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COVID-19 pushes students to creative outlets

The coronavirus has affected each of us in a variety of ways as sporting events get cancelled, concerts postponed and schools close nationwide. The unexpected confinement to our homes is leaving most of us in search of creative ways to fill our time.

Each individual has the ability to help stop the spread of the virus, and through the employment of the techniques of social distancing and self-quarantine, we all have the ability to flatten the curve.

Many students at Salisbury University are taking this opportunity to better their health, and although the gyms are closed, there is a multitude of ways to exercise in your own living room. SU junior Sarah Bailey decided that this was the perfect time to dust off her mother’s step-aerobics workout tape from the 90s and try a new way to work out.

“I have never done any kind of step-aerobic workout and was honestly pretty doubtful of its effectiveness,” Bailey said. “As I continued to stick with it, though, I found that it was a great way to get a good workout, and it’s something fun that my mom and I can do together.”

Bailey's exploration into the different ways to workout at home does not stop there, as she is now an active enthusiast of yoga. Through her exploration of ways to get an effective at-home workout, she discovered a multitude of YouTube channels dedicated to teaching the ancient exercise form.

“Even if I only have the chance to do ten minutes of [yoga] a day, I still feel that can relieve some of the stress of school and quarantine,” Bailey said.

In addition to relieving the stress accompanying being cooped up in your house, yoga has been proven to promote better sleep habits, relieve anxiety and promote a more energetic lifestyle.

COVID-19 is a disease that directly affects the respiratory system and has been found to put strains on the circulatory system; yoga has been proven to directly improve the functionality of these systems within the body. Utilization of consistent workout routines that are proven to strengthen these areas of the body are necessary preventative measures to include in your daily routine.

Squat rack built by Joey Osborne. Joey Osborne Images.

SU football player and junior at SU Joey Osborne took this quarantine to find creative ways to keep up with his workouts from home. Osborne took it upon himself to try and replicate his daily workout routine at Maggs Physical Activities Center through the building of his own squat rack.

Although not every person has the desire to create their own workout machine as Osborne did, there is a multitude of ways you can keep up with your fitness at home. From online workouts to taking a walk around your neighborhood, everyone has the ability to strengthen their immune system and raise their overall health.

My own sister, SU senior Elisa Rivera, has taken this isolation as an opportunity to expand her skill set through the learning the trade of embroidery. From utilizing online tutorials, you have the ability to take this extra downtime to pick up new a whole new set of hobbies.

When you’re not working out or trying to stay caught up with your schoolwork, there is a variety of activities that you can enjoy from common household items. SU junior Skyler Neiers is one of the many who are trying to find ways to stay busy and has been spending her days drawing, painting and creating unique sets of clothing.

“Bleach-paint” hoodie created by student Skyler Neiers and sister. Skyler Neiers Images.

Neiers and her younger sister found plain black hoodies and used paint brushes dipped in laundry bleach to paint on their own designs.

“I’ve been looking for things to do other than my artwork, and I got the idea from a TikTok tutorial I saw,” Neiers said.

“I painted on work from a lot of my favorite rappers and shows and then just went with whatever design came to my head," she added.

This quarantine is the perfect time to explore your creative side and try and pick up some new skills along the way. Whether you decide to expand your wardrobe like Neiers or learn to sew or knit, there are a lot of ways you can find to stay entertained.

Hat embroidered by Elisa Rivera. Elisa Rivera Images.

Neiers also divulged into the ways that she has been trying to expand her skills in the kitchen.

“My mom, sister and I have been exploring the internet for different ways to cook and are getting inspired to try and cook a lot of things that none of us had ever thought of even trying in the past,” Neiers said.

Neiers also expressed excitement about Disney’s recent releasing of its famous Churro Bites recipe as a way to help Disney advocates get through the recent park shutdown. Through a simple recipe that can be done in less than an hour, you can bring home some of that idyllic Disney magic.

Through the simple act of using things already found in the average kitchen, Neiers is showing us all ways that we can spend time with our families while also discovering new hobbies.

One of the struggles that accompany self-quarantine is the isolation from seeing your friends, and if you’re like SU senior Cori Harairy, you’re looking for ways to stay in touch. In addition to spending her time putting together 1000+ piece complex puzzles and painting to fill her day, she has decided to utilize the Zoom application as a way to stay in contact with her friends.

“I got the idea from our online classes through the university, and thought it was a great way to be able to imitate hanging out with my friends in the best way I could,” Harairy said.

If you’re like her and over 21, you can find yourself missing going a night out at the bar, and although the bars are temporarily closed, this does not mean you can’t try and have fun drinking at home. Harairy has been using the Zoom platform to connect with her friends through playing drinking games that they all can participate in from the comfort of their own homes.

“Even though it’s not the same as being able to go to a bar, it’s the best thing we can do to try and stop the spread of the virus and still have some fun with each other.” Harairy said.

Every person has been affected in different ways by the occurrence of the coronavirus and the subsequent changes implemented due to its severity. The sudden shift in our known reality can have you looking for ways to stay entertained, and SU's Center for Student Involvement and Leadership has added to the list of creative solutions.

Throughout its Instagram page, @csil_salisbury, organization members have created what they are calling the CSIL Virtual Challenge that any student within the university can participate in. Through competitions such as “Meme Monday” and “Work it Wednesday,” students can follow the instructions posted on the Instagram feed and win a variety of prizes.

Whether it be physically, mentally or competitively, SU students are getting creative with their quarantine activities, and you can, too.



Staff writer

Featured photos from Joey Osborone Images, Skyler Neiers Images and Elisa Rivera Images.

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