In my home state of California, some 40 million people are ordered by Governor Gavin Newsom to “stay at home” to minimize the spread of the novel coronavirus. But what does this mean for Californians and other states in lockdown? A stay-at-home order permits essential businesses such as grocery stores, banks, pharmacies, and restaurants offering takeout to keep their doors open; however, dine-in restaurants, gyms, and public gatherings must shut down.
The lack of freedom and excess free time has people going stir-crazy in their homes. If the COVID-19 outbreak has you suffering from cabin fever, consider the following activities to keep your mind and body busy.
1. Take Online Classes
Ways in which students can add to their resumes while in their homes are limited at the moment. One way to show colleges that you are making the most out of your time at home is by furthering your academic knowledge outside of school. Websites such as Coursera and edX offer free online courses from Ivy League universities for free!
Here are just a few of the classes offered online:
- CS50’s Introduction to Computer Science – Harvard University
- Vital Signs: Understanding What the Body Is Telling Us – University of Pennsylvania (I tried this one and loved it!)
- Principles of Biochemistry – Harvard University
- A Law Student’s Toolkit – Yale University
- Introduction to Psychology – Yale University
- Rhetoric: The Art of Persuasive Writing and Public Speaking – Harvard University
2. Spend Time with Family
Take advantage of the extra time you have at home and make some lasting memories with your family. Organize a game night, go backyard camping, or host a movie night.
3. Become a “Runner”
Go on an early morning jog with a friend. It doesn’t matter how slow you go or how much you walk as long as you have fun! After all, exercise is a proven way to boost your immune system.
4. Do the Splits
If running isn’t for you, try to do the splits in 30 days!
5. Go on Virtual Tours
While the entire world is on lockdown, the internet is still at our fingertips. Here are some places you can visit:
- The White House in Washington, D.C.
- Windsor Castle in England
- Van Gogh Museum in Amsterdam
- The Louvre in France
- Nahuku Lava Tube in Hawaii
- Disney World in Florida
Alternatively, you can begin touring college campuses virtually from the comfort of your couch!
6. Watch Movies
Now is the time to immerse yourself in classic American films! Make a list of the movies you have always wanted to see, or work your way through the Oscar best picture winners.
7. Update Your Playlist
You can broaden your music taste by asking friends for their favorite songs, checking out the artist listings at music festivals, or becoming music connoisseur by researching the rich histories and diverse cultures of music at Oxford Music Online.
8. Learn How to Cook
Unfortunately, reheating leftovers and toasting bagels will not always be enough to sustain ourselves; eventually, we will need to learn how to cook. If you’re feeling bold, attempt a challenging recipe that even Gordon Ramsay would be satisfied with.
9. Invite Friends to a Stock Market Competition
The coronavirus created a historical hit to the economy. After hearing my parents talk about the stock market for years, I decided to “invest” in the stock market using a simulator app and to compete with my friends to see who could make the most cash. The market is currently fluctuating unpredictably, so if you’re able to make a profit in today’s economy, investing in the future may prove to be much simpler.
10. Complete a Giant Puzzle
Pull out an old puzzle and put your mind to the test. I can promise that laying down the final puzzle piece will make your entire day.
11. Go Through Old Photos
Going through old photo albums is not only a heartwarming, nostalgic experience but also a way to preserve your family history. If you stumble upon a person you’ve never seen, ask your parents about them—you never know what stories you can uncover.
12. Bored Button
If you find yourself desperately in need of alleviating boredom, hit the red button at boredbutton.com to experience the internet to the fullest.
13. Transcribe Historical Documents
This was definitely my favorite activity, and one I had no idea was open to the public. The Library of Congress launched its By The People Campaign which needs help transcribing and reviewing incredible historical documents. If you wish to contribute, you can interpret documents from the likes of leading suffragists, letters to President Lincoln, and Rosa Parks.
14. Netflix Party
If you miss those in-person movie nights with friends, you can download the Netflix Party Chrome extension to watch your favorite films at the same time as them! The extension comes with a chat room so you can share your reactions along the way.