Passing Time While Self-Isolating

[ Makenzie Way, 3L at the University of Pennsylvania ]

The world seems to be falling to pieces around us: our campuses are shut, classes are online, we’re being told to self-isolate and quarantine where possible, and to practice social distancing when engaging with the public.

Now, as a law student, there have been times that I have literally dreamed of being trapped in my bedroom for days on end to partake in lengthy Netflix binges and much-needed nap sessions. But, after only four days of being confined solely to my childhood bedroom (aside from the occasional bathroom break) because of my recent travels, I have to admit I’m beginning to go a little stir crazy.

If, like me, you are questioning how to survive the boredom resulting from the necessary measures to combat the further spread of the Coronavirus, then read along as I reveal some interesting – and free – resources that you can utilize to help pass the time.

Virtual Museums

1.   “Go” to the museum

While the museums themselves are all, for the large part, closed due to the social distancing requirements, many notable museums have launched FREE virtual tours. Travel and Leisure has a fantastic article outlining all of your virtual museum options, which you can access here. My personal favorites from their list include the following:

  • British Museum: where you can view hundreds of artifacts, Egyptian mummies, and the ancient Rosetta stone.
  • National Gallery of Art: featuring two online exhibits; one highlighting 17th and 18th-century American fashion, and the other showing works from Johannes Vermeer.
  • Van Gogh Museum: showcasing countless works from the famous painter himself as well as hundreds of personal letters.

2.   Netflix Party and Games

You may be physically distanced from your friends and family, but that doesn’t mean you have to do everything alone. Technology (thankfully) allows us to host gatherings from the comfort of our own self-isolated bubble.

If you’re in the mood for a movie, try using Google Chrome’s Netflix Party extension, where you can sync your screen with friends and share snarky comments via the chat feature.

If, on the other hand, you’re feeling more of a game night, then head on over to the following Boston Culture article for lots of virtual game night options – including the oh so popular Settlers of Catan and Monopoly.

3.   Get a workout in

Gyms may be closed but many fitness centers are offering virtual workouts for members, or for free to the general population. For instance, CorePower Yoga is offering On Demand yoga and KIC gym is offering virtual workouts on Wednesdays and Fridays. Check with your local gym providers to see if they are offering similar virtual services! Ps. If there are no offerings accessible to you then don’t forget to check out YouTube.

4.   Read all the books

Most academic libraries have begun making their resources available online, and many coursebook providers have agreed to make textbooks and study aids available for free. But don’t just limit yourself to academic reading, instead take advantage of this time to check off some of those novels that have been on your radar for ages – bonus points if you pick something by a self-published author since times are tough. And remember, Ebook sites have a great selection of free and low-cost books to choose from if you want to avoid going to the store.

5.   Work on your cooking skills

Since eating out is pretty much off the table right now, it is officially the ideal time to perfect your culinary skills – provided you can find the necessary ingredients amidst the frenzied bulk buying. YouTube has some fantastic cooking channels – such as the Rouxbe Online Cooking School – to help you achieve your dream meals.