Weird Pandemic Shutdown Stories
Quarantining and social distancing have taken their toll on us. Many of the places we love to visit have been closed or have restrictions on capacity.
Including movie theaters, libraries and museums. Plus ballparks, gyms and restaurants.
Hanging out at a local coffee shop never seemed like a luxury before. But for some of us, now it does.
We all want to return to normal. But that may not happen for a while. In the meantime, some people are adjusting to these trying times in unconventional ways. Let's look at a few of them.
Living Room Becomes Theater
One example is the father who was determined to bring some normalcy into his 21-year-old daughter's life.
Knowing how much Mia missed attending movies with friends, he transformed his living room into a movie theater.
Mia's dad wore a sweater vest, bow tie and cap, then took her "ticket" as she entered the room.
He escorted her to one of the recliners in the room, on which he had placed a number. "Enjoy the show," he said. He even served her popcorn and candy during the film.
Dad's Kind Gestures Go Viral
Mia recorded a video of her experience and posted it to social media. It received 24.6 million views.
In the first clip, Mia said, "Since we can't go to the movie theater right now, my dad decided to bring the movie theater to us."
Later, her father dressed up as a Starbucks barista to serve her a chai Frappuccino. Then he wore a McDonald's uniform and served her fries and a vanilla shake. Those videos were viewed widely as well.
After seeing the videos, one reader commented, "Protect your father at all costs." Another wrote, "Best dad award goes to... Mia's dad."
'The Littlest Bailout'
Not only brick and mortar places like theaters and restaurants are suffering from recent lockdowns. Even kids running lemonade stands are affected.
People are more hesitant these days to drink lemonade made in a home and served by children than they used to be.
So someone at Country Time, the powdered beverage company, came up with a great public relations idea.
They stimulus funds to children who stopped handing out lemonade due to COVID-19. Called "The Littlest Bailout," the program sends $100 to qualifying families.
Relief for Lemonade Stand Kids
Parents and guardians of children 14 or younger can submit a bailout application on behalf of their child through August 12.
A tweet from the group read, "The smallest of small businesses missing out on economic help? Not on our watch."
Andrew Deckert is a brand manager at Country Time. He said, "Due to social distancing guidelines, lemonade stands aren't what they used to be.
"We want to help kids foster their entrepreneurial spirit by giving a small relief to those who can't operate their lemonade stands this summer."
Barber Defies Governor
Most business owners follow state laws regarding closing their shops because of the virus. Karl Manke is not one of them.
Michigan Governor Gretchen Whitmer ordered places such as Karl Manke's Barber and Beauty Shop closed.
But the 77-year-old barber reopened in May, saying, "I need to support my family and I came back to work. Our governor is not my mother. If she takes my license, it will be the beginning of a police state."
The state did indeed suspend his licenses. But in early June, the Michigan Supreme Court voted unanimously in his favor. The publicity hasn't hurt Manke. He's now selling haircuts, t-shirts and books.
'Operation Haircut' Invades Capitol
Manke was joined by other barbers and hair stylists at a late June protest at the state capitol building in Lansing.
Dubbed "Operation Haircut," the event featured a protest against tickets some had received for performing services outside their licensed jurisdiction.
Manke called the issuing of tickets "a vindictive move on behalf of the governor because legally, there isn't a whole lot to stand (on)."
Manke's lawyer, David Kallman, said the governor's mandate should not be enforced because it was issued without the legislature's approval.
Stuffed Bears Stay Active
How are other people handling quarantining during the pandemic?
One family has placed two large, stuffed bears in their yard. The bears engage in different activities, complete with clothes and props.
One day a passerby might see the bears in bathtubs. The next day they're mowing the lawn or camping.
The homeowner said, "All our neighbors have been very supportive of the bears' daily activities... people turning onto our street (are) beaming with a smile at the sight of the bears' daily activities."
Mail Delivery With a Flair
One mailman is entertaining homeowners by dressing up in a different costume each day. Such as Waldo, a cheerleader and Cleopatra.
"Everybody is now coming to the door, waiting for me to come around. When the first person sees me on the round, they start to message their friends," he said. "So before I even get there, people are waiting at windows."
After COVID-19 took his job, another man started building mini-picnic benches for squirrels around his home. Sitting on top of the tiny picnic tables are baskets of nuts.
Realizing how popular the benches were becoming, he created an Etsy store and received 400 orders in the first 24 hours.
Just because we're social distancing doesn't mean we can't be creative. If you hear of other ways people are doing this, let me know.