Quarantine Activities for the Whole Family

The first part of this is that, if you’re with your family, you’re probably doing it wrong; the whole point of quarantine is isolation. If you can see someone else, you’re probably doing it wrong. So, first step is to kick all those moochers out of your doom bunker, so you can focus on the only family member you really love: yourself (I’m sure I’ll get hate mail about that sentiment, but let me remind everyone; I’m not the guy saying that this is all an overhyped hoax, it’s time to get back to work, and Granny can take her chances with the Matchstick Girl on the altar of Gilded Age wealth). Got them all out? Good. Here’s a realistic quarantine diary for those of you who want to survive:

11 am — Wake up. Don’t fool yourself that you’re going to wake up early and get a lot done; being productive usually requires other people, and, right now; you want to avoid other people.
11:15 am — Breakfast. Probably extra-spicy Doritos you had in the back of the pantry, left over from the Super Bowl.
11:30 am — Dance around in your underwear, like Tom Cruise in Risky Business. Don’t pretend it’s not something you wouldn’t do if there weren’t anyone around.
11:45 am — Brief pangs of guilt about not reading Moby Dick, learning to paint, unpacking your NordicTrack home gym, or any other ambitious self-improvement projects you’ve been putting off. It’s not like anyone’s going to be judgmental after the apocalypse.
12 pm — Eat away the guilt. Those Doritos aren’t going to finish themselves, and calories are at a premium in these uncertain times.
12:15 pm — Look up Covid virus symptoms and current stats. Briefly ponder the horrors of death, plague, and medieval existence, etc. while wondering if that bad head cold you got back in January was actually Covid 19.
12:30 pm — Trash television marathon. Look, “Tiger King” is unbelievably stupid, but you can take a lot of comfort knowing that, no matter your current situation, you don’t have over 200 tigers in your backyard, too. Briefly ponder if tigers can be trained to recognize and attack plague victims.
3:30 pm — “Project Runway: Apocalypse Now.” Attempt various DIY PPE gear. Would that ratty old scarf your aunt sent you a few years ago work as a filter, with a few modifications?
3:35 pm — Out of guilt, call aunt to see how she’s doing.
3:36 pm — Hang up after being reminded of why you only see these people during the holidays. Smugly enjoy your sense of isolation and/or victory.
4 pm — “Project Runway: Zombieland.” Okay, fun time’s over; now you have to ponder what a virus with a 2–4% death rate would really look like in terms of your daily life, which means actual disaster preparedness. Do you have enough food to make it through the next week without going to a supermarket? If the supermarkets close, do you have enough animal traps to get your own food? How much toilet paper do you have, really?
5 pm — Cocktails.
6 pm — Dinner. After attempting a sparkling conversation with the mirror, remember why you actually do let people into your life.
6:10 pm — Panic calls. Call every single person on your contact list and make sure they’re alright, I mean really. This might be the last chance you have to talk to them, so make it good.
7 pm — Wheel of Fortune
7:30 pm — wonder where the day went, remember that you’re sleeping through most of it, purposely.
7:35 pm — Watch soothing nature documentaries.
8 pm — shower/hygiene
8:30 pm — Tune out Beloved Leader’s latest, weird monologue about how everything is great, we’ll have a vaccine in a few months, etc.
9 pm — Social media as an emergency replacement for actual social activities.
11 pm — Bed. You made it through another day on a dying, infected planet! Hooray!

Written by

Science journalist, cancer survivor, biomedical consultant, the “Wednesday Addams of travel writers.”

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