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Patrons dining at Big Guys BBQ Roadhouse in Hudson, WI on Mar. 10.

During quarantine, people adapted, picked up new hobbies

COVID-19 is a pandemic with far-reaching effects that have not been observed in nearly a century. But as vaccines begin to roll out and restrictions have begun to roll back, some people are feeling more comfortable leaving home and resuming normal activities. During quarantine, many people adapted and quickly picked up new hobbies. 

Different people engaged in multiple activities depending on if they spent more time at home versus those who were out. Some people played video games such as Call of Duty and FIFA as reported by TheOdysseyOnline. Many also reported taking up other hobbies, such as cooking. For those who ventured outdoors during quarantine, some picked up biking. Because of this, retailers have been unable to keep up with the demand for bicycles, as people began using them for both exercise and transportation.

“I would say I was home, but wasn’t inside, I was out for a lot of runs and played tennis,” junior tennis player Alexis Witter said. “I live with my grandparents and they both have risk and it just made me think, wow, I could, like kill my grandparents with this virus if I got it, so I had to be really careful and keep my mask on.” 

People who opted to remain inside during the lockdowns and pandemic opted more so to engage with virtual meetings with friends and coworkers. As well as meetings, Netflix had noted an uptick upwards of 13 percent in viewership and subscriptions as noted by both the BBC and CBS News.

“I really haven’t been hanging out with friends…it’s just been school,” sophomore Maddie Bauer said. “Sometimes we go to the mall but that is all.”

One of the positive aspects of lockdown is that people will better themselves by learning new skills in order to help people get through the mundane and boring pandemic life. People had to learn self discipline such as time management and be driven in order to complete either schoolwork or office work.

“I have been baking a lot more, I guess I would say I’m good at it, but I still cant master flat cookies or cupcakes that actually look correct. So I’ve picked up baking but haven’t improved,” Witter explained.

I would say, I was home but I wasn’t inside, I was out for a lot of runs and played tennis…just found hobbies I guess.”

— Alexis Witter

During the course of lockdown people began new projects, such as redoing their basements or other projects. With Netflix’s uptick in viewership and subscriptions, they steadily release new shows and movies to keep people engaged and entertained during the pandemic, such as Tiger King and Outer Banks which became the most popular shows at the time of their release.

“During the summertime we usually go out on the river when we did hang out or we’d stay inside and watch movies. But we didn’t really hang out during the winter,” Bauer said.

Over the course of the last few months, COVID-19 vaccine rollout has been steadily increasing and the number of recipients of the vaccine has been increasing daily. As a result people are beginning to relax a little bit because there are more people that have been vaccinated causing relief, especially amongst the older populations.

“My grandparents just got their vaccines, so I feel like after they get the second dose I’ll be able to fully get back to how it was hopefully, obviously still be careful like no big get-togethers, but almost the same as it was,” Witter added.

The vast majority of states within the United States have provided vaccines (at least first dose) to citizens in the range of  mid-twentieth percentile as reported by the New York Times. This has given people hope that a better future is both attainable and within reach.

“I’m less concerned than I used to be. Now that people are getting vaccinated, it’s just less concerning to me now that we have vaccination,” Bauer said.

Every person has their own pandemic story and as such, it has become a very personal experience for many. The skills people gained were not all uniform, while some may have learned to cook, others may have ventured outdoors and learned something else. The experience itself is not uniform and as such we cannot treat it as such. While vaccines may be rolling out and COVID-19 cases fall, some may continue to opt for a familiar safety or maybe they will take advantage of the new opportunities that arise from rolling back restrictions.

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