By Mark Haiko
Denali Multimedia Editor
With millions of people stuck at home, many different pastimes and time sinks were thought up. From TikTok challenges, to quiet walks in the park, to just sleeping and sitting at home, people have been finding many ways of spending their free time while in lockdown.
An example of this is online challenges. Many challenges proposed by online personalities are keeping people occupied. One such challenge involves drawing based on a theme in your own style, with the challenge itself letting people forget about the current world situation and just sit down and draw.
Aside from challenges, many people have started going outside more, which of course is the opposite of what people did pre-COVID. Senior Patrick Jameson stated: “I feel now that I can’t go outside, I really want to go outside. Maybe it’s the fact that I am stuck at home or I am told to stay inside, but nonetheless, I know when this whole thing ends I’ll stop going outside and stay inside.”
People took going outside for granted, and due to always staying inside during the non-pandemic times, thinking that there will always be time. But then with COVID-19 locking everyone in doors, people are beginning to feel the opposite, wanting to go outside and experience nature, because that day may be their last before they catch the virus.
Around 63.6% of individuals surveyed from different discord server communities said that one of their pastimes during these trying times happens to be going outside, with the rest of the 36.4% trying their hardest to keep up with social distancing and staying home doing other things, like reading books, watching television, sleeping in, and most popular of all, video games.
100% of people who answered the discord survey said that they play games while in lockdown, from Animal Crossing: New Horizons to Doom Eternal, people have taken up video games for an end of the world quarantine. Of course it’s not the actual end of the world; but, as Denali seventh grader Alherd Haiko, wrote, “With the impending doom approaching, I play video games to forget about the cramped room that I spend around twenty hours a day in, and it helps me relax in the times of stress that we are surrounded in right now.”
With books and television unable to occupy people for days on end, video games have become more popular, with many parts of gaming equipment, such as monitors, consoles, and gaming peripherals to name a few, have been in a loop of going in stock and selling out fast. video games have become a large pastime in 2020, all because of the COVID-19 pandemic and the immense amount of boredom it brought with it.
Around 90% of the people who answered the discord survey also answered that they have started to sleep in more, with places like school and work not requiring a commute now, some have started waking up mere minutes before their work was scheduled to start. Others started waking up earlier to get all of their work done early, and then taking a nap shortly after all their day-to-day work is done.
Sophomore Mateo Contreras stated: “After completing all my classwork and attending my Zoom classes, I usually take a quick nap to regain some energy, I always take my dog on a walk at my local park with a face mask, and maintain a safe distance (from other people).” Connecting back to walks in the park, people have started to quite enjoy the stay-at-home fashion of life, with Chilean Resident Mickey Gonzalez saying that “free time has been quite the limiting factor for me due to the amount I have to commute to and from my job, and working at home has given me quite a lot more free time in order to enjoy life, and play World of Warcraft with my college friends, or go to my childhood park for a walk.”
Pre-COVID, many people were following unbalanced sleep patterns, with many highschoolers getting two to four hours of sleep due to staying up till the next day. The lockdown changed that, people go to sleep anytime they want, and wake up anytime they want. And with time between classes, many students have started taking naps like stated in the quote before.
Some people, on the other hand, have gone insane due to remaining inside for such a long period of time. One of the survey responses, submitted by Denali sophomore Henrik Evers, stated: “Days blur together, nothing differentiating them. The constant constants shut out everything. How can I make things interesting when all attempts to do so have themselves lost any interest? Hope is fading… there is only an egg. A solitary egg, standing in solidarity, defying the madness. But is there madness? It is calmer than ever. The clock may tick to 25:131, but is it mad to believe it? Or is it mad to believe that is no longer tells the truth? When all there is is insanity, how can one determine sanity? How can one say that it is insanity at all? Hours go by in swarms, hardly worth remembering.” He is currently fine, playing video games when he isn’t doing schoolwork, but his statement showcases what people feel when they don’t have the proper means to spend time.
But aside from people expressing their discontent with the lockdown, people share the same idea about reopening the country’s economy and borders, as Mission Middle College sophomore Soren Ryan-Jensen said: “It’s a bad idea.” Which would ring true, especially with many people going outside without protection, some even being unknowingly sick.
People have found ways to cope with staying inside for three months, from biking, to reading books, to video games, and doing funny online challenges. But the main connecting thing with most of these is that at least people are trying, and that’s all that matters.
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