Pandemic Essentials: 11 Products Making Social Distancing Less Awful

Everything is awful. These products make things just a little bit better.

by Donna Freydkin
Originally Published: 

It’s hard to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the tunnel goes around unexpected curves. Such is life in the midst of a pandemic, when bad news follows good news and uncertainty hangs in the air like the punctuation of every sentence. We’re social-distancing, but others aren’t. We’re wearing masks, but others aren’t. We’re abstaining from putting bleach in our cocktails, but… well, you get the idea. But the one thing everyone is doing is trying to make the best of a bad situation. That’s doubly true for parents, who need all the help they can get. And, yes, sometimes material possessions can provide a meaningful assist.

What we collectively possess right now is time. We have time together — whether we want it or not — and our kids have time to themselves that they most assuredly do not want. The point isn’t to attack the time, much less kill it, but to reach reasonable compromises with the passing minutes and find enjoyment where possible. That’s where a bit of smart shopping can make a difference. Small pleasures change our relationship with time. They convince it to move with a bit more haste or to slow for passing pleasure. A little bit of indulgence can be, in the context of stress and anxiety, just what the epidemiologist ordered.

Here are the products that have made lockdown, quasi-lockdown, quarantine, peri-quarantine, and cautious socialization better for us and for our families. Indulgent? Sure, but smartly so.

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