Published by the Students of Johns Hopkins since 1896
December 6, 2023

What to do while social distancing

By JESSE WU | April 4, 2020



Pasta aglio e olio is just one of the many dishes that Wu has made while social distancing.

The coronavirus (COVID-19) has led to many public health edicts, including social distancing and shutting down non-essential business. Many report an increased sense of social isolation amid the current crisis.

So, what better than a list of suggestions for things to do to relieve cabin fever?

Movies and television.

I’ll start with the obvious one. You can sit an home and binge watch your favorite TV shows and catch up on films. I’ve personally been watching the Christian Bale Batman movies, Hong Kong action films and The Wire. Many subscription services are offering one-time deals, such as Roku’s free month of premium channels.

Outdoor walks and runs 

The current stay-at-home order in Maryland applies to all non-essential activities. You are still allowed to go outside for exercise, as long as you maintain a safe distance away from others while doing so. Try to be aware and respectful of others’ personal space while enjoying the great outdoors.

Some parks’ facilities have completely closed due to the current crisis to prevent congregating in large groups. If a park is crowded, it’s best to stay away.

That being said, I have still enjoyed going outside for a nice walk in the neighborhoods around campus. The trees are in full blossom in Baltimore, and the beautiful pink and white petals are flying though the air.

At-home exercises

You may still opt for the safer option of staying at home all the time, in which case the amount of exercise from your daily life is completely eliminated. Many blogs and exercise communities online are posting about easy low-resource exercises that you can do at home!

I have picked up lifting my five-gallon Kikkoman soy sauce bucket in different ways, but I prefer the fun of Just Dance 2020 on my Nintendo Switch. It’s like low-budget Peloton!

Video games

Okay, it’s more than just video games. Being at home has allowed me to connect with high school friends over Discord and play games with them. These are people I haven’t spoken to in months, maybe years.

I’ve been picking up Counter Strike: Global Offensive (CS:GO) and building my own PC like a true gamer, but classic strategy games like Sid Meier’s Civilization V and Stellaris are still in the rotation.

Playing CS:GO with my brother, who lives and works in California, whom I only talk to on the holidays when we’re both home, is the highlight of my day.

I also picked up Kerbal Space Program, which is a space exploration game with an insanely realistic physics engine. The Legend of Zelda: Breath of the Wild is another personal favorite that I have over 120 hours logged on. I could spend all day playing that and never get bored.


Cooking is one of life’s most important skills, and having access to a kitchen is one of the greatest features of adult life. 

I have been making a plethora of pasta dishes, as I now buy loads of dried pasta for easy storage and cooking. Spaghetti Bolognese, pasta aglio e olio and linguine with cream sauce and corn are some of my favorites from the past two weeks.

What’s really great about being at home all the time is that I can have a pot of something braising or roasting while in meetings and classes. When class is done, it’s about dinner time, and I have some flavorful shit on the stove that only needs a bit of finishing.

I can also make things that I have never made before. I made curry for the first time ever today!

In addition, I have had all the time in the world to sous vide everything, like the infamous Guga Foods YouTube channel. And if I screw up, I don’t have to worry about it as much, since I’ve got plenty of time tomorrow to try again!

Cooking at home is awesome, and I would highly recommend it as a hobby. Just try not to burn the entire place down if you try to fry something.

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