Like many other countries in this region, Singapore has been struck by the coronavirus situation with more and more cases surfacing daily. It has lead to the most Singaporean of condition: Kiasu-ism. Masks, hand sanitizers, and alcohol swabs are quickly and unnecessarily flying off the shelves as citizens stock up on supplies as if in an armageddon. Now, you can’t even sneeze or cough in public without attracting stares, which is a big problem for someone like me who is currently afflicted with morning sinus.
As of 2nd Feb, 524 people were put under quarantine—222 in government facilities and 302 serving out their quarantine at home. While some joke about how lucky people under quarantine are, the truth is, 14 days, 336 hours cooped up in a space is no laughing matter. The threat of cabin fever heightens and kicks in with symptoms like cabin fever include irritability, restlessness, boredom, excessive sleepiness, and a feeling of dissatisfaction.
We want to put a positive spin to unlucky folks quarantined due to the coronavirus and see it as an opportunity for you to work on yourself, your self-growth, and learning new skills. There’s really no reason to be stagnant and watch Netflix all day (although it’s perfectly fine if that’s what you want to do, no judgment). That said, here’s a list of all the wonderful, productive things you can do while in quarantine for 14 days that ensure you stay within the legal boundaries of your homestay.
1. Listen to Podcasts
If you’ve yet to hop on to the Podcast bandwagon, there’s no better time than now to explore the great new world of podcasts. With several great shows available on Spotify and iTunes, there’s no need to download any special apps to listen to some of the most engaging audio storytelling you’ll hear even as you receive news update on the coronavirus.
Personally, I’d recommend Serial (Season One) if you fancy yourself a sleuth, Where Should We Begin for real-life relationship therapy sessions, and Mamak Sessions, a Malaysian podcast hosted by the fun folks behind JinnyBoy TV.
2. Paint by numbers
Not an art savant? Fret not. With a paint by number kit, you too can unleash your inner Picasso. As the name suggests, paint by numbers is a guided step by step, shade by shade template that helps you recreate some of the art world’s best masterpieces. It’s fool-proof creativity and sure to bring hours of entertainment over the weeks of coronavirus quarantine.
3. Finish all ten seasons of Friends
The loveable misadventures of six best friends make for the best companion at a time when isolation from the outside world might make you forget you have friends too. Bask in the timeless comedy shtick that spans ten seasons of 236 episodes before it gets ripped away from Netflix forever. By spending an average workday watching 17 episodes back to back, you’d have binge-watched all ten seasons with time to spare to miss the real friends you have. Win-win!
4. DIY Knit Kit
Perhaps you find more joy in crafts. This quarantine, take the opportunity to finally learn how to knit like a pro. With knit kits from It Takes Balls SG, soon, you’ll be on your way to making useful things like a tote bag, a sexy scarf, a clutch or even a cat bed while picking up a lifelong skill along the way. Each kit purchased comes with everything you need—needles, yarn, product pattern, and a crochet hook. Purchase of each kit comes with unlimited access to It Takes Balls SG knit parties at their brick and mortar at Mox. But only after your quarantine is over, lah.
5. Online crossword puzzles
Nothing kills the brain cells faster than inactivity. This ‘holiday’, work out the brain with online crossword puzzles that seamlessly combine abject frustration with the satisfaction of getting a word entry right. Our favourite is Guardian’s collection sorted by theme—there’s Cryptic, Quick, Speedy, Everyman, and Genius. Plus points: an expanded vocabulary that impresses upon your release to the real world.
6. Jigsaw puzzles
When was the last time you indulged in a good ole jigsaw puzzle? I can’t remember either. But there’s just something so mundane and philosophical about fitting the right pieces together to see the bigger picture. For the brave, start with a 1000-piece pack which, when finished, serves as a reminder of how usefully you’ve spent the past 14 days in isolation. Online retailer, Perfect Fit, carries a wide range of breathtaking puzzle pieces such as Northern Lights, Beautiful Dusk in French Alps Resort, and our favourite: the 2000 pieces set featuring Jacek Yerka’s Bibliodame.
7. 30 days of Yoga with Adriene
Isolation often comes hand in hand with increased anxiety. And who can blame you when you’re stuck in behind four walls every day, for 24 hours, for the next 14 days. Calm down, Beyoncé.
When stressed, there’s always Yoga. 30 Days of Yoga with Adriene is your online guide to calm and zen these two weeks of isolation. Rejuvenate your spirit and centre your Chakra with a step by step class with your new best friend, Adriene. With all the time at hand, you can easily condense 30 days into two weeks without breaking a sweat.
8. Learn how to code
Demand for AI-centric tech and data-driven processes has opened up new career opportunities for developers. It’s inevitable given the prevalence of apps taking over the most mundane, everyday tasks. With an average salary of S$75k per annum, there’s no better time than now to pick up this skill. With websites like Codeacademy, you can now learn coding with ‘advanced tools and content that you need to make your learning faster and more efficient’ from the comfort of your home.
9. Learn how to type
Long before smartphones and touch keyboards, there’s typing. Physical, manual, typing. It’s a lost art, as typewriters make way for onscreen keyboards and emojis at the tip of your fingers. During this isolation period, learn how to type quickly and accurately with an extremely comprehensive touch typing course to ever grace the Internet—TypingClub. With over 684 free lessons spread over nine levels, TypingClub will easily you from zero to Ernest Hemingway in a matter of weeks.
This is a no brainer. Here are some of my tips on how to Declutter like a pro.
1. Throw out everything you haven’t touched or seen in the past three months.
Stay safe, everyone. And may the odds, be ever in Singapore’s favour in these very trying times.
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