This time three weeks ago I was agonizing over Super Tuesday election results; my biggest worry was my employment status (update: still unemployed!). Then came coronavirus, and everything changed really quickly. Within a matter of days, I went from agonizing over my birthday outfit to questioning whether or not I’ll make it to my next birthday.
Day by day the disease spreads, infecting some and even killing others. Universities shut down, weddings canceled, supermarket lines tripled. Countries went on lockdown, travel bans in full effect, and companies filed for bankruptcy. For the first time in my life, I find myself in the midst of a global pandemic and emergency nothing could have prepared me for.
And still, the worst is yet to come.
I wake up every day at noon and reach for my phone to see how the world has changed. Every time my mom coughs, a lump forms in my throat. My days consist of oversleeping, overeating, and going on a lot of jogs where I mainly wave enthusiastically at other pedestrians (my small contribution to repairing the collective human spirit). Even stepping out to get groceries or pick up takeout feels like a dance with the devil. And I’m one of the lucky ones. I have the privilege of binging Parks and Recreation in an airconditioned home with running water while healthcare and grocery store workers scramble along the frontlines.
For those of you simply stuck at home, it’s okay to be bored as long as you acknowledge your privilege (and this is a reminder to myself first). Whenever I find myself getting restless, I try to remind myself how lucky I am to have no real responsibilities right now. In times like this, however, it’s important to do what we can to hold our communities together in small ways, like buy a gift card to support a local business or offer to pick up groceries for an elderly or immunocompromised neighbor. Mostly, social distance and as hard as it is, try not to go crazy.
Here are some ways how:
- Read the interpretation and meaning of every song in Lorde’s discography
- Watch the short film accompanying Riz Ahmed’s new album, The Long Way Home and think deeply
- Promise yourself you’re not going to start Love is Blind and finish the first season in 1.5 days
- Do Yoga
- Make calls for the politician of your choice - it’s surprisingly easy!
- Follow your cat around for an entire day (bonus points if you mimic its movements - sleep when it does, pee when it does, etc)
- Fulfill your fourteen-year-old dreams and film a “What’s in My Purse?” youtube video. Posting is optional and highly NOT recommended
- Choreograph a dance for your best friend’s wedding even though your best friend is single (this is where song choice is imperative - we need something evergreen that will still be tasteful years from now)
- Watch AP US History crash course videos
- Learn a bunch of new words to flex in your next Zoom meeting
- Lament the rise and fall of One Direction
- Try a ridiculous makeup look and do a photo shoot in your home
- Make a smoothie of all the rotting fruit in your fridge you promised yourself you would eat during the quarantine
- Film and post a TikTok dance and feel really good about it even though I will skip over it
- Revisit YouTube stars' channels you used to adore as a kid and make yourself feel old
- Remember that one embarrassing moment from 2013 and cringe
- Apply to grad school
- Start a fight with your significant other
- Shave your kneecap (because let’s be real - you always miss it in the shower)
- Wear your sleekest leather jacket, sunglasses, and red lipstick and pretend you’re the love interest Punjabi music video