Staying Entertained in Pandemic Isolation

With the COVID-19 pandemic sweeping around the world, most colleges in the United States have closed down classes and dorms.  Except for students who cannot go home for one reason or another – because they are international students whose visas require them to stay in the country, for instance – most college students have left campus and returned home, continuing their education online.  The few people who still live on or near campus are now mostly confined to their dorms or apartments due to social distancing protocols. For the same reason, most of the students now living at home are now more confined than they normally would be. On top of that, many students have been left unemployed by the closure of their workplaces.  Understandably, they may find themselves lacking in things to do.

     Fortunately, there are still things to do while in isolation.  If you are at home with your family, you can hang out with them.  While the national and global situation may be grave and frightening, and while they may be sad that you’ve lost the rest of your semester on campus, your family is probably very happy that you’re safe at home with them.  You’ll have more time together with them than normal, so you’ll have lots of time to work out just what you want to do. You can play a video game together, or you can play a board or card game as a family if you don’t want to spend all your time looking at screens.  Even a simple game of spoons can be great fun. If your family has pets, you can play with them as well, inside or outside. They will certainly be glad that you’re home all day!

     If you’re still living on campus, you might have more difficulty entertaining yourself, especially if you live alone.  In this situation, you might be more reliant on the Internet. The Internet gives you access to all kinds of content to keep your life lively, from social media to movies to video games.  If you have artistic talent, you can try your hand at improving your skills. Try to draw something cool you’ve been picturing, or maybe work on writing – poems, short stories, even a whole novel if you feel like you’re up for it.  Your imagination is the limit. Even so, you don’t have to do everything by yourself. You can still connect with friends and family over the phone or online. Teleconference technology like Skype and Zoom is great for this, especially if you want the feeling of meeting face-to-face.  I personally would advise keeping close to those you care about, regardless of how physically far away you need to be. These are dark and trying times, and we must look out for each other.

Sean Labor

History major and Mass Communications minor at University of Minnesota-Twin Cities