Nine ways to entertain yourself in quarantine


Hilary Rhodes Design

Health officials in Houston are urging people to stay home to slow the spread of the COVID-19.

Ella West

Additional reporting by Indrani Maitra

Headmaster Mark Desjardins announced on March 16 that due to mounting concerns surrounding COVID-19, St. John’s plans to continue distance learning starting March 30. The adjusted date provides teachers an extra week to prepare for online learning and allows any students who are traveling the opportunity to return home, if possible.

Doctors and medical professionals are imploring the public to engage in “social distancing,” which involves avoiding situations with more than 10 individuals. 

Young people without immunocompromised conditions, such as asthma or diabetes, are less likely to be severely impacted by the virus. Nevertheless, youth can be asymptomatic carriers and can thus seriously affect the people around them. As per medical experts, total social distancing is crucial to prevent the proliferation of infection. That includes youth. 

Because the thought of spending three straight weeks with your family may be daunting, we have compiled a list of activities to help you survive social distancing and self-quarantining. 

1. Learn a New Language

Social distancing creates an ideal environment for learning a new language or even sharpening your current linguistic abilities. In the digital era, there are numerous tools available for language learning, ranging from apps such as Duolingo or HelloTalk to foreign-language subtitled films on Netflix. According to Spanish teacher Margarita Serrano, watching TV shows or movies with subtitles in the language you are trying to learn can be extremely beneficial and lead to a new level of fluency and comprehension, so go ahead and binge a new series. For book lovers, you can even start reading children’s books in your desired language. 

2. Collect Driving Hours

This one is for the freshman and sophomores, unless you are one of the many juniors and seniors at SJS who enjoy the thrill of procrastination. Your parents and siblings in college are probably working from home right now. With little to no traffic on the roads, it is time to figure out the difference between the gas pedal and the brake. You probably do not have much to do right now, so make driving a priority. Who knows? Maybe by the end of the self-quarantine, you will have all of the hours you need to get a license and parents who never want to drive with you again. 

3. Complete a School Paper/ Project

The feelings that come with procrastination can be some of the worst. You currently hold the power to get rid of those feelings by simply completing large projects now. Just work a little bit at a time and avoid that inevitable flood of panic that comes when you realize you have a paper due the next day. 

4. Go for a Run (Bring a Dog!)

The only ones excited about social distancing are your furry friends. For athletes who need to stay in shape but are trying to avoid the gym, running is the perfect escape. Adding your dog is an exciting bonus and allows for an excuse to stay six feet away from the people around you in accordance with CDC guidelines. For those who prefer relaxed exercise, walking your dog will be just as thrilling and is a great way to get you both out of the house. If you live around a grocery store, you can even order your goods online and walk to the store to pick them up from the curbside. 

5. Foster a Dog or Cat

If you felt left out by that last section about walking your dog, I have the perfect solution — foster. The prospect of bringing a new critter into the house can always be intimidating, but each year hundreds of dogs are abandoned in Houston and need a home. If you are tired of sitting around the house, fuel your energy into taking care of a dog or cat that is looking for a new family. 

6. Try Out Makeup Trends

Break out that untouched, beautiful palette and experiment with the craziest make-up trends. From glitter cheeks to the perfect cat eye, you have ample time to master a complicated look. In addition, social media will be packed with videos from makeup artists who are also practicing social distancing. 

7. Dye Your Hair

This is an ambitious option, but it is still a great distraction. In order to keep out of grocery stores, there are plenty of dyes you can find on Amazon. Be sure to check the reviews to confirm the quality of the dye. 

8. Learn New TikTok Dances

This one may be a little unexpected, but you would be surprised at how entertaining learning short dances can be. Some are extraordinarily easy while some can take days to master. It’s also a fun way to get your family involved — nothing is more intimidating than an entire family that can Renegade. Even learning a TikTok dance by yourself connects you to a larger community that can also throw it back. 

9. FaceTime Friends

This one is probably pretty obvious, but staying in contact with your friends is important in times like this. Mental health can decline when you are removed from simple social interactions. It is important to remember there are people in your life that care about you. FaceTiming is a simple way to stay involved in your community. 

Social distancing is certainly challenging, but it is absolutely the right thing to do.  Remember, there are members of the community both at St. John’s and in the city and beyond who need us to do our part so that they can stay healthy. Now is the time for our generation to demonstrate that we are willing to do what is needed to make the world safe for others, but there is no reason that we can’t have fun while doing so!