Updated: Mar 27, 2020
There’s a good chance you’ve heard about coronavirus recently. Hearing about this virus is essentially inevitable when it’s everything people are talking about right now. As soon as you open any kind of social media, news about the coronavirus floods your timeline. But, what exactly is it? Coronavirus disease, specifically COVID-19, is an infectious disease that is new and has not been previously identified in humans. COVID-19 initially came from another strand of coronavirus, severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2). The first time COVID-19 was identified was in Wuhan, China in 2019. Since then, the coronavirus has spread globally at an exponential rate, resulting in the World Health Organization officially declaring it a pandemic. Currently, there are about 470 000 worldwide cases of the coronavirus and nearly 22 000 deaths.
What Should We Do To Stay Safe? There is no doubt COVID-19 has taken over our world and will continue to if we don’t comply with what the government is telling us to do - stay home. The coronavirus is highly contagious and can spread from person to person at a rapid rate. During these uncertain times, our best bet is to stay at home and reduce contact with other people as much as we can. Along with practicing social distancing, there are other ways you can help stop the spread of COVID-19. First, wash your hands. You’ve probably heard this before, but taking just 20 seconds to wash your hands will undoubtedly go a long way, especially in this desperate situation. It is a lot more effective than most people believe, yet it takes a minimal amount of effort. Another simple but efficacious habit to practice is avoid touching your face, particularly your eyes, nose, and mouth. Your hands touch an abundant amount of surfaces every day and are constantly at risk of picking up the virus. If you transfer this virus to your eyes, nose, or mouth without washing your hands, the virus can enter your body. Finally, to help control the spread of COVID-19, make sure you demonstrate proper respiratory hygiene at all times. This includes coughing or sneezing into your elbow, or using a tissue and making sure it is appropriately disposed of. The droplets in these coughs and sneezes are what spread the virus, so it is vital to follow good respiratory hygiene to keep those around you safe and healthy.
Now that you are informed of the essential practices we need to remember to help reduce the spread of COVID-19, what are we supposed to do while we are quarantined? A break from work or school may be desired by many, but this time off is a lot harder to enjoy when we are restricted from going out.
To help make this time in quarantine more interesting, I’ve compiled a list of things you can do at home to kill your boredom:
1. Get creative This time alone is the perfect moment to test your creative skills. Whether that be through painting, drawing, writing, or something else, find supplies you have laying around your house and let your creativity run wild. Who knows? You might discover your next favourite hobby.
2. Binge-watch a good TV series Many people are probably using this time off to relax and watch some Netflix, and frankly, who wouldn’t? There is nothing better than finding a good TV series to kick back to and relax, especially when it feels like the world is crumbling around us.
3. Cook or bake
Find ingredients and embrace your inner chef/baker. Cooking and baking not only kills boredom, but you are also left with freshly-made delicious food!
4. Self-care + skin-care Take a few minutes out of your day to take a few breaths and meditate. Or try out that new mask that you haven’t had time for. Self-care is important, so use this opportunity to perform it regularly!
5. Exercise Make sure you remember to keep moving at home. Even if you don’t have a home gym, there are plenty of exercises you can try that don’t require any equipment. Exercising will not only help you stay in shape, but it’ll also release endorphins, triggering positive and feel-good emotions.
6. Learn a new skill Try educating yourself on something you’ve always wanted to learn. This could be learning to play a new instrument, learning a new language, or acquiring skill in something else that is specific to what interests you. You might discover a new passion!
7. Watch videos from a Youtuber you’ve never watched before Let your Youtube feed show you new Youtubers and binge-watch videos from the ones that appeal to you the most.
8. Spend time with your family - play board games, cards, group games, etc. Since a lot of people are quarantined with their family, why not seize this opportunity to spend time with them? Often, we are too busy to make time for the people closest to us, so let’s take this break to appreciate and have fun with them.
9. Reorganize or clean your house Try arranging the furniture in your room to switch things up. Or scrub your bathroom sinks and impress the ones you live with.
10. Read Finish that book you’ve been meaning to read or find an article online and let yourself get sucked into a rabbit hole of articles that pique your interest.
11. Contact a friend or family member Call, text, or video call a loved one to make sure they are doing okay and staying safe.
12. Sleep! Make sure you get plenty of sleep and if you’re struggling with an inconsistent sleep schedule, pay attention to improving it so you can feel energetic and at your true optimum every day.
-- Written by Simran Matharu