Animal Crossing, Tiger King, spending time with family…there are no shortage of ways in which people are occupying themselves while waiting out the COVID-19 pandemic. But Netflix gets stale and many other activities are untenable for a student like myself who is far from the comforts of home. So how does a postgrad stuck in a tiny student flat in London pass time while in lockdown?
Social distancing running
My flat, which consists of a hallway with two bedrooms and a bathroom, does not have the space for any exercise more vigorous than sweeping the floor. I’m always keen to get out to the local park for my allotted daily hour of exercise, but of course everyone in the area has the same idea. This has led to my new fitness routine of choice, social distancing running. This exciting new exercise consists of jogging around the park while frequently having to careen off the path in order to avoid those who enjoy standing together in one place as they play catch up. At least the weather is lovely?
Discovering new and exciting microwave settings
If my flat had a proper oven, I would have absolutely buried my flatmate in baked goods by now. Perhaps fortunately for her, we only have a microwave. However, boredom with the usual cooking routine and uncharacteristic supermarket purchases are leading us both down a path of culinary…experimentation. I am going to improvise my way to some homemade cookies if it’s the last thing I do.
Perfecting the lockdown haircut
On a whim, I bought a set of hair clippers a few months before this all happened. It has been amazing to have the freedom now to cut my hair whenever I feel the need. Is it lopsided at the back? Possibly. Do I care? Not in the slightest. Lockdown is a judgement-free zone.
Tuning out of hangout calls
My virtual social calendar has been surprisingly bustling. Turns out I have a lot of friends that like to organize things like trivia nights, powerpoint parties, and dramatic movie script readings over the internet. This is great, of course, but has also spawned an additional activity; namely, me inadvertently tuning out of whatever is taking place onscreen. Trying to follow a lot of people shrunk into small icons on my desktop, restlessness from staying inside all day and, often, time zone and technological hassles, have all combined to sink my concentration when it comes to group digital events. I’m not looking forward to discovering if this will hold true when classes resume online in a few weeks.
Procrastinating on research proposal
To be honest, I would have been doing this regardless of lockdown. Society as we know it may have been upended but some habits never change.