Important Things We've Learned During Cincinnati Quarantine (and Hope to Remember Moving Forward)

Chances are, if you are a human on the planet Earth, you’ve recently spent the last four to six weeks (or more) in some type of quarantine — self-imposed, government-mandated or a combination of both. Unless, of course, you’re a health care worker, essential employee or have other extenuating circumstances that meant you couldn’t safely lock yourself away at home while figuring out what household textile to use as makeshift toilet paper or whether to binge Tiger King or Love Is Blind first. So why has the entire world come to a collective halt? Because we have no immunity to the novel coronavirus COVID-19, a highly contagious and what seems to be highly deadly (to certain people) respiratory illness that has overwhelmed hospitals across the world, infecting more than 3.5 million people and killing more than 248,000 globally from January to May, according to Johns Hopkins University. There’s no real treatment (no, you cannot inject yourself with disinfectant or beams of light) and no vaccine, although scientists, medical professionals, researchers and Bill Gates are scrambling to find both. In the meantime, social distancing has been a stop-gap measure to help contain the spread of COVID-19 and “flatten the curve,” everyone’s favorite phrase for using isolation to decrease the amount of humans infected with the virus to avoid inundating the health care system and killing everyone. So, yes, we did acquire a new viral vocabulary during quarantine, but what else have we learned in the midst of this global pause? And what meaningful lessons about empathy, resilience and our shared humanity will we take with us as we move forward — masked and hand-sanitized — into the future? Other than to be a better person and never take restaurants for granted again...
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John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge
Between Covington and downtown Cincinnati
Originally conceived as the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge, the Roebling Bridge officially opened to traffic, connecting the two riverfronts, on January 1, 1867. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. For over 150 years — after much upkeep and refortification — the castle-like columns have stood tall on the Ohio River and have since become a trademark of the city’s skyline. Pedestrians are free to cross the bridge and admire the craftsmanship along the way to their destination.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

John A. Roebling Suspension Bridge

Between Covington and downtown Cincinnati
Originally conceived as the Cincinnati-Covington Bridge, the Roebling Bridge officially opened to traffic, connecting the two riverfronts, on January 1, 1867. At the time, it was the longest suspension bridge in the world. For over 150 years — after much upkeep and refortification — the castle-like columns have stood tall on the Ohio River and have since become a trademark of the city’s skyline. Pedestrians are free to cross the bridge and admire the craftsmanship along the way to their destination.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
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1. What six feet apart actually looks like.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which basically means standing six feet apart from each other so you can’t spew infected goo droplets onto other people. But “six feet” is a difficult concept to understand for those with no spatial awareness. So here are things that take up six feet: two averaged-sized dogs standing nose to tail, two grocery carts, a dude in a top hat laying on the ground, a dining room table, a bathtub, three arm spans and about one and 1/5ths Danny DeVitos. 
Photo: Markus Spiske/Pexels

1. What six feet apart actually looks like.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends people practice social distancing to help stop the spread of COVID-19, which basically means standing six feet apart from each other so you can’t spew infected goo droplets onto other people. But “six feet” is a difficult concept to understand for those with no spatial awareness. So here are things that take up six feet: two averaged-sized dogs standing nose to tail, two grocery carts, a dude in a top hat laying on the ground, a dining room table, a bathtub, three arm spans and about one and 1/5ths Danny DeVitos.
Photo: Markus Spiske/Pexels
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2. There are multiple names for the same disease.
The novel coronavirus, in the same family as SARS and MERS, goes by COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. And it went by a third name — the “Chinese virus” — but President Trump decided to stop using the term, which he coined, in late March after many pointed out it was pretty racist. Although, to be fair, the 1918 flu pandemic is still called the “Spanish Flu” and one can imagine several Spanish people took issue with that.
Photo via NIAID / CC BY

2. There are multiple names for the same disease.

The novel coronavirus, in the same family as SARS and MERS, goes by COVID-19 or SARS-CoV-2. And it went by a third name — the “Chinese virus” — but President Trump decided to stop using the term, which he coined, in late March after many pointed out it was pretty racist. Although, to be fair, the 1918 flu pandemic is still called the “Spanish Flu” and one can imagine several Spanish people took issue with that.
Photo via NIAID / CC BY
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3. The literal shape of COVID-19.
Looks like a Koosh ball or the iPhone germ emoji.
Photo via Centers For Disease Control and Prevention

3. The literal shape of COVID-19.

Looks like a Koosh ball or the iPhone germ emoji.
Photo via Centers For Disease Control and Prevention
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4. What a pangolin is.
These cute-ass scaly anteaters are thought to have been an intermediate host for COVID-19, which may have jumped from bat to pangolin to human in a wet market in Wuhan, China — where the virus originated. In light of the pandemic, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture recently released a list of approved terrestrial animals that can be used for food; pangolins did not make an appearance. So it seems best to avoid eating them. Or bats. Or humans.
Photo via MichalPL / CC BY-SA

4. What a pangolin is.

These cute-ass scaly anteaters are thought to have been an intermediate host for COVID-19, which may have jumped from bat to pangolin to human in a wet market in Wuhan, China — where the virus originated. In light of the pandemic, the Chinese Ministry of Agriculture recently released a list of approved terrestrial animals that can be used for food; pangolins did not make an appearance. So it seems best to avoid eating them. Or bats. Or humans.
Photo via MichalPL / CC BY-SA
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5. How to not touch our faces.
Don’t. That’s how germs get into your body.
Photo: Josue Ladoo Pelegrin/Pexels

5. How to not touch our faces.

Don’t. That’s how germs get into your body.
Photo: Josue Ladoo Pelegrin/Pexels
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6. To always have at least two weeks’ worth of toilet paper.
Do. That’s how you clean your butt.
Photo: Jasmin Sessler/Unsplash

6. To always have at least two weeks’ worth of toilet paper.

Do. That’s how you clean your butt.
Photo: Jasmin Sessler/Unsplash
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7. Every song with a 20-second chorus.
“Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others,” says the CDC. And the best way to keep your digits disease-free is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds — or the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice — over and over and over again throughout the day. So while the public was discovering the importance of timed hygiene, and the mind-numbing repetition of singing happy birthday to themselves, they also uncovered every other song with a 20-second chorus to break up the monotony of bathroom karaoke. The next time you wash your hands, trying singing the chorus to: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene;” “Queen’s “We Will Rock You;” Beyoncé’s “Love on Top;” Prince’s “Raspberry Beret;” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide;” Toto’s “Africa;” Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts;” or The Knack’s “My Sharona (Corona).”
Photo: Pexels

7. Every song with a 20-second chorus.

“Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others,” says the CDC. And the best way to keep your digits disease-free is to wash your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds — or the time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice — over and over and over again throughout the day. So while the public was discovering the importance of timed hygiene, and the mind-numbing repetition of singing happy birthday to themselves, they also uncovered every other song with a 20-second chorus to break up the monotony of bathroom karaoke. The next time you wash your hands, trying singing the chorus to: Dolly Parton’s “Jolene;” “Queen’s “We Will Rock You;” Beyoncé’s “Love on Top;” Prince’s “Raspberry Beret;” Fleetwood Mac’s “Landslide;” Toto’s “Africa;” Lizzo’s “Truth Hurts;” or The Knack’s “My Sharona (Corona).”
Photo: Pexels
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8. The virus has exposed racial disparities in the U.S.
The coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on the African-American community. In Michigan, for example, the group makes up 13.6 percent of the population but one-third of the state’s coronavirus cases and 41 percent of its deaths. Generations of discriminatory housing and economic practices have trapped many black people in economically depressed neighborhoods, where residents are far more likely to have pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. A disproportionate number of lower-income residents also work in the service industry, where employees are in close contact with the public.
Photo: ThisisEngineering RAEng/Unsplash

8. The virus has exposed racial disparities in the U.S.

The coronavirus has had a disproportionate impact on the African-American community. In Michigan, for example, the group makes up 13.6 percent of the population but one-third of the state’s coronavirus cases and 41 percent of its deaths. Generations of discriminatory housing and economic practices have trapped many black people in economically depressed neighborhoods, where residents are far more likely to have pre-existing health conditions like diabetes, asthma, high blood pressure, heart disease and obesity. A disproportionate number of lower-income residents also work in the service industry, where employees are in close contact with the public.
Photo: ThisisEngineering RAEng/Unsplash
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9. The names of so many governors.
And the surprising amount of power they wield.
Photo: The State of Ohio

9. The names of so many governors.

And the surprising amount of power they wield.
Photo: The State of Ohio
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10. All of our friends’ streaming passwords.
Photo: freestocks.org/Pexels

10. All of our friends’ streaming passwords.

Photo: freestocks.org/Pexels
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11. How to kill a man using a tiger and sardine oil.
Carole.
Photo: Michael Noonan / CC BY

11. How to kill a man using a tiger and sardine oil.

Carole.
Photo: Michael Noonan / CC BY
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12. Tigers can catch the coronavirus.
So can lions. Eight big cats at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19 after contracting it from a zoo staffer.
Photo: Fezbot2000/Unsplash

12. Tigers can catch the coronavirus.

So can lions. Eight big cats at the Bronx Zoo tested positive for COVID-19 after contracting it from a zoo staffer.
Photo: Fezbot2000/Unsplash
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13. House cats can also catch the coronavirus.
Two pet felines in New York state were confirmed to have the coronavirus in late April after most likely getting it from humans. The CDC now recommends the same social distancing protocols for animals as they do for people. No more cat parties.
Photo: Kristin Lopez/Unsplash

13. House cats can also catch the coronavirus.

Two pet felines in New York state were confirmed to have the coronavirus in late April after most likely getting it from humans. The CDC now recommends the same social distancing protocols for animals as they do for people. No more cat parties.
Photo: Kristin Lopez/Unsplash
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14. What the inside of every late night show host and TV anchor’s house looks like.
Jimmy Fallon has a slide. WCPO Chief Meteorologist Steve Raleigh has one giant-ass TV.
Photo: Mateus Maia/Unsplash

14. What the inside of every late night show host and TV anchor’s house looks like.

Jimmy Fallon has a slide. WCPO Chief Meteorologist Steve Raleigh has one giant-ass TV.
Photo: Mateus Maia/Unsplash
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15. WTF Zoom is.
And how to turn yourself into a talking potato.
Photo: cottonbro/Pexels

15. WTF Zoom is.

And how to turn yourself into a talking potato.
Photo: cottonbro/Pexels
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16. Ohioans stock up on liquor in times of distress.
The week in March that Gov. DeWine said all bars and restaurants would have to close to in-person service, Ohioans bought 437,507 gallons of liquor or $38.7 million worth — that’s a 63 percent year-over-year increase.
Photo : Waldemar Brandt/Unsplash

16. Ohioans stock up on liquor in times of distress.

The week in March that Gov. DeWine said all bars and restaurants would have to close to in-person service, Ohioans bought 437,507 gallons of liquor or $38.7 million worth — that’s a 63 percent year-over-year increase.
Photo : Waldemar Brandt/Unsplash
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17. How to make our own cocktails.
What to do with all that liquor? Cincinnati bar owner and mixologist Molly Wellmann began hosting a daily “5 O’clocktails” video series on Facebook in March where she showed viewers how to create a cocktail at home and provided a bit of the history behind each drink. Every video includes a link to a virtual tip jar to help support out-of-work employees from her bar, Japp’s. And she was just one of many local bartenders digitally showing us how to make a mixed drink.
Photo via Facebook.com/MollyWellmann

17. How to make our own cocktails.

What to do with all that liquor? Cincinnati bar owner and mixologist Molly Wellmann began hosting a daily “5 O’clocktails” video series on Facebook in March where she showed viewers how to create a cocktail at home and provided a bit of the history behind each drink. Every video includes a link to a virtual tip jar to help support out-of-work employees from her bar, Japp’s. And she was just one of many local bartenders digitally showing us how to make a mixed drink.
Photo via Facebook.com/MollyWellmann
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18. Theater marquees make great platforms for public announcements and encouragement.
Whether it was Clifton’s Esquire saying, “Could be worse, could be raining,” or Covington’s Madison Theater saying, “Wash your hands y’all,” these signs were put to good use. 
Photo: Hailey Bollinger

18. Theater marquees make great platforms for public announcements and encouragement.

Whether it was Clifton’s Esquire saying, “Could be worse, could be raining,” or Covington’s Madison Theater saying, “Wash your hands y’all,” these signs were put to good use.
Photo: Hailey Bollinger
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19. That we will never complain about having to wait two hours for a table at a restaurant again.
Remember eating at restaurants?
Photo via Facebook/TheEagleOTR

19. That we will never complain about having to wait two hours for a table at a restaurant again.

Remember eating at restaurants?
Photo via Facebook/TheEagleOTR
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