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What are you doing to cope with the pandemic?


Living in social isolation has been a huge adjustment for most everyone adhering to it, myself included. I went from living on campus and seeing people every day to seeing people every day through a computer screen. There’s less tangibility in the world; not only am I now afraid to come in physical contact with other people, but no longer being surrounded by an academic atmosphere while taking classes has made me lose contact with the motivation that drove me to go to school in the first place. While I still struggle a little with the adjustment, I’ve made some personal adjustments to cope.

I started by setting small goals for myself every day. Some, like remembering to eat breakfast, are simpler than others (like not signing into class while I’m still in bed). If there’s one positive thing that quarantine has brought into my life, it’s that I now have a pretty consistent exercise routine. I use the word ‘exercise’ loosely because I’m here to work smarter, not harder. Thanks to Pelaton yoga, I have experienced the newfound luxury of being able to touch my toes without bending my knees. Now my new goal is being able to successfully do any other yoga pose.

In an effort to escape the crushing feeling of loneliness, I’m also trying refine some of my preexisting hobbies. Now that I’m living at home and am the only person that knows how to use an oven, my baking skills are becoming on point. In an effort to gain back the calories that I’ve never burned off in the first place, I’ve made some vegan cakes and cookies. While this helps distract me from the claustrophobic feeling I get from being in the same space every day, it also has made me really good at cleaning up the kitchen. With great power comes great responsibility.

There are some creative ways to cope with boredom that I never would have thought of if times were not as desperate as they are. For example, I’m now working on word-for-word quoting the most iconic scenes of the most iconic reality TV shows. Rewatching Kim Kardashian say “maybe if you had a ******* business that you were passionate about” has awoken a far-fetched and dramatically unrealistic desire for me to go to business school. In keeping more with my academic interests, I’ve taken up watching the Real Housewives of Melbourne. As an anthropology major, it’s my mission (should I choose to accept it) to develop a deep appreciation and understanding of different cultures. While my current lifestyle has allowed for greater insight into homemaking culture than I’ve ever had, being a real housewife of Melbourne is a whole different ball park.

In coping with COVID-19 circumstances, I believe that I’ve become more thoughtful. Living in social isolation has made me more sympathetic to the recluse-way of life. While I wouldn’t want self-quarantine to be my future, there’s an art in keeping yourself happy enough and entertained without the company of others; this art deserves our appreciation.

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