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Staying sane during coronavirus: Tips and tricks

Humor columnist Erin Clancy tells us how she’s staying sane during this pandemic

<p>In this article, I'll be offering some tips on how to distract yourself from the virus’ ever-tightening grip on humanity.</p>

In this article, I'll be offering some tips on how to distract yourself from the virus’ ever-tightening grip on humanity.

Hi, everyone. How’s it going? Keeping entertained? Any good Netflix recommendations? Finding fun ways to keep your mind from off-roading into an inescapable ditch of despair? These are the most popular questions I have received during these extraordinary times, and I offer them to you as well. Perhaps answering them will kill some time. God knows how much we have of that nowadays.

Well, look, I want this article to be a way to escape the reality of the new normal we face amidst the harrowing COVID-19 outbreak. So, this article will NOT be about coronavirus, nope, I refuse. Instead, I’ll be offering some tips on how to distract yourself from the virus’ ever-tightening grip on humanity.

Walk somewhere

It seems obvious, but I’ve been doing this a lot. Mostly because I can’t take the claustrophobia of a house filled with my mom and dad, sister, dog and the constant presence of the two Cuomo brothers. Can you please tell them to leave for like 10 minutes, Mom?

Anyway, once I’m outside, I take in the fresh air and the sun, and I try to focus on what’s good in my life. I get distracted by a bird’s swooping shadow blanketing the street, or by watching the leaves separating in the breeze and falling back together again like they’re part of some rhythmic love match. And then I look up and there’s a person coming toward me and oh no wait where are they going which side should I move to I don’t know what to do I am paralyzed and now there are cyclists edging past me as a car skirts by and I’m in the middle of the road and where should I go I can’t do this I can’t I can’t I can’t I ca–

Okay, on second thought, perhaps walking might surge some COVID-related thoughts. Maybe just, um, pick a place to stand and stay there.

Start an arbitrary fight with a family member

There’s nothing like a good old quarrel to engage your mind in something unrelated to COVID-19. The topic doesn’t matter, just make sure it’s trivial enough that you’re sure no productive conversation will take place, and you’ll have a game that can keep you entertained for days at a time. Notice your sister is wearing your least favorite sweater? Say something! Is your dad talking just above inside-voice on his Zoom call? Call him out! Does your mom keep sending you coronavirus-related news stories? Block her! There are endless opportunities. Let your creative talent shine!

Listen to a podcast about death

This has become an entertaining pastime of mine lately. I find it distracts me from the grueling reality of the present by transporting me to an equally as distressing past event. The difference is, this one’s not happening to me! My personal favorite thus far has been an episode about the 1918 Spanish flu pandemic. Did you know that the virus ravaged the global population from early 1918 to January 1919, with three deadly resurgences occurring during this year-long time period? See, there’s a lot of interesting stuff you can learn that doesn't have to do with coronavirus!

Erin Clancy is a Humor columnist for The Cavalier Daily. She can be reached at humor@cavalierdaily.com

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