When President Rodrigo Duterte declared the extension of the community quarantine cum lockdown, he advised three things to do to avoid boredom: (1) One could visit and tour all the corners of his/her house, (2) Study, or, if one doesn’t like to study anymore, (3) Buy cellphones and just use them. In his lingo, he said “mag tuplok-tuplok na lang kayo sa bahay”.
For those living in mansions, the first is possible especially for the 2.6% of the total families in the country living in houses with more than 200 square meters (sqm) . But for 32% of the Filipinos whose floor area is less than 30 sqm, the president’s advice may not be well received.
The second and third, of course, are the most logical actions. But apart from these, what are the other things that we can do under the ECQ?
Here is my list:
- Reading not just to study but for pleasure. The ECQ could be a time to catch up on readings. According to Lifehack, reading has a lot of benefits. Apart from gaining knowledge and entertainment, it could stimulate the mind, reduce stress, improve memory and enhance analytical skills among others.
- Planting not only ornamental plants but also grow food. In fact if we started planting at the start of the community quarantine, we would be harvesting by now. The fastest growing vegetables are radishes, salad leaves and spinach. Or, one can try mongo sprouts and broccoli sprouts which could only take a few days.
- Watching instructional videos from simple science experiments to cooking a delicious meal. Then practicing what you are watching.
- Writing, drawing and painting. These are good pastimes that could really ease boredom and even create money. For creative writing, one can develop stories and share them through Wattpad.
- Vlogging or video blogging. With just a mobile phone with camera and some what President Duterte calls as “tuplok-tuplok”, one can create video contents. My son, an eight your old, was able to make instructional videos of his own by learning and teaching origami. Others are also into story telling. In Bicol, there is this “Istorya ko, Tabang ko” where one shares stories through YouTube or Facebook to keep children in their homes or raise donations for malnourished kids during Covid-19.
- Exercising. Covid-19 is a health issue and this can be addressed with a healthy body. But more than helping maintain physical health, exercising also helps release chemicals that deals with stress and reduce the risk of depression.
- Volunteering — the thing that is keeping me busy with. A number of civils society organizations and consortia are out there asking for your time. Some involves giving psychological first aid to those stressed out by being locked-in their houses, translating and distributing Covid-related informational materials, or providing technical inputs and policy recommendations. Covid Action Network is a place to start. So is the Mindanao Food Highway.
Still bored? Try one of those now and see the difference.