Readers’ Forum: 3/31/20

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Spending time outdoors

Lately (as I’m sure is the case with most people), I have been spending quite a bit of time indoors playing video games, binging shows and watching movies. With the hysteria that COVID-19 has produced worldwide, I fear that many people have fallen into my poor habits of staying indoors constantly doing activities that truly do not provide good health as a consequence of social distancing.

In a way, it’s ironic that we are now avoiding practices that improve the quality of our life to stay healthy. It’s time to get back outside and engage in healthy activities. I’m not suggesting that we all go to our local parks and join in groups of more than 10 people, but just try and do more outdoor activities.

With friends and family you can go on a walk, a bike ride, a hike or visit a lake and fish; just don’t stay indoors all day. There are plenty of healthy, outdoor activities that can be reasonably done without endangering others. It will be better not only for your own health and sanity but also for your families and friends.

Bronson Duckworth
Las Vegas, Nevada

Two effective ways to make quarantine productive

During these hectic times, it may be hard to find a spare moment to relax and actually benefit from the nationwide stay-at-home mandate. But, how can we (college students) make the most of this seemingly tedious necessity?

First off, find some time to be alone and really get stuff done.

It is surprisingly relaxing to barricade yourself in your room, plop down on your couch or just sit at your kitchen table for a couple of hours and start planning and doing. “Idle” and “college” are two words that cannot coexist in the same sentence unless used in completely different contexts. Use this time to really think about what needs to get done, plan out how you will get the things done that need to get done, and then carry out your master plan of action without distractions. Try putting your phone on “do not disturb mode” or, better yet, turn it off for a couple of hours. You’ll be surprised how much will get done and better yet, your online assignments will be mostly or all completed for the day!

Secondly, take necessary breaks

It is impossible to work 24/7, and if you think it is possible, you are doing yourself a disservice. The human body needs time to relax and just think about nothing for a few minutes. Reserve small intervals of about 30-45 minutes within your study regiment to watch a TV show, read a book or just think about life. Then get back to work and you’ll be surprised at your increased level of productivity!

Andrew Miner
Redlands, California

We are not alone

The world, especially right now, is a difficult place. Viruses, unemployment, stock market crashes and more make you reflect on what really matters. At the root of it all are humans just trying to survive. That is what we have been doing for centuries, but it seems like we sometimes make our lives more difficult than they need be.

During this time of hardship, I hope we can remember that we all feel the same feelings — anxiety, sadness, fear and loneliness. We are not alone. We are united by a common theme of humanity. Deep down, we are all just people; no matter what color, race, ethnicity or social status, we all need kindness.

We all need love. We all need hope. So, let this time be a starting point for us to look outside ourselves, to realize that there is a bigger picture than all the problems we create. Sometimes we need a shocking reminder of how human we are and how we rely so much on each other. Let this be a pledge you make from here on out, to show compassion to others because after all, aren’t we all human?

Andrea Moore
St Louis, Missouri

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