Interesting things to do during Quarantine

Ahoy! It’s your favorite Skarizon drummer Manthan here! This time, I’ll be talking about some interesting things to do in quarantine.

Now, we are going through some really tough times. The COVID-19 outbreak is killing people left and right, and lots of people like you and me are stuck indoors to help decrease the flow of the disease. While it’s a great thing that will save countless lives in the future, it comes at a cost – our own sanity. We get bored from monotony, so we need a change. 

Everyone keeps saying that we should all “try something new.” Easier said than done; it can be hard to form a new habit and change completely. However, start small. You won’t be able to 20 trillion languages, become a better chef than Gordon Ramsay, invent a brand new fusion reactor, or even train to become a Jedi. All you have to do is just start small and slowly build your way up. You may not be able to make the best dish in the world, but what’s the point? It’s all about the journey and the experience.

One example that is definitely lots of fun is cooking. It’s perfect because you can use any ingredients found in your kitchen or pantry to make anything. In my case, I usually shied away from cooking, partly because I feared accidentally turning the kitchen into a smaller version of Alderaan’s destruction, and partly because I never really had much time to do much cooking.

As you probably could tell, I got really excited when, a few weeks ago, our biotech teacher Dr. Ghosh emailed us, stating that we were going to make yogurt. This was process was simple – it just required some older yogurt, milk, a good container, and a microwave. All you had to do was pour some yogurt in, add a lot of milk, heat it in the microwave for a long time, and leave it out in room temperature. Continue this process for a few hours with periodical microwavings and it’s done by the next day!

About 2 weeks later, we learned a much more challenging procedure – making bread! For this procedure, we need yeast, flour, warm water, and some salt. I had tons of fun doing this procedure, and it was a messy sort of fun! I just set it in the baking oven and let it bake for about an hour. I would periodically rush to the oven to check on its status and see if its ready.

Now, what does this story involving me semi-flexing my biotech experiences show? Apart from the fact that biotech is the best class ever, it shows that all you need to do is just start with something small and simple. Have fun with it! Live-stream yourself making bread and yelling about how everything is so sticky and messy (that didn’t happen)! Take a selfie with you and your pan of bread before the pan falls to the ground and shatters (that also didn’t happen)! Film yourself eating the bread and pretending to enjoy it even though it’s tough, chewy, and bland (the filming part didn’t happen)!

You can apply this analogy of making bread and yogurt to other things like learning a new language or a new song on an instrument. Start out simple, with a few words, or some basic lines in the song that you can remember and play easily. Slowly make your way up to do more and more challenges. I guarantee that you won’t stop even after quarantine lifts.

However, learning new things isn’t the only interesting/fun thing you can do in quarantine. Apart from that, you can also find ways to bond with your family. It may not be ideal because we all wanted to be with our friends since we’re with our family pretty much all the time, but you’re living with your family and they’re here to help you out. There are lots of ways to do this.

One way, probably one of the best ways, is through music. Music brings all of us together, and we all find a common meaning through it (despite all the arguments). My family has a very musical heritage – everyone can either play an instrument of some sort or sing. We’ve been having family zoom sessions where we hang out, chat, play all sorts of fun games like Pictionary, and even jam out together. 

One game we played involving music functions like this – one group starts singing/playing to a song, and the last syllable of the last word of the song is the first syllable of a song that the next group has to perform. We’d keep doing until we either decided to change the game or one group lost. It was a great way for everyone in the close family to bond, and even a way for relatives everywhere to bond together.

You can just jam out with your siblings, parents, or both. Alternatively, karaoke sessions are a great way to spend time together, if no one in the family knows how to play any instruments. 

If you want to dance and let loose without ending up in a mosh pit, you can either senselessly jog around the backyard (that’s what I did once) or sign up to join some online fitness or Zumba classes. There are lots of different sessions looking for new members to join them. If you don’t want to spend money, then just find something on Youtube. Be sure to clear out space and have a safe enough floor to jump and dance around on to avoid injuries!

Now, let’s say you want to go to a concert, but they’re all closed. Lots of bands like Metallica are livestreaming footage of old concerts. Join the stream and just rock out! Alternatively, you can just watch a live video of some performance and go crazy from the comfort of your own room!

Speaking of learning new things, there’s a lot of knowledge out there that people would love to know about. Test your relatives (or friends on group video calls) about trivia on random things that are really cool. For example, did you know that the word “desserts” is “stressed” spelled backwards? Also, does anyone else find it troubling that cells multiply…by dividing?

Make the most out of these tough times! We’re all in this together, so let’s all help each other out and do things to keep a positive vibe going in a land of negativity! Most importantly folks, stay safe! And, as always, don’t forget to spread kindness, not sickness!

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