The effects of Covid-19 mean my days have become a lot more repetitive… and it seems like having nothing to do is taking a lot to get used to. The chaos and the panic of the early days of the outbreak seem to have calmed and it looks like this will take a while to blow over.
There’s only so much staring at a phone, laptop, or any screen that I can do. Now that I’m without a job, the library, lecture halls or the pub I’m running out of options for keeping myself busy. I just have an endless loop of reading, studying, music, gaming and calling friends to hear about how they’ve been doing the exact same.
While Covid-19 is serious, life isn’t a movie and it isn’t bringing Hollywood drama to the streets. In fact, it’s mostly boring. I’m not able to fill every hour with entertainment anymore either and in the monotony of it all I’ve caught myself drifting into a state of quarantine-induced ennui a few times. Lately, as I drifted off once more, I realised something.
It’s not often talked about, but the ability to handle monotony is a key skill for a student. There’s nothing exciting about reading over notes and essential texts for hours… So, coping with boredom while staying motived is essential. Months of writing essays, prepping for exams or thesis research can really test our motivation, drive and sanity too.
Now that I’m without a job, the library, lecture halls or the pub I’m running out of options
But trying to fend off cabin fever isn’t making the monotony of life easier. I feel a bit like Sisyphus, eternally pushing that boulder uphill only for it to roll straight back down again with no idea when it will end. The great French author and philosopher Albert Camus said we must imagine Sisyphus happy, but just I feel frustrated.
In current times, Camus’ novel The Plague is more fitting. In it plague ravages the city of Oran. During this outbreak an elderly asthma patient is safe because he never leaves his bed and only knows about the plague from newspapers and the radio. To pass time, he moves peas from one jug to another. Honestly, I feel a lot like old man right now… except I have a laptop.
But on the frontline, it’s a different story. To those working in healthcare facilities, stores, and other essential services I say thank you. I might be bored, but they are brave. In many ways, I’m lucky just to be bored.