I first heard of the word quarantunes from Rita Wilson, the wife of Tom Hanks. She was one of the few high profile celebrities who first tested positive for covid-19 last April. As a way of coping with the pandemic’s direct impact, she produced an open Spotify playlist of tunes called Quarantunes. People now have various hobbies. In between covid-19 related work and volunteering for CoronaTracker, I find myself occasionally checking out riddles posted on Facebook just to kill time.

I also enjoyed looking at the kitchen adventures of my friends. Most of my friends generously post about their cooking exploits similar to what Amy wrote about here in The Other Side a few weeks ago. I still have mediocre kitchen skills but new things came out of the pandemic quarantine that I am happy about.

A lot of generous folks from the media industry also released access to Youtube videos of concerts and plays. Most of these were fundraisers for covid-19 relief efforts and was released publicly for a limited time. Recently, I was able to watch The Phantom of the Opera and a local play called Ang Huling El Bimbo in the comfort of my own home and with my husband and two kids.

This May 15, The Shows Must Go On Youtube channel is airing Cats the musical for free to the public as well. It will air for only 48 hours and I’ll definitely be watching this play with my family during the days it’s made publicly available. Broadway is now within virtual reach for most of us who still have to stay home to flatten the curve. We are lucky to have all these resources opening up at our disposal and helping us manage our new normal during this global crisis.

The show must go on mentally as we try to survive the new normal. But as the new normal on a lockdown has taken hold, I also noticed some subtle changes in the way I deal with people. I find myself waving to my neighbor eagerly now when I see him or her from our window. I used to ignore these chances or take these for granted when I had the actual freedom to go out and pay my neighbors an actual visit.

Resolutions have been made; I plan to be more expressive of gratitude to the people I am able to interact with because I sorely missed that interaction now that I am stuck at home. I am introvert but I still miss having the abiity to visit family and friends. I am just grateful I have a fun and supportive spouse locked down with me who helps me with the household chores and caregiving duties for our kids. Not everyone is in the same fortunate situation. Some front-liners have to battle out with the virus risks directly in the hospitals. Covid-19 patients have to fight for their lives and very survival while they wait for a negative swab test result. I hope I don’t forget the reason why I am able to stay home; it’s because of these heroes who are on the front lines of the pandemic battle.

What about you? What new hobbies and interests has this pandemic uncovered in you lately?

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