8 Things to Do During Quarantine and Social Distancing

From+watching+your+favorite+singers+perform+virtual+concerts+on+Instagram+Live+to+playing+Settlers+of+Catan+online+with+your+friends%2C+there%27s+bound+to+be+something+that+you+can+do+during+social+distancing.+

From watching your favorite singers perform virtual concerts on Instagram Live to playing Settlers of Catan online with your friends, there's bound to be something that you can do during social distancing.

Joanna Lee, Multimedia Editor

Ever since California Governor Gavin Newsom announced that all schools within the state would have to shut down and transition to distance learning, many were left without a clear schedule and routine in mind. Given the fact that most extracurricular activities and planned events were either postponed or cancelled, students were still left with several hours of extra free time, even after the recent transition to distance learning. 

“Social distancing has affected me greatly because now I can’t talk to people face to face anymore. I feel like I’m less productive just sitting around at home than going to school. I miss having something to do,” Sophomore Karina Tapia reveals. 

Junior Elena Valladares expresses her frustration as well, “Due to social distancing, I can’t even visit my friends or even my family and I’m mostly at home with the exceptions of grocery runs.” After Governor Newsom announced that no should leave their homes with the exception of necessary activities such as buying groceries, many have had their schedules thrown into chaos.

“I’m a people person. I need to talk to people. Almost all of my activities involve social interaction so all my extracurriculars are on hold. So now I feel empty since I can’t play my violin. I can’t dance with my friends and and I can’t talk to them either. This whole social distancing thing is ruining me entirely,” Senior Julieta Martinez reveals. Many students share the same sentiment. Being cooped up at home all day might drive a lot of people nuts.

While it may seem tempting to leave your house to go on that cross-country road trip you’ve been daydreaming about lately, disobeying social distancing orders may put not only your own life at risk but the lives of those who are more susceptible to infection at risk as well. 

Social distancing along with practicing basic hygiene are one of the main ways you can protect yourself and help contain the further spread of COVID-19.

If you don’t want to waste your precious free time sleeping for 20 hours of the day, it certainly wouldn’t hurt to try out a new hobby or start being more productive. Who said it was too late to pick your old New Year’s Resolution back up? Sophomore Ella Cerna is one of the many students who are using this troubling time to their advantage and attempt to try something new, “Social distancing is kind of difficult since I’m used to going to school and dance class every single day. But now since I’ve got a whole bunch of free time, I’ve been trying my hand at painting and yoga.”

If starting something new doesn’t interest you, included are quite a few ways you can entertain yourself as well. 

 

Joanna Lee
A screenshot of Harvard’s free edX course called “CS50 Introduction to Computer Science.” The course is entirely free to enroll like many of the other courses offered on edX and takes approximately 12 weeks to finish. However in order to receive a professional certificate, you must pay.

1. Learn How to Code

While you might’ve grown tired of people constantly urging you to learn how to code, it can actually prove to be pretty useful in the long run. With the rapid transition to a new and ever expanding virtual world, being computer illiterate may put you at a disadvantage in certain careers, regardless if you wanted to pursue a career in STEM or not. 

From finance and business to even the medical field, having coding knowledge could help you better navigate new and unfamiliar programs and platforms. 

Even if your dream job may not necessarily pertain to STEM or technology, having coding knowledge within your skillset will already give you an advantage over competition. It can make your future job application stand out even more, demonstrating that you’re a versatile and dynamic worker.

You can enroll in Harvard’s CS50: Introduction to Computer Science Course on edX for completely free. According to the course description, you can expect to learn “Concepts like abstraction, algorithms, data structures, encapsulation, resource management, security, software engineering, and web development” and gain a familiarity in a number of different languages, “including C, Python, SQL, and JavaScript plus CSS and HTML.” Classes start April 3rd.

Additionally, you can visit sites such as CodeAcademy.com or KhanAcademy.org to learn coding for free online as well.

 

Joanna Lee
Typing.com has a whole list of different typing drills and activities to help you get up to speed and learn proper hand placement and technique.

2. Speed Up Those Typing Skills

Remember those online typing lessons that you frequently had to complete back in elementary school? Well, it shouldn’t take too much of your time to work on some of those skills as well. 

While typing using only 2 fingers may prove fast enough for some, learning to type using proper techniques may increase your typing speed drastically. Want to learn how to type up essays and research papers at lightning speed? Or maybe you just want to challenge your friends to an intense WPM (Words Per Minute) battle? Visit typing.com and you could get started in as little as 2 seconds.

 

Duolingo is free to use and features 94 different language courses in 23 languages, with 300 million registered users all over the world.

3. Learn a New Language

If you just wanted to brush up on your Spanish skills or learn a completely new language entirely, now’s the perfect time to do it. In fact it has been shown that the studying language may improve memory and listening skills.

Duolingo is a free language learning platform with over 94 different languages available. From learning Greek, one of the oldest languages still spoken today to learning the newly created language, Esperanto, the wide variety of reading, writing, and listening drills will surely pass the time.

Duolingo is available at Duolingo.com, iOS, and Android.

 

Joanna Lee
Normally requiring a subscription service to access, Corepower Yoga is now offering its On-Demand service for completely free to users for the duration of the COVID-19 pandemic.

4. Free Online Yoga and Fitness Classes

Being confined to your home should be no excuse to stop staying fit. Sophomore Karina Tapia reveals her plans for the current situation, stating, “I plan on spending my time working out because staying home doing nothing all day isn’t ideal. I workout everyday in my garage because it gives me something to do.” Tapia tries her best to stay active and keep herself occupied at the same time, often playing basketball with her brother or fetch with her dog to pass the time as well.

During this time of turmoil, many fitness brands and companies are starting to extend their free trial periods and some brands are even offering free workout videos for the remainder of the pandemic as more and more Americans are forced to stay at home.

The Nike Training Club app has now waived its $14.99 monthly fee for its premium service for an indefinite period of time. After downloading the app, users will have access to more than 185 different workout routines and videos (from yoga to cardio and much, much more). Each workout varies in length from 15 minutes to up to 45 minutes long. You won’t need any fancy equipment to carry out the majority of these workouts. Additionally, the app even offers targeted training programs, nutritional tips, and wellness guidance.

Corepower Yoga, one of the largest yoga studio chains in the U.S., is giving everybody free access to their full library of on-demand Yoga instructional videos while their physical locations are temporarily closed. New classes will be added every week in addition to meditation sessions.

 

Jana Lee
Seniors Kayla Ferrer and Jana Lee film their rendition of the wildly popular “Renegade” TikTok dance that has been shared millions of times and performed by other users all over the world.

5. Learn a New TikTok Dance

If online yoga classes and workout videos aren’t quite your cup of tea, learning a few TikTok dances can be both a fun and invigorating activity that can keep you both physically active and entertained at the same time for a few hours. 

“TikTok is my social media app of choice when I need something to pass the time. There’s just so many different dances to choose from and learn. The hours just fly by when you’re absorbed in recording a new TikTok dance,” explains Senior Jana Lee. As Vice President of KRUSH this year, it was only natural for her to show off her dancing talent elsewhere during the pandemic.

If you’re still wondering how to do the old ‘renegade’ or ‘Say So’ dances, don’t fret! Buzzfeed has done the fantastic job of compiling the top 15 most popular TikTok dances in a single article. Try not to break the replay button! If you’re having trouble keeping up with the dance, try searching up the dance on YouTube and slowing down the playback speed.

 

Joanna Lee
Investing your time into learning a new creative hobby may prove useful as it has been linked to being able to improve cognitive function and relieve stress.

6. Pick Up Some Creative Hobbies

If art and creativity seems to appeal more to you, Martha Stewart has already compiled a list of 7 different creative hobbies that you can possibly take a gander at. From finger knitting to bullet journaling and calligraphy, there is sure to be something that tickles your fancy. You don’t need to be the next Picasso or da Vinci to delve into any of these crafts.

If you have trouble fingering out which hobby suits you best, try taking this quiz to find out which craft you should try next!

According to the post, creative crafts can boost your mood, help relieve stress, and help improve your cognitive abilities. 

 

Joanna Lee
Popular Irish musician Hozier performs a cover of Britney Spear’s “Toxic” on Instagram Live as apart of the “Together at Home” online concert series.

7. Catch Your Favorite Singer’s Live Performance

Even though many of your favorite artists have been forced to cancel their live tours and concerts as a result of the pandemic, this isn’t stopping some of them from performing over livestream. This could be your opportunity to catch some of your favorite performances live in action.

Singers such as John Legend, Coldplay’s Chris Martin, Charlie Puth, Niall Horan, and Hozier have all taken part in a series of online concerts called “Together at Home” which is supported by the Global Citizen.

Visit this article for more information on how to participate in some of these concerts.

 

8. Try Out Some of These Games to Play With Your Friends Online

While you won’t be able to sit down at a table with your friends and play a board game anytime soon, you can try some of these online alternatives instead. Connecting with your friends through FaceTime and Zoom is fun and all but nothing beats utterly destroying them at Uno online.

If you’re a big fan of the wildly popular board game, Settlers of Catan, well, we have some good news for you. Settlers of Catan is a popular strategy board game where you have to essentially collect resources, build roads and settlements, rob other players, and acquire victory points. To find out more information on how to play it online and connect with your friends at the same time, check out this article here

If Settlers of Catan doesn’t float your boat, you can even play Uno online with your friends. You don’t have to wait until quarantine is over to find an excuse to whip out your deck of Uno cards anymore—Pairing this online version of a card game classic with FaceTime or Zoom will prove just as fun!

Additionally, another board game classic that you can choose to play with your friends is Monopoly. The app costs $3.99 and can be found on the Appstore and Google Play store. Since this is an app that doesn’t require a computer, you can play with friends and family virtually anywhere.

Joanna Lee
Ever since its release back in March, Animal Crossing: New Horizons has been widely acclaimed to be the perfect ‘escape’ for those stuck at home during quarantine. Players can choose to play at their own pace as the game never truly ends.

Finally, if you happen to be an owner of a Nintendo Switch console, you’ve probably heard a lot of people rave about this particular game—Animal Crossing: New Horizons. Animal Crossing: News Horizons is a recent addition to a series of over 4 best selling games.

It’s a life simulation game where you get to live on a deserted island as a part of the new Island Getaway package. Not only do you get to meet a whole host of different animal villagers who will live with you on the island (you can meet up to 402 different villagers), you get to decorate and build your island and house from the ground up, customize your characters, and visit various mystery islands all at your own pace. It’s basically the Sims—but a whole lot cuter.

You can actually play with up to 8 friends at once. Recently released last month on March 20, 2020, you can grab a digital copy of this game on the Nintendo Switch eShop for $59.99 or you can even grab it for $10 less at Walmart (in-stores only) if you happen to visit for a quick grocery run.