The Quaran-teen’s guide to social distancing


Kathryn McAuliffe

Missouri is asking state residents to practice social distancing to prevent the spread of COVID-19. During these times, look to simple and helpful ways to make a change for others and yourself.

As week one of our three week breaks winds down (yay?) cabin fever is heating up. Binge-watching an entire season of Parks and Rec just isn’t as satisfying as it was on day one. To combat the boredom everyone is bound to feel, check out this list of simple and engaging activities you can do now. 


Make a bag of donations

COVID-19 has disrupted our lives, but the eternal optimist in me remembers that it could always be worse. Consider those without stable homes or financial insecurity at this time, and make a bag of donations. It’s the perfect time to channel your inner Marie Kondo and sort through your closet to create bags of clothes you can donate. Sort through old books and donate to a school in need. Pull out the bikes you never use, and send them to kids in need. If you don’t need it, chances are someone does. Make an effort to help others while decluttering your own life. There are plenty of organizations accepting donations in our own community.


Make or bake something

Every time you’ve mindlessly watched Food Network has been preparing you for this moment. Channel your inner chef (or baker) and try a new recipe. Fill your time (and mouth) with delicious scents and tastes as you make old classics or new favorites. Not sure what to make? Enter the ingredients you have here for recipes to be generated in an instant! With this much free time, learning a new skill is a given. Why not make that skill one you’ll use forever? 


NPR Tiny Desk Concerts

It’s likely that none of us will be attending any concerts or music festivals anytime soon. To combat this, I introduce you to your newest obsession: Tiny Desk Concerts. Sponsored by NPR, Tiny Desk Concerts bring you musical performances from big-name stars to the best artists you’ve never heard of. The 15-30 minute (mostly) acoustic performances show your favorite artists in a relaxed, intimate, conversational performance with the audience. Artists perform a few songs, with commentary on their writing processes, emotions and inspirations acting as transitions. For the best way to experience your favorite artist, discover new music or attend the concert you have planned for this summer that will definitely be canceled, try a Tiny Desk Concert. My personal favorites include Harry Styles and Taylor Swift


Audiobooks and Ebooks

Everyone remembers a time where they’ve claimed to have read some piece of famous literature that has been sitting on a shelf for years. I’m as guilty as they come (sorry Jane Austen) but this is the perfect time to dust off all the books you’ve been meaning to read. But if sitting still for five hours while doing so isn’t the most appealing process, then audiobooks are the perfect solution. Our library offers access to Ebooks and audiobooks online through their website. If you can’t find the book you want to read there, the popular service Scribd is also offering their audio and ebook service free for 30 days in light of current events. A recent statement from Scribd explains that they want all people to be able to access information as they settle into a “new normal.” Take advantage of this opportunity and get some reading done!


Reach out to a friend

Current events can be a bit saddening, so make an effort to check in and reach out to friends at this time. Schedule a facetime date, set up Netflix Party or send each other letters. Switching from seeing your friends every day to almost three weeks of nothing can be a bit jarring. It doesn’t have to be if you make an effort to reach out and stay connected.