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I’ll start off by acknowledging the fact that I’m incredibly lucky. None of my friends or family members has become ill as a result of COVID-19. I have a place to stay, food to eat, and toilet paper to spare. On the downside, I think I’m losing my mind. Staying indoors all day has led me to pick up a variety of new and concerning habits. I figured there’s no better way to describe my stir-crazy behavior than with a list of my quarantine coping mechanisms. So, in no particular order, here they are:

#1: Watching Facebook Cooking Videos

I’ve spent quite a bit of time scrolling through BuzzFeed’s Facebook cooking page called Tasty. The page has tons of short videos with people whipping up all kinds of dishes, from chicken meatball soup to chocolate chip cookies. These two-minute instructional videos make even the most challenging recipes seem simple and quick. Since I’ve been too lazy to give any of them a try, I’ll just have to appreciate the food through my computer screen.

#2: Attending Classes with My Cat

For the first time ever, I can hang out with my cat during college. He’s usually in my room while I watch lectures and attend meetings over Zoom. I think he’ll have made significant progress on an undergraduate degree by the end of quarantine.

fluffy cat
Photo by Kari Shea on Unsplash

#3: Getting the Peanut Butter to Jelly Ratio Just Right in My PB&J Sandwiches 

Although I’ve always been passionate about making the perfect PB&J, quarantine has given me the opportunity to really hone my skills. I’ve discovered that I prefer slightly more peanut butter than jelly. Otherwise, the balance is all off and the sandwich is ruined. 

#4: Binging Way Too Many Reality TV Shows

I don’t know whether to feel ashamed or proud of the fact that I’ve watched more than five different reality TV shows in the past month. No matter how frustrating and stupid some of them are, it’s nice to forget about real-world problems for a while and fully immerse yourself in Netflix’s Next in Fashion or the latest spin-off of The Bachelor

#5: Triple-Texting My Friends

Since I can’t be around my friends, texting has been my main form of social contact. I’ve been known to double and even triple-text my friends. Hopefully they won’t be too sick of me once quarantine ends.

Hands holding phone
Oleg Magni on Unsplash

These are just a few of the habits I’ve developed while in social isolation. I’m not exactly sure if I can call my quarantine coping mechanisms healthy or unhealthy. Maybe somewhere in between. But if perfecting PB&J sandwiches and triple-texting my friends makes this time a little better, then I’ll take what I can get.

Jennifer Anderson

UC Berkeley '22

Jennifer Anderson is a senior at UC Berkeley majoring in Media Studies and History. Outside of school, you can find her rewatching Glee for the 20th time, trying out new dessert recipes, and exploring the Bay Area.
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