What I’m Doing During the Pandemic

Gretchen Neary

Online Editor-in-Chief

The CDC has offered guidelines for staying safe during the COVID-19 pandemic as well as preventing the spread of the disease. One of these guidelines is social distancing. Social distancing is making a conscious effort to remain six feet away from people outside of your home, as well as choosing not to gather in groups, and staying away from public places unless it is essential. I hope everyone is adhering to these guidelines for the safety of yourself as well as our community. 

While it is a dramatic change from normal life, I have done my best to form new hobbies that fit this unfamiliar lifestyle. Here are my top eight activities…

1. Walks

At some points in the day, there is nothing to do but take a walk around the neighborhood. I’ve been racking up 10,000 steps on my FitBit daily. I’ve seen more neighbors walking, biking, and running in the past few weeks than the past few years. 

2. Animal Crossing

The Wii was an iconic staple of my childhood. Since Wii Sports Tennis and racing Yoshi around the Mario Kart track in 2009, I’ve been missing playing video games. To pass the time, my family decided to invest in a Nintendo Switch. The nostalgia is real! It brought back some great memories. I have joined the Animal Crossing frenzy sweeping the nation, and my brother and I have battled in the Grand Prix in Mario Kart many nights. 11/10 recommend.

3. Cooking

I know my boredom has reached a peak when I volunteer to cook dinner. However, I’ve been learning some new kitchen skills and have enjoyed making meals. I’ve made a Copycat Chipotle dinner, complete with chicken, black beans, white rice, and corn salsa. Tonight I’m making meatballs! I’ve also baked a bunch: oatmeal chocolate chip cookies, cookies and cream cookies, and banana bread. 

4. Needlepoint

I’m now realizing that I’ve become an 80 year old woman… but I will admit that I have started needlepoint. Right now, I’m working on a coaster. It’s relaxing!

5. Arts & Crafts

This goes along with needlepoint, but I’ve also enjoyed making friendship bracelets and painting. Certain craft stores are still open and you can drive by to pick up your supplies, when inspiration strikes.

6. Online Shopping

Now here is where social distancing becomes dangerous… the allure of online shopping has become stronger than ever. Many stores have been forced to shut down because they are non-essential businesses. So, most brands are having huge online sales. Nordstrom has many items 25-30% off, Nike is selling its shoes for 25% off, and many stores are offering free shipping. 

7. Reading

As Mr. Marshall said, learning never ends! I forgot how fun reading for pleasure is when you have the time! Some books I have read so far include “The Perks of Being a Wallflower” by Stephen Chbosky, “Little Fires Everywhere” by Celeste Ng, and “What Alice Forgot” by Liane Moriarty. If you’d rather listen to a story, Audible is offering students free access to their audiobooks.

8. Watching TV

When all else fails, Netflix, Hulu, and Disney+ it is. I’ve been binging “Criminal Minds” and “This is Us.” My other recommendations are “New Girl,” “Scandal,” “Royal Pains,” “Jane the Virgin,” and “Dynasty.”

I hope you and your families are staying safe and healthy. Please share any other ideas you have to pass the time while social distancing!

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