Quarantine can be difficult. To ease the boredom, The Index Editorial Board shared some thoughts about what’s been keeping them busy over the past few weeks at home.
Ryan Pivoney, Editor-in-Chief
This is an interesting time. At the beginning of the semester I would often leave the house by 9 a.m. and not return for 12 hours or more. Now I’m spending multiple days at a time in my home. I still wouldn’t say I’m used to it, but I have been utilizing the time to stay productive and finally get around to doing those things I just didn’t have time to do before.
I’ve started cooking more. I bought a cast iron skillet and a bread pan the first week of quarantine and I have been trying all kinds of new recipes ever since. I know it’s a cliché, but have you tried baking your own bread? It’s fantastic! I’ve also been watching a lot of cooking videos and shows. If you’re interested in cooking or baking, check out “Bon Appétit” on YouTube. It’s so wholesome and enjoyable! I suddenly have a newfound dream of moving to New York to work in the BA Test Kitchen.
Elisabeth Shirk, Managing Editor
One of my greatest accomplishments through all of this was when I got our Wii up and running again. My family played Mario Kart and Wii Party and I am rediscovering Mario Bros on a new profile next to my profile from six years ago that goes all the way to world nine. Other than some seriously sore thumbs, it’s definitely been a highlight of this experience.
Another big thing I’ve been doing that keeps my energy and sense of fulfillment up is taking a walk or jog whenever I feel like it. I’ll be gone for 30 or 40 minutes at a time, but it’s my time and I get to breathe some fresh air while maintaining a respectable distance from other people.
The last thing I want to mention is The Index. Working on stories for The Index allows me to feel useful during this time. I get to keep our readers informed, talk to people about how this situation affects them and be a part of how we and future generations will remember this time in history. Although times are grim, these situations remind me why my job is so important and make me immensely proud to be a student journalist.
Cara Quinn, Copy Chief
Despite most people spending days on end in their homes, I’ve been enjoying the benefits of being an essential worker at Hy-Vee. It’s exhausting working everyday, but I really can’t complain, especially when so many people are without jobs and have no way to pay for their rent, utilities and groceries during this difficult time. If anything, this quarantine has shown me how vital minimum wage workers are during times of uncertainty and fear. I feel more valued as an employee now than ever before, and my new position as a grocery carhop has allowed me to better connect with the Kirksville community. I’ve met some of the sweetest, most compassionate individuals during the past few weeks of craziness, and I have a newfound fondness for Kirksville and its residents.
When I’m not spending all my waking hours slaving away for the man, I’ve been spending time focusing on the things I love: plants and cats! I’ve recently added some new plants to my collection, and having online school amidst a city-wide lockdown means all my time after work is spent in the company of my cats. Milo, Lola and Bentley have always been my world, but I feel closer to them now more than ever given my additional time at home. I’ve been taking them on short walks about my neighborhood and always follow them up with a group nap. I’ve also been trying to treat my cats more, which has resulted in a Monday morning family ritual of tuna and tea. Every Monday morning the cats get tuna for breakfast while I sip on my favorite tea and we watch the latest tea videos on Youtube. Before you judge me, I live alone with three cats — of course I’m going to act like a crazy cat lady! What did you expect? I think they like staying up to date on the drama, but it could just be the tuna that appeals to them.
Erica Lindsay, Features and Opinions Editor
So much has changed these past few weeks. It’s been weird living with less responsibilities, belongings and friends. I only packed a small carry-on for what was supposed to be a quick visit back home to Maryland, so my room feels eerily empty. Luckily that void can be filled by the company of one in-person pet and several remote pals. The family and I are on limited speaking terms, but that’s to be expected while I overstay my welcome (against my will). Living so far from normal with no indication of return has admittedly created a lot of uncertainty. In the meantime, I’m just trying to channel that energy toward what’s within my control and avert it from what isn’t.
Continuing work with campus groups has given me a sense of purpose. It’s a lot easier with mutual support of coworkers, staff members, teammates and residents while we all cope. Weekly meetings, daily updates and group chat memes tend to keep me going the most.
One thing that doesn’t, however, is the seemingly endless array of boxes to sort as my family prepares to move out. I don’t particularly wish to waste away organizing indoors, so I’ll usually try and escape for a walk through town or hike up our nearby Appalachian Trail. These activities are also nice for cross training since the canceled track season is letting me heal a recurring running injury. Sometimes I’ll get so antsy that I just do random ab workouts or lift. If I’m feeling really desperate I’ll hop onto our stuck-at level-10 stationary bike. When I’m not staying active for sanity sake, I can return to some of the stuff I used to love as a kid, like art or piano. A big thing I’ve come to realize is that boredom or quiet might be uncomfortable, but it comes with creativity and awareness — both of which I’m thankful to still possess during this time of great loss.
Rachel Becker, News Editor
These times of quarantine have been hard for all of us in one way or another. One thing I have enjoyed doing to fill my time at home is video games. When you are in a virtual world there is no quarantine and no virus. It is a great distraction from the harsh reality surrounding all of us, plus it is a great way to stay connected with your friends remotely. FaceTiming friends has also been a lifesaver during quarantine, even just doing homework together over FaceTime and enjoying another person’s company is soothing. It is all about staying connected with each other, and while it is important to stay informed, try to limit news consumption at this time. It can really make you spiral down a rabbit hole of anxieties.
Do whatever makes you happy. For me that is playing video games with my cat by my side. For you that could be reading a book you never had time for, or making a nice dinner for your family. Whatever it is, don’t feel forced to be super productive while at home — not all of us are going to come out of quarantine with a new book written and be 40 pounds lighter. Make sure you take care of yourself and your mental health. Even at a time like this don’t bind yourself by comparing yourself to others.