As summer is quickly coming to an end, I am not looking forward to the fall as much as I usually do. In the midst of the COVID-19 pandemic, brave businesses throughout the city reopened their doors this summer. Though things will never be the same as they once were, there was a sense of comfort in seeing a little more traffic on the highways and a few more people out on the streets. For safety reasons, this clearly may not have been the best idea, as COVID-19 cases in Illinois are back on the rise. With colder weather on the horizon, students returning to universities and certain restaurants and bars already closing their doors, there is potential for our state to revert back to the way it was in late March. Keeping this in mind, I have been paying close attention to new ways that I can keep myself occupied during quarantine.
Something that has helped me stay sane throughout quarantine is that I treat my daily routine as if things are not open. As strange as this might sound, I'm finding myself wanting to be on the better prepared side if businesses do, in fact, close their doors this fall. It is relieving to know that the opportunity to dine out or go to stores is still there, but something tells me that they may not be for long. For safety reasons, I am also working hard to limit my interactions with friends and these businesses. I'm pretty content to order takeout and socially distance outside with friends, but I began to worry about what would happen when the weather is no longer warm.
In the spirit of combatting quarantine boredom, I have taken this month to challenge myself to do one new socially distant activity per day. In terms of the word new, it does not have to be any type of wild or drastic activity, just something that I don't normally do. For example, I walked to a coffee shop that I had been wanting to try and ordered a latte to-go. On a different day, I started practicing piano again, as it was something I hadn't done for many years. I also decided to try my hand at painting, and ended up framing a canvas to hang up in my new apartment. Though these are relatively small actions, they serve as a way to spice up the monotony of quarantine. I feel a sense of independence in knowing that I can entertain myself and find joy in things that do not have to do with going to a public setting or heavily interacting with others. I'm looking forward to figuring out what to try next, and I highly recommend taking a look on Pinterest if you are interested in finding simple, creative things to work on at home.