COVID Friendly Fun

How to still enjoy yourself during a global pandemic


Brooke Huffman

When dealing with something as impactful as a global pandemic, you have to think outside of the box as far as entertainment goes.

Brooke Huffman, Co-Editor-in-Chief of The Ledger

It’s hard to find time to genuinely enjoy yourself when it seems like everything is a reminder of the grave state the world is in. Staying at home is dreary, and every time you check your phone it’s just a news alert reminding you about the latest catastrophe in this apocalyptic year. Leaving is even worse—you can’t even look at a stranger without the paranoia of possibly catching COVID-19 sinking in. Now more than ever, it’s important to find positive outlets, activities you can do that bring you the slightest drop of serotonin. Here’s a few activities to try out at home and in town:

Home Alone

You would think that after nearly seven months in and out of quarantine that Netflix would run out of shows for us to binge, but that never seems to be the case. New content is always premiering, including fan favorite limited series “The Queen’s Gambit,” a period drama about fictional addict Beth Harmon fighting to become the best chess player in the world. If you like that, make sure to check out another newer release, season four of “The Crown,” which centers on Princess Diana’s time as a member of the royal family. Don’t worry- binging the other three seasons first is completely optional, as the show isn’t a continuous saga, but rather an anthology. If you’d rather watch a movie, that’s completely alright: Netflix just released “Hillbilly Elegy” and Hulu is showing “Happiest Season”, the former being a dramatic tale of returning to one’s hometown and the latter a sappy, LGBTQ+ holiday-themed flick.

If movies and TV aren’t your style, you can opt to break the bank at home instead. Online shopping has been in vogue for years now, but these days it’s practically a necessity. Though Black Friday and Cyber Monday deals are over, plenty of stores are celebrating the season with new holiday deals. To keep up with flash sales, check out Business Insider.

All by Yourself (With Friends)

Isolation is lonely, and it’s easy to find yourself suffering from lack of socialization, but never fear—there’s plenty of online solutions to overcome these blues.

If you enjoy the occasional game of Cards Against Humanity with friends or if you prefer more family-friendly alternatives, Jackbox Games are at your service. Taking place completely online, all Jackbox requires is one computer with screen sharing capabilities, and a device per player. From there, you follow the directions on the shared screen, and let the games begin. Each party pack is about $20 on Steam, and comes with an average of five games. Party Pack 4 is widely considered the most enjoyable, with games ranging from two players to 16 players.

If you enjoy getting together with friends for movie nights, try doing so remotely through Teleparty, originally named Netflix Party. It’s easy to use: just download the chrome extension, go to the streaming service of your choice and pick a show, and create a party. The chat feature allows for plenty of conversation during the movie, and the extension itself is free.

Out on the Town

Don’t worry- unless you’re officially quarantined due to testing positive, being presumed positive, or coming in contact with somebody that has tested positive, you can still leave home. However, it’s still your responsibility to keep yourself and others safe: wear a mask, keep hand sanitizer and/or disinfecting wipes handy, and social distance.

As far as eating goes, many places are still open for indoor dining, but that’s not necessarily the safest option right now. In order to still support local workers like hosts and waiters, opt to dine outside. Restaurants like Red Robin, El Tio Pepe, Blue Sky, and the Brass Rail all offer outdoor seating for your convenience. If that doesn’t sit right with you, try ordering takeout and hosting a picnic. O’Day Park on Highway DD has a few pavilions and plenty of open space for you to bring a blanket and some friends for a dinner date, while still following COVID safety guidelines.

It can be hard to find places that follow all of these guidelines; often, they’ll meet a few and be lacking in other areas. When you can, try doing activities in the open air, like going to the skate park or playing a game of basketball at an outdoor court. This can’t always be possible though— it’s getting colder, the days are getting shorter, it’s nearly impossible to be comfortable outside. Try finding safe alternatives. Places like Great Skate require masks and have plenty of room for social distancing; if you’re renting skates, bring extra wipes to clean them off and you should be set. Bowlero has a similar policy: because the lanes are spaced out, you can make sure you’re only near your bubble of friends, and you can bring wipes to clean off the bowling ball. It’s certainly not convenient to live during a global pandemic, but there are plenty of ways to make the best of a bad situation.