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NCM staff's best and worst quarantine purchases

Some of our quarantine buys are life changers. The others will probably end up at the next neighborhood garage sale.
Credit: NCM

MAINE, USA — Let's be honest. During quarantine, we've been bored, like really bored. So much so that some of us turned to online shopping to try and create some excitement. Whether it’s a tie-die sweatsuit, viral beauty product, or new household item, almost everyone in the NEWS CENTER Maine newsroom came up with something they are—or aren't —proud to show off. 

The purchases:

Amanda Hill:

BEST: Girl… clip-on bangs. 

Credit: Amanda Hill

Aimee Lafreniere, Program and Promotion Specialist 

  • BEST: An Instant Pot! Incidentally, I bought it “like new” from a person who had posted it on Facebook Marketplace, and I got it for about 30% of retail! I make AMAZING Indian food in it 
  • WORST: 3 different “fitness programs”: I’ve used two of them twice each and one not at all. I just don’t like doing a yoga “class” via my iPhone, or salsa dancing alone in my living room…. 

Krister Rollins, producer

  • BEST: My girlfriend and I bought a house.
  • WORST: There's this berry-flavored seltzer that's now sitting in the back of the fridge of our new house.

Maddy Raynor, producer

  • BEST: Bought a surfboard
  • WORST: Boxed hair dye – RIP

Myk Albert, Big Ole Fish host: 

  • BEST: Hi-Speed Internet 
  • WORST: Fishnet masks

Jess Yario, producer

  • BEST: New house
  • WORST: The flying squirrels that came with the new house

Erin Keller, Digital Content Producer

  • BEST: Handband flashlight that I wear to walk my dog 
  • WORST: A LED facemask that I think burnt my face....I Googled it and don't think that's possible, but my face has been super red since I used it...
Credit: Erin Keller

Chris Bernazznai, Director of Digital Sales

  • BEST: I bought a condemned house next door to mine
  • WORST: 5 boxes of Good Seasons Italian Dressing and I paid $25 for 6 rolls of toilet paper last March

Roslyn Flaherty, Multiskilled Journalist  

  • WORST: Everything I bought I did NOT need

Sebastian Bennage, photojournalist

  • BEST: Camping equipment
  • WORST: The 30 cans of chicken noodle soup for quarantine that's still sitting in the pantry.

Jacob Richards, photojournalist  

  • BEST: Hair clippers (Many other good purchases but this is useful and saves me money!)
  • WORST: The used PS3 that I had to have to play a childhood video game. The last time I turned on the console was 5 months ago and I'm still not finished the game

Peggy Keyser, 207 contributor

  • This might not be best/worst but perhaps 'dumbest'. Part of how I got through the long winter months of the pandemic was deep cleaning my dog-hair-filled house. I was kind of manic about cleaning. Anyway -- one day as I was scrolling - these came in to view and I was like 'YES. I NEED THOSE." They do absolutely nothing. If you look closely you can see the dog hair ON them, but -- uh, there is dog hair ON everything in my house. So I bought... six I think. And of course, as I was checking out, it said "Buy three more for only $10" and I thought -- WHAT A FREAKIN DEAL" so I bought three more. I have them all over the house, and -- as far as I can tell then do absolutely nothing. Sigh. I SO thought I was getting out in front of all those harmful pollutants here in South Portland.
Credit: Peggy Keyser

Jeff Schools, Director of Digital Content

  • BEST: My Bluetooth/WiFi grilling temp monitors. It comes with an app. It’s glorious 

Rebecca Stefansky, Executive Producer 

  • BEST: Puzzles
  • WORST: Phish Puzzle
Credit: Rebecca Stefansky
Credit: Rebecca Stefansky

Bill Taylor, director: 

  • BEST: Bose Surround Sound system for my home theatre. 
  • WORST: Toilet paper imported from China through Amazon. Ouch!

Mike Slifer, meteorologist 

  • BEST: Bike. Kept me sane/out of the house!
  • WORST: Vitamin D Lamp. Cumbersome and kind of a pain, plus we didn’t feel any different after using it for a while

Hannah Yechivi, multiskilled journalist  

  • BEST: a flight to Florida
  • WORST: Chocolate peppermint pretzels

Isaac Luken, producer

  • BEST: Bike
  • WORST: Ethernet Cable Splitter, because my wife barely worked from home

Aaron Twombly, photojournalist  

  • WORST: Early on in the pandemic when there was a mask shortage and everyone was in a general state of panic I bought this. Allegedly the best kind of filter. I thought “I’m fairly handy I can make masks for my family.” It was comforting and my “best” purchase in that moment. Now? I wish I had my $12.


Credit: NCM