim are endorsing a product, but it is all a fraud.

Teens, millennials and children are dying. If you know millennials who are still gathering outside in groups thinking they are immune to the deadly results they are wrong. Reports from China now confirm deaths in these groups. France and Italy have also noted infection and deaths in these groups.

A new study from National Institutes of Health, CDC, UCLA and Princeton University confirmed coronavirus is stable for several hours to days in aerosols and on surfaces for longer than first believed. The coronavirus was detectable in aerosols (like sneezes and coughs and air cleaners etc.) for up to three hours, up to four hours on copper, up to 24 hours on cardboard and up to two to three days on plastic and stainless steel.

Do not download Apps claiming to have real time information, one locks your phone and demands money to unlock it.

Do not give money to unknown charities claiming to be collecting for victims or research.

One telephone scam claims to be taking reservations for testing.  Another scam claims to be a doctor treating one of your relatives needing money for treatment.

Beware. If you experience any of these, report them immediately.

Enough of that. Now that you have been informed there is no need to fear, you know the facts.

On to something more fun!

Since we now have a captive audience in our homes what can we do to make this time worthwhile and fun? Schoolwork needs to be done but then what?  I have long been frustrated with our education system becoming more and more focused on testing and less concerned about teaching life skills. Disclaimer here, I graduated with a home economics education major and science minor. A few years ago, I was teaching a life skills class at our high school, a class they have now eliminated even though the students surveyed said they wanted more, I was amazed how little the students understood about real world challenges.

In one class, I stained old bed sheets and we spent the class period trying to get out the stains. One of the boys, yes boys, thanked me and told me he was going to save a lot of money now that he didn’t need to throw out a stained garment.

Think about the skills every human needs to have and teach them during this quarantine.

Everyone needs to eat. Teach children to cook and/or bake. There are many easy recipes for dinners, desserts and even breads. There are many, many tutorials on the web with simple instructions. So many are still ordering food from restaurants and picking it up even though their incomes are unsure or gone during this shelter in place. Why? They don’t know how to cook from scratch. Cooking from scratch saves money, lots of money,  and can enable us to increase the amount of disposable income we have to “play” with.

I have seen people panicked because they do not know how to cook from scratch. This is why Hot Pockets are sold out.  By the way, Nestles has now gone to making only pizza and ham and cheese Hot Pockets because they need to get them out quickly. Let us not put our children in the position that they do not understand how to feed their families.

Copy a food pyramid from the internet and keep track of the foods in each meal and snacks for a day or two. Now that you know the foods you are short, adjust your menu and help your children understand the importance of eating all the amounts recommended in each category, every day,  for optimum health.

Schools used to teach budgeting, no more. One the biggest concerns of doctors dealing with depression is the lack of money management skills among our millennials and teens. So many are frustrated and depressed due to financial concerns and those not concerned yet may be even more alarming. Now is a great time to teach money management to your children or grandchildren. We know teaching financial self-reliance is a concern and priority for the church. We don’t need to sit kids down in a classroom type teaching scenario, make it fun.

Begin today by making a list of expectations for which you will “pay” your children. Chores do not count but other household needs may. Also include expectations, no arguing, exercising 15 minutes, employers promote those who meet expectations and add to the positive culture in the office place.

Get out the games in your closet with “play” money and borrow the money.

Assign a dollar amount to each item you will pay for.

Set up your store. Place things in your store small toys, candy bars, cans of soda, gift certificates for a manicure by mom or a massage by dad etc.

Assign a cost to each item.

Now you are ready. Teach the kids they can save up for a more prized item or spend their money now. This will give you the opportunity to explain the difference between needs and wants and the rewards of saving up. Make a few items “expensive” so they need to be saved for. This works just as well for teens, you’ll just need to be a little more creative, fill the gas tank of their car, wash their car for them, gift certificate to their favorite fast food hang out.

When the crisis passes you will need to begin again saving up for those things you may have saved for, but now the money is gone.  For more complete instructions and helps visit

Do your children know how to use tools? Paying someone to perform simple repairs around the house is a great expense and so unnecessary in many cases. Build a simple box or stool and teach children to use a hammer. screw driver, saw, wood glue and more. Shop class was often a favorite but those have also disappeared. Many children may fall in love with creating and may desire to pursue a career in a related field. Those fields are great careers that pay very well.

Not everyone needs to attend college.

Speaking of college. If your child is a high school student begin now to make a list of all the activities your child has participated in during their high school years. Include service given, academic awards, sports participation and awards and leadership roles they have filled. You will need these for college and scholarship applications and it’s easy to miss items when facing a deadline.

Make this a time to have fun as a family while teaching life skills every person needs to know to be safe and feel secure during their adult years. Please comment here or at and share with us what you are doing during shelter in place.

Visit Carolyn’s Facebook page and the Totally Ready website for Coronavirus updates and help with your self-quarantine and self-reliance preparations. Please share what you are doing and learning as you self- quarantine.