We Asked 100 People How They’re Keeping Busy During Quarantine

By Rita Thompson



In the midst of all this chaos, a little positivity goes a long way. Take a break from the news and check out the Emerald’s compilation of 100 things people are doing to keep busy during quarantine!


1) Lauren, 21. Chester County, Pa.

“I have been getting in touch with my creative side again by smoking and drawing this jellyfish forest for the past few weeks!”

2) Karina, 24. Allegheny County, Pa.

“Working in an Intensive Care Unit (ICU) specifically for COVID patients is very difficult; it feels like a completely new job. However, I have a really great team of nurses, respiratory therapists, and doctors that I work with which makes it feel more safe while taking care of these critical patients.”


3) Laura, 21. Philadelphia, Pa.

“Chalk drawings on the walls!”

4) Jimmy, 22. Chester County, Pa.

“Becoming a photoshop prodigy.”

5) Bill and Ellen. Lake County, Fla.

“Just finished doing a little gardening here at our home in Mt Dora, Fla.”

6) Gabe, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“Playing Xbox with your friends is a good way to stay in contact with them and pass the time.”

7) Anne, 58. Loudon County, Va.

“I’m trying new craft projects.”

8) Nelle, 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“Maisy And I go for walks during quarantine!”

9) Catherine, 21. Chester County, Pa.

“Quarantine has consisted of a lot of crying. Helps pass the time.”

10) Henry and Will, 5 and 8. Bucks County, Pa.

“Exploring by the river.”

11) Dylan, 18. Mercer County, N.J.

“Boxing and staying in shape!” 

12) Stacey, 49. New Hanover County, N.C.

“Adopt a rescue dog and train the crazy out of him.”

13) Rebecca, 22. Hillsborough County, Fla.

“Did I stick and poke my leg for a Lit project? Maybe.”


14) Jessica, 21. Camden County, N.J.

“I’ve been trying to learn to how use Ableton [digital audio software], and listening to music.”

15) Mel, 31. San Joaquin County, Calif.

“My partner and I expanded our organic fruit and veggie garden a few weeks ago to include three small cannabis plants. We’ve also incorporated companion plants, like marigolds and lavender.”

16) Jodi. Mercer County, N.J.

“Sewing masks for the Mercer Mask Project.”

17) Madalynn, 21. Richmond County, N.Y.

“Fostering a dog from the shelter to help find a forever home during the quarantine!”

18) Micah, 10. Mercer County, N.J.

“Offering virtual tutoring sessions for pre-k through 3rd grade [students].”

19) Allison, 22. Montgomery County, Pa.

“I’ve been learning how to crochet during quarantine.”

20) Janet. Mercer County, N.J.

“Spending time outside enjoying the weather and gardening.”

21) Anass, 21. Portsmouth, U.K.

“Playing videogames with friends.”

22) Jason, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“I’ve gotten to spend a lot of time with my little brother. I didn’t think I would ever be living at home with him again so I’ll cherish our time.”

23) Klaudia, 22. Mercer County, N.J.

“I am currently learning how to do embroidery and stitching with all this time we have now!”

24) Ant, 19. Camden County, N.J.

“Educating myself on the stock market.” 

25) Andy, 67. Mercer County, N.J.

“Working on my new look and working it (the beard).

26) Luisa, 22. New Castle County, Del.

“Trying different at-home workouts to maintain my health and my sanity.”

27) Kira, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“I’ve been doing yoga to keep busy and to move my body while silencing the mind.”

28) Drew, 21. Bucks County, Pa.

“Recovering from surgery.”

29) Greg, 57. Mercer County, N.J.

“Working on unfinished house repairs.”

30) Rita, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“Expanding my handmade earring business, EarringsByRita!”

31) Megan, 14. Mercer County, N.J.

“[Went] puddle jumping and found a rainbow.”

32) Emmett, 21. Chester County, Pa.

“Working on my short game.”

33) Sophie and Sean, 21 and 24. Middlesex County, N.J.

“Corona beer pong!” 

34) Tracy, 22. Erie County, N.Y.

“Playing Link’s Awakening.”

35) Lori. Mercer County, N.J.

“Learning a new way of working with team calls.”

36) Aaron, 22. Mercer County, N.J.

“Taking daily bike rides with my sister.” 

37) Lillie, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“Forcing my dog to go on very long walks with me to pass the time.”

38) Christina, 55. Mercer County, N.J.

“Working very hard at keeping my cat, Katie, from getting bored!”


39) Shak, 22. Mercer County, N.J.

“Weed and biking (6ft apart) go together like, well weed and any other thing.”

40) Lea, 21. Essex County, Mass.

“My quarantine hobby has been baking so far. I try and make something new once or twice a week for myself and my family!”

41) Molly, 20. Dorset County, U.K.

“I’ve been completing courses on Future Learn to help grow my knowledge for a future career. They are all free, with hundreds of courses available!”

42) Luke, 21. Chester County, Pa.

“I watch Survivor (the best show ever), to pass the time each week on Wednesdays at 8 p.m. during quarantine.”

43) Lily, 8. Mercer County, N.J.

“Bake banana bread with your rotten bananas” 

44) Joyce, 53. Mercer County, N.J.

“Working, and when I’m not, I do a live Max Challenge workout through Zoom, and also take walks and hikes with the family.”

45) Isabelle, 20. Philadelphia, Pa.

“I learned gardening from my mom and love to see things grow all around me despite all this confusion and darkness. Milkweed is a Pennsylvania native plant that attracts monarch butterflies.”


46) Dani, 21. Honolulu, Hawaii

“I feel lucky to live on such a wonderful island and be able to use nature to keep myself busy.”


47) Kaleigh, 21. Chester County, Pa.

“Business as usual. Making cartoons for The Daily Collegian.”


48) Dom, 20. Philadelphia, Pa.

“Stack ’em, stack ’em, stack ’em. You stack ’em, then you rack ’em.”

49) Victoria, 21. Charles County, Md.

“I love to keep busy and stay in touch with art. One of my talents is baking with the most natural ingredients that are safe for earth.”

50) Barbara, 58. San Fransisco, Calif.

“I’ve been indulging in my passion for cooking delicious meals. Since I get to work from home, I can do soups, stews, braises, roasts, any day of the week. Truly exciting. A few of the meals in lockdown included a yummy dry-brined roast chicken, the classic Corned Beef and Cabbage for St. Paddy’s Day and roasted salmon on a bed of cauliflower puree.”

51) Kenny, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“In these boring and unmotivated days, I’ve decided to rekindle the spark in my forgotten about love, sorcery. I’ve been, again, pushing my magical abilities to pass the time by turning real horses into these miniature horses here. You can even dress ’em up.”

52) Paul, 50. Mercer County, N.J.

“Outside of continuing to work, now at home, I’ve cleaned out literally every closet in the house; every drawer in the kitchen; and thinned out the hoarding that was going on for years in my attic, garage, and basement. Oh, and I’ve ripped the powder room down to the studs because cleaning wasn’t enough!” 

53) Sebastian (Spaulv), 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“Wrapping up my latest album.”

54) Julia, 23. Mercer County, N.J.

“Trying out new recipes, working on job applications, and drinking lots of coffee.” 

55) Emma, 19. Chester County, N.J.

“During quarantine, I have been training my new puppy how to live!”

56) Kaili, 33. Mercer County, N.J.

“Taking walks as a family!”

57) Jamila, 5. Mercer County, N.J.

“Making healthy snacks, like salad!”

58) Eva, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“Going grocery shopping for people who can’t go out.” 

59) Kyle, 20. Nassau County, N.Y.

“I’m starting a farm.” 

60) Liv, 21. Philadelphia, Pa.

“Going on runs around the city I wouldn’t normally go on.” 

61) Christie, 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“In quarantine, I’ve been making homemade candles in hopes to brighten everyone’s spirit and keep my hands busy creating. I sell them on Instagram @madebysighberries

62) Nicole, 20. Philadelphia, Pa.

“I’ve been doing this color-in-owl poster and binge-watching TV series!”

63) Rachel and Mike, 22. Mercer County, N.J.

“Spending our time caring for our new chicken babies.”

64) Kinsey, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“Art and Animal Crossing.”

65) Emilia, 21. Dorset County, U.K.

“I’ve spent my time skating.”  

66) Josie, 22. Mercer County, N.J.

“Spending lots of time outside/reading!” 

67) Eric, 26. Philadelphia, Pa. 

“So we’ve been experimenting with different kinds of chip-whiches” 

68) Adeline, 18. Mercer County, N.J.

“During quarantine, I’m focusing on college and spending time riding my bicycle.” 

69) Simi, 23. Mercer County, N.J.

“Cooking and baking everything I never had time to before. Check it out on Instagram @simispice

70) Heidi, 7. Greenbrier County, W.Va.

“Learning how to drive the big 4- wheeler!”

71) Jeannette, 48. Mercer County, N.J.

“Games! Lots of games!”

72) Kelly, 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“I’ve been using my free time to cook healthy meals with my family almost every night.”

73) Bailey, 19. Mercer County, N.J.

“Cooking, specifically grilling. These are burritos. I know you can make them in the oven but it’s nice outside.”

74) Stacey, 54. Broward County, Fla.

“Though I am still working every day (I work from home), I found time to crochet a blanket. Here is when I first started it.”

75) Bryn, 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“I’ve been spending quarantine crafting a lot and picking up hobbies I normally don’t have time to do! I’m in the middle of creating a boozy board game.”

76) Carole. New Orleans, La.

“I made Easter cookies!”

77) Joelle, 3. Mercer County, N.J.

“Learning how to drive her brother’s car”

78) Eileen, 68. Passaic County, N.J.

“Staying safe!”

79) Patrick, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“This is how Patrick quarantines. Oculus VR games.” 

80) Matthew, 22. Mercer County, N.J.

“During COVID I had to come home from my teaching job in Honduras because our school closed temporarily, but I am still teaching my 4th, 5th and 6th grade students remotely from my basement in New Jersey.

81) Pam, 55. Mercer County, N.J.

“Working on all my home renovation projects I’ve been meaning to get to!”

82)  Brooke, 29. Gloucester County, N.J.

“I’m using Duolingo to try and learn Italian in my downtime. I used to do it a while ago and just started up again and it’s pretty good!” 

83) Josh, 23. Burlington County, N.J.

“Backyard golf, snaps and beer die [a table based game] have dominated this quarantine.”

84) Yulduz, 20. Bucks County, Pa.

“I’ve been spending my time painting.” 

85) Stacy. Mercer County, N.J.


86) Justyn, 21. Morris County, N.J.

“Staying occupied with *trying* to align the paradoxical aspects of my inner thoughts to find imperishable serenity.” 

87) Isabel, 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“During this quarantine, I’ve been experimenting with makeup and I’ve also been trying to enjoy nature while stuck inside.”

88) Tara, 15. Hampshire County, U.K.

“I’ve been playing volleyball to keep myself busy.” 

89) Elyse, 20. Mercer County, N.J.

“I’m training to run a half marathon (with no previous long-distance running experience).

90) Ted, 23. Summit County, Ohio

“Spending time with nature is a great way to take a break from being cooped up inside, as long as you will keep your distance.”

91) Sebastian, 21. Mercer County, N.J.

“During quarantine, I’ve been listening to a lot of podcasts.” 

92) Andrea, 49. Mercer County, N.J.

“Working from home with my cat on my lap.”

93) Lisa, 54. Mercer County, N.J.

“Cleaning and organizing the basement.”

94) Sophie, 20. Dorset County, U.K.

“I’m a carer, so I’m out working!”

95) Harrison, 6. Mercer County, N.J.

“Learning how to ride a bike.”

96) Lisa. York County, S.C.

“Did this puzzle with my 78-year-old mother.”

97) Olivia, 22. Philadelphia, Pa.

“My day [involves] stretching, moving, and yoga with my family.”

98) Carole, 22. Maricopa County, Ariz.

“Doing home improvement projects/building Ikea furniture.” 

99) Josh, 31. San Joaquin County, Calif.

“Taking my guys on extra walks.”

100) Dana, 54. Mercer County, N.J.

“Trying yoga for the first time!”

Emerald contributor since June 2019


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