The consequences of COVID-19 running rampant through our lives have clearly been negative. Everyone knows someone who has gotten sick, if they have not themselves, and almost everyone has heard of someone who died from COVID-19 complications. Knowing this, people have had to adapt to the needed change in lifestyle. Amidst our isolation from friends, family and normal activities we were comfortable with, we have, as a society, had to adopt some new habits as well as hobbies, and some of these adjustments might have been for the better.
The spring and summer of 2020 had even the most social people spending hours of time alone and confined to their houses. Alongside this loneliness, there was a lot of extra time built up with nothing to fill the gap. Americans typically have very fast-paced lives, filled with to-do lists and hours of work. In many ways, COVID-19 and quarantine halted this.
According to Dean Schabner with ABC News, Americans work significantly more than other countries and have busier lives. This idea of being busy also stands true for college students, who feel the never-ending pressures of balancing social lives and piles of school work.
Quarantining during COVID-19 shattered our busy lives and our perceptions of time. Suddenly, we had time to think and were able to finally confront the thoughts we often shove aside when our busy schedules prevent such contemplation. The distraction of daily life was not gone, but it was considerably lessened. Because of this, we were able to enjoy life with the relative peace provided from quarantine and had the freedom to figure out different ways of enjoying our time.
Extra time led to the development of hobbies we never thought we would have had the time for. Fernando Alfonso III of CNN outlines the burst in hobbies during quarantine, showing how people have used their newfound time to revisit their old childhood hobbies, some of which include origami, sewing and drawing. Because of the spare leisure time quarantine provided, people of all walks of life had to explore new ways to spend this time with a wide range of activities to learn.
Having more time to ourselves as well as avoidance of collective indoors activities led to an increase in activities such as exercise, gardening and more crafty activities. According to the Leave No Trace Center for Outdoor Ethics, people have increased participation in activities such as gardening and will continue to participate in these once quarantine ends. The COE also notes how, "The most salient changes include utilizing local public lands more often, diversifying their recreation activities, and participating in more fitness-based activities."
No one can argue exercise and learning how to do creative activities are bad things. Picking up such productive activities instead of hurrying along to the next event is a great way to relax and learn how to enjoy life for what it is. Our fast lives needed a break, and even though this pandemic situation is terrible, we should take what we can and appreciate the lessons we learned in our solitude.
While certain aspects of quarantine are fading away, now is when we need to appreciate what we learned and continue to hold up the healthy hobbies and habits we adopted during this time.
We have all been highly focused on the pauses and disruptions COVID-19 imposed on our typically fast-paced, busy lives, but it is especially important for us to note the changes it has caused us to make, including bettering our physical health and clearing our minds enough to open up to new hobbies and ways to spend our time.