Inspired by Monet's impressionist style, I painted an ocean sunrise. (Photo by Avery Pak)
Westlake High School

Opinion: Creative ways to cope with a pandemic

It all happened in a matter of days: rising death counts, empty grocery store shelves and school shutdowns. Chances are, the community you’re in has been affected by the coronavirus, and it’s likely that you’re going to be staying at home for a while, whether it be due to mandatory quarantining or voluntary social distancing.

It is essential to understand that going to crowded restaurants, social gatherings, or any public place is not a sign of bravery, it’s a sign of carelessness. Unless it is absolutely essential, everyone should minimize contact with others in order to prevent the exponential spread of the virus. 

Below are some ways to spend your days indoors and cultivate your creative side.

  1. Read. Even though there’s no school, it doesn’t mean you can’t pick up a solid book; it doesn’t have to be as challenging and archaic as the novel you dissected in your AP English class in order to be enjoyable. You can stick with the classics, such as “The Sun Also Rises” or “Little Women,” a childhood favorite like Harry Potter, or a page-turner like “The Giver.” Try looking for unread books in your home to avoid buying new ones outside or download/purchase them on your computer or phone. 
  2. Learn new recipes (or master old ones). During my time in the house, I’ve honed my homemade cookies, smoothie bowls, and granola. Cooking passes the time alarmingly quickly, especially if you play music or work with family members. The only challenge: not eating everything before it’s done.
  3. Paint, sketch, or color. Maybe this season of quarantining is your sign to learn how to sketch those aesthetic eyes you always see on Instagram, or to transform into Monet and create an impressionist landscape painting for your room. 
  4. Write (and maybe even start a blog). If you feel that your artistic skills are lacking, then channel your creativity into words. It’s likely that staying indoors has made you think a lot, so use these thoughts to fuel profound poetry, serious opinions, or light-hearted stories. Write down random things like what you eat in a day, what you’re grateful for, short-term and long-term goals, and things you miss. Or do a Q&A (which you can easily find online). 
  5. Practice a new hobby. Whether it be learning the cords to a guitar hidden away in your garage, riding a skateboard for the first time, or learning the cringiest TikTok dance you can think of, new hobbies will definitely up your creative skills and get you thinking in new ways. 
  6. Film and edit a movie. This can be done alone or with family members; all you need are a functioning camera and one actor. You can film a documentary series, a horror movie, a romantic comedy, or an action thriller. Having made several movies myself, I suggest using iMovie for free editing. You can either post the movie to YouTube or hold a private screening session with friends and family. 

Hopefully you now are excited, and maybe even inspired, to stay at home and hone your creative skills. If everyone takes the proper steps to stay out of public, the virus will certainly be easier to contain.