Tea Time with Tagwa: Still want to go out? Read this, and you’ll have no excuse not to social distance

Illustration by Karly Andersen

Tagwa Shammet, Opinions Editor

Tea timers, I know you’re all bored beyond belief right now. We all are. I know I am. Because of the ever-growing reach of COVID- 19, we have all been restricted from the outside world. Our daily lives feel like they are on pause. The days trickle on by, with little idea of when everything will go back to normal. Non-essential business, universities and schools are all closed. I know it is a very frustrating and isolating time. However, social distancing is not optional.

I’m sure you’ve all heard the term “social distancing” on the news, on social media and in daily conversation at this point. It has become part of our pandemic language. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.” In simpler and more relevant terms, social distancing means staying away from any and all social gatherings and keeping to oneself. 

Pretty simple right? Not for everybody. Apparently, some of you believe social distancing and other regulations recommended by The CDC and the government don’t apply to you. Well, let me happily burst your bubble: They do.

These regulations aren’t requests, they need to be followed thoroughly to ensure the safety of all people and combat the pandemic that we are all in. 

Listen, we are all bored. I, personally, am growing quite fatigued of waking up only to count down the hours until I can go back to sleep. I am lacking any motivation to complete my schoolwork. I miss my friends and my regular life activities. Nevertheless, I push forward. I am aware that I am doing my part in fighting this pandemic by staying inside and keeping to myself. Furthermore, I know that I am protecting my family and everyone else by not putting myself at risk to both get the virus and spread it to others.

Some of you even have the audacity to be proud of your actions. Spring breakers in Florida think they’re being cute by enjoying their break on the beach, while the rest of the nation suffers. The rest of the world suffers. To make matters worse, most of these spring breakers aren’t afraid of the virus because of the misinformed idea that COVID- 19 doesn’t affect younger people.

While the virus has been seen to not affect younger people as much, it still affects us. Yeah, you might not die, but you do have to suffer the symptoms of this virus. Days of a fever, aggressive coughing, a closed-up throat and so many other symptoms will still come knocking at your body, regardless of age. So, sure, your chances of death aren’t as high as your neighborly 70 year old, but after reading the horror stories of people’s experience with the virus, you damn well feel like you’re dying.

So, I’ve decided to be a generous writer today and give some of my personal favorite quarantine activities.

Working out

Apps such as Nike Training have made their premium membership workouts free to help people stay fit during this time. I use this app in the mornings, and pair it with a walk in the afternoon if the weather permits.

Reading

This one is a personal favorite. I recently started reading books that I loved my first two years of high school. I haven’t read a young adult book in about three or four years, so the nostalgia makes them even more fun to read. I’m currently reading Marie Lu’s “Legend” trilogy. Last week, I finished reading Michelle Alexander’s “The New Jim Crow: Mass Incarceration in the Age of Colorblindness.”

Baking 

So, I may not be Gordon Ramsey or even Georgia Geen, but I’m learning. My roommate sent me a picture of a cake she made, and it inspired me to learn. I’ve always been a good cook, but never knew how to bake. Let’s just say, I’m still learning. I first tried making a cake last Sunday, and it was a complete failure, which just inspired me to keep at it. So far, I’ve successfully made a cinnamon crumb cake and an orange ginger cake with a cinnamon swirl. If I can bake, you sure can too. 

Do your work

Now that pass/fail grading is an option for VCU students, I’m going to need all of you to at least make sure you pass all your classes. Get your work done.

Painting and arts & crafts

I’m not artistic, but I see my older sister has become a painter since this pandemic started. Try it out.

Social Hour

Finally, since some of you are so desperate for social interaction, you’re going to like this one. Netflix Party, a Google Chrome extension, allows you to watch anything simultaneously on Netflix with all your friends. It has a chatroom section where you all type out your reactions. I love Netflix Party, because after a while, you really feel like you’re watching the movie with your friends.

Regardless of how you choose to keep yourself busy, please stay inside and practice social distancing. We are all bored and want to return to our daily lives. But, that will never happen if we keep defying professional recommendations. The quicker we follow directions, the quicker this whole thing will be over. And that’s the tea.

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