As the COVID-19 Pandemic continues to affect the globe, mandatory social distancing and quarantining grow rapidly throughout the nation. NYC in particular is taking a huge blow with over 38,000 confirmed cases, along with the 914 deaths as of Sunday, according to the New York Times. Schools are shut down, leaving many students stranded in terms of activities to do (outside of online school sessions). I sympathize with this, as I too hadn’t any idea of what I was going to do being stuck at home all day. I know it can be tempting to brush off warnings of not going outside during these trying times, when you’re a bored teenager who doesn’t think they’ll be affected. But, I should reiterate that NYC has the most confirmed cases in the U.S. (and growing), and that’s definitely not because we stay inside all day. So, to flatten the curve and stimulate the minds, I’ve created a quick list of quarantine activities you can do to keep yourselves busy and stop the unnecessary spread of COVID-19. For the love of everyone please stay home.
- Learn a New Language
They weren’t kidding when they said you have the world at your fingertips. Language learning apps like Duolingo, exist for a reason: To help bored teenagers learn how to speak French, so they’re prepared for that study abroad trip to Paris! Well, maybe not that reason solely, but you get the picture. If French isn’t your thing, that’s okay. The app has a wide range of languages to learn. For example, Spanish, German, Russian, Italian, Navajo, Swahili, Hindi, and Latin, to name a few. I’d also like to add that just because Latin is a dead language, doesn’t mean it’s useless. The majority of words in the English language are taken from Latin. Knowing the roots of Latin words can help you understand the English meanings of a lot of big complicated SAT words. Latin’s also used to scientifically classify species so if you’re interested in biology, it wouldn’t hurt to learn it.
2. Learn to play an instrument
Like learning a language, learning how to play an instrument can be just as accessible. Ever wanted to learn how to play guitar? How about piano? Maybe the ukulele? Say no more, the Yousician app awaits you at the app store! Although this app is meant for those with the instruments they already want to play in their possession, I still have something for those who don’t have instruments at home and still want to learn. Simply Piano by JoyTunes teaches you how to play piano right on your phone, without the need for an actual instrument. Piano is the best instrument to start out on as its easier to understand the placement and movement of the notes. I’ll also say the Music Tutor app is where all beginners should start. This app helps you understand sheet music. You need to know how to read notes before you play any instrument so I’ll leave that here as well. Basically, you’ll learn which notes make which sounds and what they’re represented by.
3. Catch up on Reading
Reading is an essential skill to have. It can help strengthen your vocabulary, writing, and give you different perspectives, depending on what you read. If you’re at home, looking to read something new, but can’t because the library is closed, let me introduce you to Brooklyn Public Library’s eBook service. Library card holders can access 400,000 different eBooks on the website. If you don’t have a library card, that’s alright. There’s also a section where you can sign up for one to get access to eBooks. Besides books, I also suggest reading the news. Read the New York Times, catch up on current events, see what’s going on in the world around you. But also, be careful what you read. Make sure your information comes from a valid, unbiased source. Don’t be misinformed. Even after you find a source you think is valid, it wouldn’t hurt to find other sources to corroborate whatever it is they’re saying before you believe it. Better safe than sorry. This way, you can avoid looking like the people who think that Facebook post about Corona Virus coming from Aliens from the planet Xoltar is real.
4. Arts and Crafts
The artists are having a field day with this quarantine because they’ve never had more time to draw. Take up a pencil, pen, marker, your medium of preference and let that creativity work! If drawing’s not your niche, YouTube’s DIY channels are just a click away. Brush up on your origami, make paper flowers, learn how to sew, make a face mask. The possibilities are endless! Don’t let a pandemic ruin your creative spirit. Take this as an opportunity to find your craft and perfect it.
5. Indoor Physical Activities
If you haven’t a workout regimen, right now is the perfect time to start one. I know a lot of you are the active type that always need to have something to do, so, why not channel that hyperactivity into something good for your health? Just because you can’t go outside, doesn’t mean you can’t work out. Improve your flexibility with morning yoga. Strengthen your muscles with muscular activities like sit ups and push ups. Plank, squat, lift weights, build up that muscular endurance! If you’re already one that has a workout routine and are determined to running that 4 miles everyday, please be sure to follow the rules of social distancing. You should go out early in the morning, I’m talking like 5-6. Also, you need to stay away from people (at LEAST 6 ft), avoid crowded areas, try to run in open areas, don’t touch anything and wash your hands immediately when you get back inside.
6. Watch Shows and Films
I’m not going to say that this is the alternative to reading because it’s not, but I will say that films are great mediums of storytelling. Netflix and Hulu are both great streaming services with a plethora of choices. If you’re into horror and looking for some recommendations, as a fellow horror fanatic, I recommend anything on Netflix that’s based on Stephen King. Speaking of Netflix, I think one thing the streaming service does really well is their documentaries, so I’d also recommend those. Anytime you can learn about someone or thing in a film, I say watch it. Watch war films, true crime, historic, and science and nature documentaries, and learn everything you can about whatever it is that interests you. Try to balance fun entertainment with learning.
7. Talk to Friends
Just because we’re practicing social distancing, doesn’t mean your relationships have to suffer. Reach out to your friends and family via call or text. Group face-time with your friend group and make sure everybody’s feeling alright. And if you aren’t, don’t be afraid to say you’re not. This pandemic situation is stressful, everyone is being affected. Believe me, if they’re real, they’ll understand. One app I recommend is House Party. It allows you to play games with your friends on video call. If you have family overseas, send them a text on Whatsapp. Make sure they’re staying safe too, as this is a global health problem.
I know sometimes it may not feel like it, but you really are contributing to the stop of spreading COVID-19 by staying inside. It’s important for us, in big cities especially, to take this seriously and do our part. Wash your hands, don’t touch your face, and as always, remember to stay safe.