1. Make a Mask If you've been to the Home Depot, it's no secret that many pandemic essentials--N95 face masks in particular--are out of stock indefinitely. You also may have read that the CDC is considering a recommendation that everybody don face masks whenever they venture outside their homes to shop for essentials (never mind the aforementioned chicken-and-egg conundrum that said face masks are nowhere to be found). So what to do? Enter a maker movement of DIY enthusiasts who are creating their own masks using open-source templates, including this one from The New York Times. Closer to home, Leadville's crazy-popular outdoor clothing brand, Melanzana, has retooled its storefront factory to produce face masks that Lake County's first responders can use to augment N95 masks, which are in short supply. And in Vail Village, a sewing circle of nurses and healthcare workers have been hard at work in the basement at Vail Health, recycling surgical material to create a stockpile of supplementary face masks for the hospital, and Eagle County's first responders. You can do your part by joining a countywide movement, "Masks for the Eagle River Valley," using materials you have at home and Vail Health's mask-making instructions to create a supply for you and your family, and local first responders, paying it forward to those on the front lines.
2. Support Your Local Bookseller, and Stock Your Pantry Long before the pandemic, two Stay-At-Home-Order lifesavers--Amazon and the Kindle--had made life difficult for one business in particular: local booksellers. The Bookworm of Edwards is no exception. While margins have always been thin, once the pandemic hit, the book nook that has long occupied a corner of the Riverwalk is struggling for its survival. Earlier this week, Nicole Magistro e-mailed this plea to customers:
"When I started working at the store, I was 25 years old. The Bookworm was a 650-square foot shop with a tiny-but-mighty clientele. A voracious reader, my dream was to buy this independent bookshop and build it into a community gathering place. After a lot of hard work and some savings and loans, that dream came true. In 2007, my husband Zach and I, and my then-business partner Kristi and her husband Mike, literally built up our current space with our own hands. We laid the wood floors, enlisted family to help build the book cases, installed tile, set up a commercial kitchen. It was going to be amazing, and it was. The next year the great recession hit. And all we could do was work. There was no other option. Failure was not in our vocabulary. In the fall of 2010, we expanded -- adding 1,000 square feet and 20 cafe seats to our footprint in less than 30 days. As it turned out, I was painting polyurethane on book cases when I found out I was pregnant. Silas was born in the summer of 2011. We celebrated 15 years in business in 2012, then 20 years in 2017. The Bookworm was awarded with a James Patterson grant, a Pannell Award. I judged the Kirkus Prize for fiction. In January of this year, I was recognized with the Entrepreneurial Excellence Award by the American Booksellers Association for our Adopt-A-Reader program. There were signs that, despite popular belief that indie bookstores were going extinct, we made it. We defied the odds. Today, I know it's this amazing community that we have to credit. And I know it's the same community who got us here who can get us there -- to the other side of a national pandemic. To the other side of fear and despair. I always knew hope was something I believed in. And as it turns out, so do you. Please donate to keep this dream alive."
As of Tuesday (March 31), 395 donors had responded to Magistro's GoFundMe campaign, raising more than $58,000 of the $75,000 needed to keep the business afloat. You can ante in, but you can also do your part by shopping online and buying Bookworm merch instead of Amazon, browsing the store's curated collection of "Items for Isolation," from board games to staff-selected must-reads. Or stock up on staples for your pantry, or sign up for a $25 weekly soup subscription, and receive a half-gallon of homemade soup and eight rolls, food for your soul.
3. Work Out From Home Vail Valleyites are famously fit. But what to do when your favorite gym is closed, and your HIIT routine has been disrupted? Go online. While many nationally known fitness gurus are hawking age-of-coronavirus virtual gym sessions, including the founder of Solidcore (Michelle Obama's go-to workout), our local experts have responded in kind. At GOAT Training (an Edwards gym favored by the valley's internationally ranked whitewater rafting team) John Mark Seelig has been posting daily workouts on Instagram, and this week began offering three daily live-streamed classes (at 7:15 & 10 a.m. and 5 p.m., Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays; $20 per class, $170 for a 10-workout punchcard). Another option (and our favorite): The virtual workouts that Tam Donelson (co-founder and coach at The Cycle Effect, endurance athlete, and personal trainer at the Athletic Club at the Westin, which also offers its own virtual gym) broadcasts via Youtube (Mondays and Wednesdays at 4 pm) for the Cycle Effect's MTB team live from her Edwards living room, with adorable pooch, Zeke (the workouts are free and open to all, but you can donate to the cause here).
4. Order Takeout Beer & Booze Thankfully the Governor's Stay At Home Order allows for travel to local liquor stores, restaurants, and brewpubs offering take-home liquid comfort. Local restaurants like Avon's Vin 48 have adapted to the pandemic with to-go orders delivered curbside to your vehicle (Mon, Wed, Fri, 4-7 pm; 48 E Beaver Creek Blvd, Avon; 970-748-9463; vin48.com) and 25% off selections from the restaurant's namesake wine cellar, as well as higher-octane bottles of bourbon and rye distilled in Eagle by 39 North. In Eagle-Vail, Vail Brewing Company (noon-5 pm; 41290 US Hwy 6, Eagle-Vail, 970-470-4351; vailbrewingco.com) has been selling canned beer like hotcakes. This week's new release, available in crowlers (and later this week in 4-pack cans to go): Social Distancing Hazy IPA. Also available at the pub: takeout from Rocky Mountain Taco, serving to-go orders of street taco faves (like the joint's locally famous veg-friendly Hippie Crack) from 11 am-5pm (same hours at another food cart at the Avon Transit Center, and RMT's just-opened bricks-and-mortar HQ on Minturn's Main Street, the new home of the World's Most-best Taco, and the Valley's Most-Best Burger: a quarter-pounder with cabbage slaw, bacon, cheddar, and Korean BBQ sauce on brioche; 291 Main St, Minturn; 970-393-5187; rockymountaintaco.com).
5. Treat Yourself (To a DIY Dinner & Wine Tasting) Root & Flower, Vail Village's nirvana for oenophiles had just debuted its swanky, long-anticipated expansion on Bridge Street when the pandemic hit. But the wine bar pivoted, delivering hand-picked selections to local doorsteps, along with its line of creative cocktails mixed in to-go containers (this week's special: the spicy and refreshing Desert Solitaire; $32/375 ml, $89/l). Last weekend, the wine bar debuted a virtual wine tasting event. On deck this week: Friday Night DIY Dinner for Two, the wine bar's locally famous meatballs and marinara, paired with cocktails for two, and a bottle of red selected by sommelier Jeremy Campbell ($90, free pickup from noon-5 pm Friday; $10 delivery for addresses from Vail to Edwards, $20 from Eagle to Gypsum; 288 Bridge St., Vail Village; 970-470-4189; rootandflowervail.com). Order ahead, and come Friday, you'll have everything you need for a quarantine-style date night: a partially prepared meal kit including pasta you boil, meatballs you mix with portioned herbs then simmer in red sauce, with cocktails to sip, then wine to savor. Gratuity, candlelight, and your boo not included.