You probably saw the memes, where introverts are smug about the quarantine being easy for them, laughing at extraverts getting crazy. Truth is a tad more subtle, as everyone needs human contact, and this is the time when even the introverts start pulling hair from their heads. Flatmates and spouses argue, kids run around yelling that they’re bored, people provoke each other and demand attention. And on top of that, God, hasn’t the weather been great lately after six months of rain, at least in here.
Those of you who thought that there will be coronaboomers, as couples will get jiggy with it out of sheer boredom and time spent together, and while this might be true to some extent, we have to remember that uncertain future and stressful news all around are not a good aphrodisiac, rather on the contrary.
What can I do on quarantine?
Most countries in the world right now have a degree of lockdown. What you can and cannot do is up to your government and you need to check yourself what is allowed and what is not. In the UK, the laws were relaxed until recently, in Poland you will be fined about 5000 złoty (average lower class person ears about 2000 – 2500 złoty/month) and for breaking the quarantine up to 30000 zł. Opening a pub or throwing a party can also get you imprisonment. In Spain, there is army on streets, while in China things begin to slowly come back to normal life again, as of the moment of writing this text.
Often what you can and cannot do will depend on your local, city or province, management rather than the country-wide policy, although a state-wide law might also apply. While I could list those restrictions for some places, I will not do it, as situation changes very rapidly. I can only advise you against getting information from press, social media or friend circles, go straight to government websites and check there.
Now, what to do on quarantine to avoid going insane?
So, what to do to stay connected to everyone?
- Videochat with friends. Use https://zoom.us/ or https://www.skype.com/en/ for it, or you can use https://www.whatsapp.com/ or https://www.kik.com/. Whatsapp is used by most of the world, while for some reason the Americans prefer Kik, both are a good idea.
- Play a distance tabletop game. Invite friends to play an online tabletop game, such as https://tabletopia.com/. If you speak some Polish, you can try https://www.kurnik.pl/.
- Play an ancient game called “Battleship” in English. It is what some of us born before the smartphone age did in classes. Now, with computers, it can be developed by many people. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Battleship_(game)
- Synch watching tv series or movies together. Turn on the text chat (for example on mobile) and then prepare the streaming (for example, on laptop). On laptops or PC you can turn on both chat and streaming, and just resize windows i.e. so that the movie is 80% of the screen to the right, and chat is 20% of the screen to the left. When both of you are ready, write “GO” and then both of you will start at the same time. If you need to pause (for instance, because Internet is being naughty), write “STOP”. Big part of the fun is commenting on things in the chat.
- Give people advice because why not. Remember how you always felt that some people just don’t know any better, but have a compulsive need to advise others? Or how you sometimes enjoy doing the same? Psst, just register https://www.quora.com/. The site works like it was made for this.
- Talk to people from around the world! The safest and best website for this is old good https://www.interpals.net/. I have been using it for 8 years, made many friends, and met my girlfriend while chatting there. I recently wrote like 10 people from Spain, 10 from Iran, 10 from Italy, 10 from China, 10 from US and asked them how are they doing with the quarantine and what things did they see on streets lately. You are not going to believe some of the fascinating stories people share with you.
- Register on hobby forums and start chatting. Think of your hobbies.
- Now, I don’t think I need to tell video gamers what to do, but how about doing something different than brainless, pointless grinding for exp? If you have a penchant for writing, engage in text roleplaying. While often cringeworthy, if you find good partners, you can write masterpieces and enjoy the video game on a whole another level. One time, I might write an article about how to roleplay online.
- Get a headset and voicechat with people, invite your friends for this, or if they shyly suggest it, accept.
- Do something for your homies. If you do have companions at home – a loved one, parents or siblings, pets, think what they would like, and do it for them. For example, announce that today you do all the dishes, or will clean the flat. Go repair all lightbulbs and repair the loose doorknobs, if you have the tools and parts already, fix the sink. Go around with your companions and discuss what would you renovate and how, what picture to put where.
Things to do to improve and entertain yourself.
- Catch up with tv series and movies, with books and games. Also known as ‘the obvious to do on quarantine’.
- Ride a bike, if you can. If it’s still legal in your place, take the bike and go for a short ride. It’s boring to go for a walk all alone, but riding a bike alone is a different story, it’s fun and engaging. Besides, it’s the safest way now to traverse the city anyway. Take your camera, and take historical pictures. In a few years from now, you will come back to it and think of what times did we have in 2020.
- Start a blog! It’s how this whole website started.
- Open an e-commerce business. In other words: sell things online! Let that economy still run, and earn some extra euros, bucks or quid, or any other space shells you Zeta Reticulans use to buy food, water and TP. Just don’t rush it, research a little first, to make sure you’re OK with the law.
- Cook. There are thousands of recipes to try out, seriously, and now you have all the time you wanted for it.
- Meditate. Just not drunk, please.
- Clean the whole house, think of renovating. Perhaps redesign your living place to refresh it?
- Plan your next travel when this is all over. Travel businesses is in serious trouble now, many travel agencies will fall. But you do not need them, really, you can plan the entire travel yourself, and prices are really expected to fall now.
- Learn languages. Install Duolingo and learn words and grammar every day, practice pronunciation.
- Work out indoors. Don’t exactly have a gym? Don’t worry. Squats, pushups, crunches and plank do not require any equipment.
This should help a lot already.
Still bored? I prepared for you a set of links to other websites, some of them having put significant time to prepare a comprehensive list of things to do. Enjoy.
- USA Today: “100 things to do while stuck inside due to a pandemic”.
- NYTimes: “Readers’ Ideas for Finding Community and Cheer at Home”.
- Los Angeles Times: “100 ideas for activities you can do at home this weekend”.
- Things to do in Geneva: “CORONA VIRUS: THINGS TO DO AT HOME (IN SELF-QUARANTINE)”.
- Psychology Today: “8 Things to Do While Under Quarantine”.
- Urban Matter: “12 Things To Do Indoors During Your Coronavirus Self-Quarantine”.