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VICTOR JOECKS: 10 things to do during the coronavirus quarantine

With Gov. Steve Sisolak ordering the shutdown of schools and nonessential businesses, the coronavirus quarantine is here whether you like it or not.

Here are 10 things to do despite the many cancellations and shutdowns. This doesn’t include the obvious: Check on your family and friends and help those who are struggling.

1. Hike. It’s a lot easier to maintain social distancing when you’re not around a bunch of other people. That’s why going on a hike with someone you’re already quarantined with is a great option.

There are a number of terrific hikes around the Las Vegas Valley, even excluding the ever-popular Red Rock Canyon. Valley of Fire State Park is about an hour north of Las Vegas, and the scenery is like Red Rock multiplied by 100. As of now, state parks are open, but visitor centers are closed.

There are also plenty of good hiking trails at Mount Charleston, in Lake Mead National Recreation Area and around Hoover Dam. As a bonus, this is great hiking weather.

2. Play board games. If the last game you played was Monopoly, you’re in for a treat. Board games have come a long way from when you just rolled dice and moved around the board. Assuming you’re quarantined with another person, some of my favorite two-player games are Dominion, Lost Cities Card Game and Seven Wonders: Duel. If you have younger kids, Sushi Go is a fun game that has some strategy but doesn’t require reading. If you have any games you enjoy, email me.

3. Pray. If a pandemic sweeping across the world doesn’t induce you to pray, you probably aren’t quarantined with young children. In all seriousness, the specter of death is a good reminder that life on Earth is temporary but eternity isn’t. Now’s a good time to talk to God. Many churches have put their services online, too.

4. Complete projects you’ve been putting off. My handyman skills are somewhere on the spectrum between a 3-year-old playing with Legos and an artist sculpting with a sledgehammer. Needless to say, my wife’s honey-do list is longer than the honey-done list. I’m going to try to change that in the next couple of weeks. I bet there’s something you’re procrastinating over, too. Let’s both get to work.

5. Complete the census. Go to my2020census.gov and fill out the census. It’ll take five minutes and keep someone from having to come to your door.

6. Sign up for an absentee ballot. I hope this thing is over by June. But if it’s not, voting by absentee ballot is better than standing in line. You can request one by googling “Clark County absentee ballot request.”

7. Experience the shortages socialism produces regularly. Having food, water and toilet paper on store shelves requires an immense amount of coordination and logistical prowess. In a free-market country, shortages are rare and usually temporary. In socialist countries, such as Venezuela, shortages are a normal part of life. Shelves won’t be empty for long. Use them as an object lesson to help kids understand that having supplies available for purchase doesn’t happen by accident.

8. Give blood. This is worth getting out of the house for if you’re in a low-risk group. Local blood banks still need donations, but the widespread closures have resulted in reduced donations. You can find a place to donate by going to redcrossblood.org/give or bloodhero.com. Scheduling my appointment took only a couple of minutes.

9. Write a letter. Email is an incredible time saver, but during a quarantine, saving time isn’t the most pressing concern. Whom do you know who would appreciate receiving a handwritten letter?

10. Binge watch. We’re all doing it. My wife and I are currently watching “Blue Bloods” on Amazon. Our favorite series is “Monk,” and not just because emulating the show’s obsessive compulsive namesake is a pretty good idea right about now.

Email me some of your favorite shows and stay safe.

Victor Joecks’ column appears in the Opinion section each Sunday, Wednesday and Friday. Listen to him discuss his columns each Monday at 10 a.m. with Kevin Wall on 790 Talk Now. Contact him at vjoecks@reviewjournal.com or 702-383-4698. Follow @victorjoecks on Twitter.

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