Keeping Busy during the Pandemic

April 01, 2020  •  23 Comments


What are you doing to keep busy during the pandemic?

With most businesses and schools closed and travel restricted to just the necessities of food, medical care, and emergencies, most people are confined to their homes, with their children. The topic on everyone's mind is what to do to keep one's sanity and avoid the horrible news splashed across TV and social media.

Some people, I presume, watch TV non-stop or binge on a favorite series on cable. Others retreat into a good book or three.  Still others get involved in long-neglected chores around the home or garden. Parents with children may be helping the kids keep up with their school work. Unfortunately, some people may just sit around, and eat and drink too much, and be bored.

For photographers, winter is usually a quiet time, one to catchup after a busy summer and holiday season.  Organizing, culling, re-editing photos, sprucing up the website and planning to grow their business and get set with shows for the coming year are all tasks on the agenda.  Now that events are cancelled till at least June, this has changed.

Many photographers have moved exclusively to social media, displaying photos they like or they think will promote calm (like me) on FaceBook or Instagram, or get involved in photochallenges.  This is good because it keeps people connected.  Isolation feeds fear and anxiety--it is much better to keep in touch by social media than tremble by oneself.  Calling a friend or distant loved one helps both parties.

 I have done some of most of these, as I am not one to just sit around.  To this list I would add taking an online course to further your knowledge. There is a huge universe of online courses that are available, and taught by teachers from Ivy League institutions.  It is possible to get a higher degree in any field you can imagine. If you want a degree, there is a fee, of course, but if you are just interested in learning, most courses can be audited for free.  I like the free ones.  At this point in my life I don't need another degree (I have enough already, thank you). I do love to learn and have already taken several courses, including ones on design and the history of music.  My favorite so far is called "Seeing Through Photography."  It is offered by the Museum of Modern Art in New York (MOMA) though Coursera and it is taught by an excellent curator of photography.  It explores the history of photography, but more importantly, it looks at different types of photography and explains what the photographer had in mind.  The course features extensive videos and interviews with the artists--every one very well done.  There are also a list of additional reading and yes tests, if you want credit. I cannot recommend this course highly enough.

The point is that boredom is not necessary, nor is it good for your mind or soul.  We are in a terrible time in our lives and history. Many good people will die and the nation will change in unexpected ways. Do yourself a favor and use the time given to you to calm yourself and improve your mind.  The human race will survive and keeping busy may help you to do so too! 




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