Five things to do in Quarantine

Can something good come out of a pandemic?

I have encouraged (some might say coerced) 51 students in my social media marketing class to become new bloggers. I will likely do a future post showing off some of the student blogs that cover topics from vintage vehicles to makeup, music sampling to customer knives, and self-help and fitness to desserts. Of course, the topic of the pandemic and social distancing has come up in multiple blogs.

One of the students posted a video blog post this week on “Things to do when bored in Quarantine.” Her amusing and uplifting video presented her five choices:

  1. Home workouts – everybody must get toned
  2. Get fresh air in walks
  3. Go for drives – just don’t get out
  4. Journal
  5. Find New Music

I thought that was a good list. As I thought about it I realized that I had an implicit list that I wanted to do with the time.

Recall the words of Rahm Emanuel: “…never let a serious crisis go to waste.” Maybe that shouldn’t only apply to political activism – maybe it applies to human growth as well!

My 5 New Things to Do in Quarantine

Notice that my list has some overlap with the list of my student:

  1. Get reacquainted with old friends and family. Make new friends.

I have a weekly Skype (we stopped using Zoom because of the privacy issues) video meeting with my friends, Rich and Bob, who I have known since my wife and I moved to Chicago in our early twenties. We had kept in touch irregularly but the weekly coffee meeting brings back the old times in Chicago!

I also take part in a twice-a-month video cocktail hour with the League of Interesting Gentlemen, a group of local men who now have some time on their hands! And I have started texting and Facetiming others more frequently.

2. Catch up on Reading

5 things to do

After dinner I stay off the computer. I am reading three books:

  • The Three Body Problem – Sci Fi
  • Owning Game-Changing Subcategories, by branding expert David Aakers, and
  • The Age of Influence by Neal Schaffer

3. Learn to play my harmonica

I am working through “Learn to play in 30 days.” No progress to report – I am having trouble with the train sound…

4. Daily fresh air walk with my wife. Forest bathing.

We live in a beautiful wooded area in the New River Valley. I believe that forest bathing is a real thing. It is good to have another activity with my spouse, even though we spend our days in our home. The hill is steep, but if we go a step or two further each day…

5. Freshen up research and new projects

I must admit no real progress here… But if you want my excuses, it has been time-consuming to switch to teaching online and it is the peak season for activities in my role as MBA director, as I market and review new Fall candidates. Hopefully, if you ask me I will have something to report here in a month.


According to some, the origin of the Rahm Emanuel quote was a quote from a doctor calling on patients to take advantage of an emergency to improve their lives. So:

Do you have your own “quarantine Five?”

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