The widespread coronavirus pandemic disrupted the orderly flow of our lives as it quickly spread throughout the nation.The global number of Covid-19 cases has now reached over 30 million, with the U.S. accounting for more than seven million of them. The majority of schools in the U.S. were forced to instantaneously transition to virtual learning environments in mid-March of 2020. The newly implemented virtual environment has posed challenges, forcing educators and students to be flexible and creative.
Staying at home has inevitably led to boredom, but with more free time, numerous people have been able to explore new hobbies and share them on social media. One widespread activity throughout quarantine has been baking sourdough bread, a healthier alternative to regular bread. Baking became a therapeutic way to disconnect from the stresses of the pandemic and tune into the present moment. Amanda Mull, a writer for The Atlantic, wrote, “Facebook has been flooded with photos of homemade focaccia, pancakes, and banana breads. On Twitter, people are on their third or fourth wave of backlash to sourdough as a concept.” Other creations on the rise include baked ravioli, oatmeal cookies, and meatloaf.
Binging television shows have also become a new way to kill time for many. Data from the New York Times show that Netflix has seen a 16% increase in usage from the beginning of quarantine. The Netflix show “Tiger King,” released in late March, exploded in popularity, garnering over 34 million viewers in just the first ten days of release. Dancing, drawing, exercising, creating, and gardening are other hobbies that people have taken interest in as well. Gyms were forced to close due to coronavirus safety concerns, and thus, many classes started to be livestreamed, allowing people to attend new classes from the comfort of their home. Dancers all across the world bonded together through virtual classes as well, oftentimes allowing non-dancers to participate.
Dancers are not the only people who resorted to virtual solutions in the art community. Musicians started composing new songs from home, many of which reflected their experiences with the pandemic. Artists created various paintings, drawings, and crafts as a leisurely hobby: “Over quarantine, I dove into a lot of hands-on crafts including embroidery, watercolor, and sketching. I also found that I had much more leisure time to explore new bands and other musicians that I would normally never listen to,” stated RHS student Charlotte Luster. Additionally, gardeners brightened our world by planting new flowers and herbs in both public and private settings. Hashtags such as #quarantinegarden were trending on social media platforms, giving users daily doses of Mother Nature.
While the detrimental effects of the pandemic have been clear, citizens all across the globe have taken advantage of quarantine by exploring different activities. We have chosen to act with creativity when faced with adversity to come out with new, deepened interests and hobbies.
Graphic: Kate Minn