Ten tips to survive quarantine
From Netflix to studying
Ten tips to survive quarantine
1. Get cookin’
You might be in quarantine, but you still need to eat. And if your neighbour doesn’t show up every day with soup and a sandwich, it’s tempting to just order in. Unfortunately, that’s unhealthy and expensive, so why not try your hand at some recipes yourself? Order your groceries online at the supermarket, Ekonoom, or Groentebroer, and they’ll deliver your vegetables straight to your door.
There are plenty of recipes online, ranging from simple to complicated. Try the historical recipes at The Historical Cookery Page.
2. Binge something
The easiest way to get through the day is to watch the shows that everyone’s always talking about and you never got around to, like Game of Thrones, the Lord of the Rings trilogy, The Wire, Westworld, or House.
If you’re looking for something more current: Ziggo/HBO will start airing The Plot Against America on Tuesday, which centres around the question: what if the US hadn’t done anything to stop Hitler? The six-hour miniseries should keep you entertained for a while.
If you’ve got Netflix, here’s a tip: the German detective series Babylon Berlin, about Nazis, communists, and prostitutes, set in 1929. Season three has just come out; there are a total of twenty-eight episodes, each forty-five minutes long. You can do your own maths on how many hours that is in total. It’s not like you’ve got anything better to do.
If you’re a real nerd, you need to watch all 279 episodes of The Big Bang Theory. That’ll keep you occupied for two weeks.
3. Declutter your room
Turn on Marie Kondo on Netflix, or better yet, read her books, and get rid of all your old crap. Don’t forget to thank whatever you throw away.
Since you won’t be able to leave your house, literally getting rid of your stuff will have to wait, but as long as you’re not throwing out anything perishable you can just leave it in the hallway.
Larger stuff does pose a problem, unfortunately. While taking it to the dump yourself is free in Groningen, the city does charge for coming to get it: at least 47.30 euros. You could hire someone through voordeligvervoerd, which would cost you forty bucks. Maybe it’s a better idea to keep your old couch around for a while.
Kondo’s latest book could prove helpful for UG employees whose desks are overflowing: Joy at Work. It’ll help you continue your decluttering journey when you get back to work.
4. A thousand pieces
Puzzles. Apparently, they’re hip again. Before you go on lockdown, drop by the Mamamini for an extra large box, or order some online. It’ll keep you busy for hours and it’s nice and zen. Add in a little podcast (see next tip), and doing nothing has never been more fun.
Once your quarantine is over, you can join the old people in the nearest care home. Don’t forget to disinfect your hands before you enter, though.
Put on a podcast to help you get through cleaning or doing that puzzle. Like Radiolab, which focuses on scientific and philosophical questions. If you’re more into crime, you can try Serial, which has been called the best podcast in the world.
If you want something a little juicy, we recommend Thirst Aid Kit, a podcast about celebrity lust and sexual desire. In their season one finale, they interview Chris Evans himself.
It may seem a little old-fashioned, but radio plays are still popular. Try the British radio play Home Front: the 617 episodes, each lasting fifteen minutes, will make the two weeks fly by. Finally, an oldie but a goodie: The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy.
6. Stay fit
You obviously stocked up on snack foods before going into quarantine. Yeah, you can’t keep a secret from us. Restrain yourself! Try to stay fit. It’s not easy, but you can do it in the confines of your student room, through a thing called convict conditioning.
It was developed by a prisoner, which is apt, since you’re currently a prisoner in your own home.
The idea is to use your own bodyweight. You need no weights or dumbbells. Just yourself, two chairs, and a table. If you want to get everything out of the training, you’d need to lock yourself away for six years or more, but at the end you’d be able to do a one-arm handstand push up!
There’s also plenty of cardio to do at home. Check out Chris Heria’s cardio video. You do need a bit of space, as well as an open window to get rid of the smell of your sweat.
You could also connect your old Wii and play a round of Wii Sports.
7. Use your imagination
Bingeing a show is well and good, but using your own imagination is even better. That’s right, we’re talking about reading. We know all that mandatory reading has turned you off it, but trust us, there is a lot of good stuff out there.
If you don’t have an e-reader and prefer to read paper books, there are other solutions. You can also read e-books on your laptop.
But what to read? Tip: ask your local booksellers. That’s currently a bit tricky, but Goodreads has done the work for you. Here are their lists for the best books of 2019.
8. Be a smartypants
You know a lot. After all, you’re a university student. This is the ideal moment to share your knowledge with the world. You can do so on Wikipedia. It’s super easy and your audience is much larger than the people who read anything you wrote or will write in uni.
The only problem is that no one will ever quote you, since your work ends up in a heap with everyone else’s. Think of it like academic volunteering.
Our most sensible tip: study. If you have a hard time studying by yourself, just get an online study buddy. Take a gander at the Study with Me livestream on YouTube and you’ll find one in no time. Or click here.
10. Call someone
It’s old-fashioned, but that fancy smartphone actually has a function that allows you to talk to people. Live. So give your parents a ring. Or maybe your aunt? I’m sure they’ll appreciate it.
If you enjoy talking to people and you want put some love out into the world: call an elderly person. A great uncle, your elderly neighbour, or a random person in a nursing home. No one is visiting them because of this darned virus, and there are plenty of people who need someone to talk to. They’ll be able to patch you through at reception.
Tip: have them tell you about the diseases of yore. Now those were scary.