Since the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic in early 2020, the world has become a very different place. Self-quarantine became inevitable due to the rapid spread of the new virus, which is also known as the corona virus. Many countries banned social gatherings and events, cafés, restaurants, and cinema’s were closed, and even sport clubs shut their doors. Governments asked their people to work from home whenever possible, and many parents struggled to combine working from home with educating their children, as schools closed.
The corona lockdown has been an ongoing factor in our lives for quite some time now, and it seems it will not be over anytime soon. Even if the restrictions are (partially) lifted, we still have to remain vigilant, and it will take a long time before we can be sure that the virus won’t return.
Staying active during the lockdown
Me and my humans have been working from home for the past five months. Our usual travels have ceased, outside of a few cycling trips around the city. We’ve been unable to meet up with our friends around the world and I haven’t seen my family in Africa for quite some time. Still, I’ve been able to find plenty of things to do during the lockdown, things I might have never gotten around to if it weren’t for these strange times we live in.
Together with my friend little Trompie, I tried to keep busy while our humans were working. We decided to compose a list of all the things we did, to hopefully inspire you to fulfill your time in a useful or interesting way, and fight off the boredom that will eventually settle in.
1. Do a puzzle
Our first tip for staying active during the next stretch of self-quarantine: do a puzzle! You can also make it into a little contest, to see who finishes first! Trompie was so slow, I finished my puzzle 15 minutes before he finished his… can you believe that?!
2. Stage a heist
Every human habitat has one: a storage facility of sorts, where you’ll find the most amazing goodies! Our tip for an exciting activity at home: stage a heist, and go raid that cupboard! Our favorite parts of the loot are the Japanese matcha candies… What treasure would hunt for?
3. Learn to cook
With most restaurants closed, going out for a delicious meal has become something of a dream. There’s an upside to everything though: this period is the best time to develop your own culinary skills! I personally can’t wait to taste my first zebra steak.
4. Celebrate your birthday (even if it’s not today)
There’s always a good reason to party. My humans often have random celebrations on days that hold no real meaning, just to celebrate their love. So why not celebrate your birthday, your 531 day anniversary, or your 11th chicken masala dinner of the year?
5. Explore a stamp collection
What’s interesting about little pieces of paper – some over a 100 years old? Well, we’ve learned a lot about world history by going through these books, which feature stamps from 352 (!) countries – many of them no longer existent! Additionally, we found this awesome 1985 leopard series from the Democratic Republic of Afghanistan, which existed from ’78-’92… and two cute elephants from the United Republic of Tanzania from 1994!
Of course, maybe you do not own a stamp collection…. but maybe you’ve collected something else? Coins, cards, souvenirs – sit down and really take a good look at that collection you’ve been working on for years!
6. Practice yoga
Staying at home means no more travelling, no more long walks and no more cycling. So how do we stay active? Through yoga! This month, we’ve joined our humans in taking on Adriene’s “30 day yoga challenge”. This final position is the part we enjoy the most, though…
7. Work in the garden
My human received a mini-greenhouse for her birthday! Today we’re helping her attend her garden, growing our own herbs and spices. I’ll let Trompie check out the plants first, though… just in case of bugs. If you have a garden – great or small – now’s the time to really enjoy it!
8. Go on a treasure hunt
There was a time when the world was still filled with hidden treasures. Trompie and I decided to go treasure hunting in the house to see if we could still find some ancient riches… It wasn’t long before we hit the jackpot! Now we’ll have to hide the treasure again before our humans come home…. Do you think you’ll find anything unexpected if you go through all of your cupboards?
9. Go online shopping
Self-isolation has caused a boom in the world of online shopping. Trompie and I are ready to make our first purchase as well, but could someone please tell us where we can insert our coins?!
10. Build a tree house
Time to pick up those house chores you’ve been postponing, or to build that tree house you promised to build years ago! Unfortunately, our garden isn’t big enough to build a tree house in, so Trompie and I decided to build one for LEGO-me and my LEGO-humans! I’m a little bit disappointed, though: I haven’t seen Trompie since I opened all the LEGO packs… Where did he go?! I’m doing all the work here!
11. Make a smoothie
It’s smoothie time! Take care of yourself – or your humans, roommates or housemates – by preparing a delicious smoothie! Today I made a banana-kiwi-coconut smoothie. I hope my humans appreciate my efforts!
12. Make some order
Do you have a lot of little mementos from your adventures? I sure do! Tickets to Angkor Wat, the map that helped me navigate the Gili Islands, a tooth pick from Cappadocia… Time to make some order! Do you have a box or room that needs some cleaning up? Go for it! You might never have this much free time again.
13. Read a book
Use your extra time to read a (new) book! I myself find these human books pretty difficult to read… but my humans always say that when you read a book, you have to “use your imagination”. That’s why I told Trompie that if he connected all dots on the page, images would start to appear! Can’t wait for my humans to get home and see this!
14. Recreate your favorite moment(s)
On April 11th, my humans were supposed to get married… but the COVID-19 virus got in the way! Still, they came up with a beautiful alternative: together with a select group of friends, they married “for love” in our own apartment! It was a beautiful day, which Trompie and I decided to recreate with our new LEGO set, while looking forward to the new “official” wedding date in September. Who says you can’t marry twice?!
Recreate your favorite moment(s) by looking at old photos, mimicking the day by doing the same activities, or turn it into a creative project like we did!
15. Organize a movie marathon
Organize a movie marathon – with an absolute minimum of 5 films! Our human was a film student (and director!), and he still has a large treasure chest filled with DVDs. We’ve switched to digital since, but re-watching these is awesome as well! Dust off your own collection, or check out a few films that have been lingering on your watch list for a while.
16. Spy on your neighbors
I wonder how the neighbors stay busy during self isolation? Time to find out, maybe they’ll inspire me! If you’ve reached the end of your rope, maybe it’s time for you to do the same!
17. Meetup online
Does staying at home make you feel a bit lonely? Don’t worry! Humans have invented this thing called video chatting, which allows you to see your friends even from half a world away! Today we had a lovely meetup: even my friend Koalaroo Jones from down under and my friends from Japan joined. This camera does little to bring out my natural charms, though…
18. Enjoy target practice
I found this prop gun from the film my human directed a few years ago! Thankfully, Trompie… uhm…. “volunteered” to help me with target practice. After all, you never known when the zombie apocalypse will come! We’ve got to stay prepared, right? Now, stop moving, Trompie!
19. Ride a bike
If the weather is nice outside, and you keep the right amount of distance from others, it’s OK to get out every once in a while! We took our humans’ mini bike and went out for a cycle in the nearby Máximapark.
20. Have a carpet picnic
When it gets too busy outside to safely enjoy nature, there’s always the option of having a carpet picnic indoors! While Trompie grinds the nuts, I prepare the salad. With a carpet picnic, you can shake things up a bit a home when things are getting repetitive.
21. Host a game night
There’s nothing better than a good old fashioned game night! From dice games and card games to board games and quizzes – leave your smart phone at the door, and really enjoy each others company! Trompie and I have been playing for hours… I suspect he is cheating, though; why else would I loose every single game?
We hope you’ve enjoyed our little list, and you’re not letting the COVID-19 lockdown get to you. Stay safe and stay at home! Keep your spirit up, take on those projects you’ve been postponing, and life will be back to normal before you know it!
Fluffy first strapped on his bite-sized backpack in 2010, and the tiny traveler has been exploring the remote corners of the world ever since. Fluffy is the author of the story book “Fluffy’s Adventures: Southeast Asia & the Pacific” and frequently writes about his life on the open road.