Keeping Busy During The COVID-19 Outbreak

Photo credit: laist.com

Getting the most out of social distancing

Taylor Medeiros, Features Editor

As we all know, the University of Toronto (U of T)  has cancelled all in-person classes and exams for the remaining weeks of winter semester. While this has been a challenging transition for students, it is a necessary precaution to help flatten the curve and slow the spread of COVID-19. As members of the U of T community and society as a whole, it is our duty to follow the instructions of the government and health professionals in this trying time. 

Here at The Mike, we know that just staying home isn’t the most fun of activities. However, we reached out to fellow students in the U of T community to get tips and insights on how they’re keeping busy during this time of social distancing. Here’s what they had to say:

“I’ve gotten into the bad habit of waking up late. But, I always get ready for the day in the same way I would have if I was leaving for school or work. It makes me feel more put together. Then, I make breakfast, grab my laptop, and basically waste time scrolling through social media until I have Zoom University. At some point I eat dinner with my family, then end up doing school work in the evenings/night, like I did before. Then I watch TikToks for an hour before bed.” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“Well I had spring break, so I took the time to plan out the next few weeks of virtual learning. I’ve still had to work from home. I scrubbed my baseboards and started flossing my teeth. #DentalHygiene.” (OISE Student)

“I’m keeping busy by dividing my school work up into small steps and taking productive study breaks, where I clean, run errands, or organize something in my space. I’ve been keeping spirits up by doing yoga every morning and also listening to a lot of music and podcasts.” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“So along with a bunch of assignments (yuck), there’s a YouTube channel with a bunch of old NHL playoff games for me to binge, so I’ve been doing great!” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“I’ve been having a lot of fun getting to be creative with at-home workouts! I find it really helps with anxiety and definitely is good at passing the time!” (University College Student)

“I usually set objectives for myself before each day. Like do how many push-ups, get how much [of a] task done, cook something new, practice guitar. Those usually keep me busy for the day. And at night I just finish my ‘want to watch’ list on Netflix.” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“Working out at home has definitely been keeping my mind at ease!” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“Being mindful of time and space (that’s how I have been coping [to be honest]).” (Victoria College Student)

“Very few of my assignments have been cancelled, so it’s pretty much been the usual grind, except at home!” (New College Student)

“At-home workout apps! And lots of Netflix.” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“I’ve been trying to connect with friends through video games, something we can do together but still stay at home. Voice chat has helped me feel way less alone than I normally would be during this time. I’ve been spending a lot of time with my dog Coco, which she has enjoyed a lot. Online live lectures have gratefully kept my sleep schedule in check and given me structure to my days. Otherwise my days are mostly filled with studying as always, trying to keep up in classes, and working with partners to get assignments done.” (University College Student)

“Chilling with my friends before they are gone.” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“Studying, walking my dog, making TikToks, and binging Netflix.” (Victoria College Student)

“While I’m stuck at home during this quarantine period, I have to keep reminding myself that this semester is not over yet and that I still have some assignments and lectures to go through. It’s becoming harder not to procrastinate especially since I get to sit on my bed all day, so I write down all my tasks in an agenda to avoid forgetting any work I need to complete. Besides schoolwork, I set time aside for leisurely activities, which mainly consists of me sitting on the couch binge-watching all my favourite shows on Disney+ (I’m currently rewatching all episodes of Wizards of Waverly Place). Yes, I’m still a child at heart and I’m making use of social distancing by reliving my childhood memories!” (St. Michael’s College Student)

“I hadn’t imagined my return to Lahore, Pakistan to happen like this: last-minute and frantic, scrambling to find a flight on time. Since coming back, I’ve been quarantined to one of the corner rooms of the house. To pass the time, I’ve brought a library of books: Murakami and Munro and Chekhov. When I’m bored with reading, I play Stardew Valley, my new found obsession. After so many months of our fast-paced environment in uni, it’s not all that bad to take some time for myself.” (St. Michael’s College Student)

As you can see, we’re all doing the same things: watching Netflix and television, working out, reading, completing coursework, watching TikToks, and petting dogs. As it turns out, there’s lots to do! From us at The Mike, please take care of yourselves and check on your friends and family when you can. We’ll survive this time of social distancing together!