As COVID-19 spreads around the world, so does the interest in long-lost hobbies.
Increasingly larger areas of the globe are forced to shelter in place. Additionally, unemployment claims hit a record high of 6.6 million in the United States the week ending March 28, doubling the previous week’s record.
For many, the extra time not spent working or commuting is time now devoted to a childhood hobby, according to CNN.
Here are five stories from around the world of how coping with boredom rekindled interest in sewing, drawing, coding and more:
Joëlle Hol, the Netherlands
Joelle Hol normally spends her days as a retail marketing manager. She used to sew simple projects from when she was 12 until her second year of college, she told CNN in an email.
“I was never in the right head space to start a new sewing project, too much to do, life responsibilities and too much chaos in my mind but now that my country is on lockdown, and there are no job responsibilities calling me, I decided to start a new sewing project,” she said.
On Twitter, she shared a photo of a new sundress she is working on now that her job is on hold.
“Once I start on something, I get totally consumed by it and lose all sense of time, and while that’s usually a problem, in this situation it’s quite the opposite. I can devote all my time and energy into this hobby and once the lockdown is over I will probably have a whole new wardrobe and a whole new motivation to continue with this hobby.”
Janhvi Kapoor, India
Janhvi Kapoor found her career as an award-winning Hindi film actress in 2018. Now faced with self-isolation, she shares newfound hobbies of painting and writing with fans and friends on Instagram.
She realized she “likes to write” and posted a short personal essay called “Things I’ve Learnt after a Week in Self-Isolation.”
“I’ve learned that I relied on too many people for too many things, For vanity, for my health, for my entertainment. I took for granted the fact that I could travel, by foot, in a car or on a plane. All of these things are luxuries. That became daily life. That then became necessities.” —Janhvi Kapoor
India has been under a strict 21-day lockdown since March 25, but Kapoor has been self-isolating since before the prime minister’s announcement, according to Hindustan Times.
Daniel Oh, South Korea
Vox interviewed several people from around the world about their life in quarantine. Daniel Oh, 17, shared how he filled his time out of school, in some ways typical of a high schooler with time on his hands and in some ways a unique return to past hobbies.
“My life has always been driven by habit, and without the rhythm of school and church to bring me out of the house, I often feel lethargic or restless.”
Oh describes on one hand how he will “watch an unhealthy amount of Youtube” but also enjoys activities he wouldn’t normally have time for.
“I’ve begun to pick up some old hobbies, such as coding and writing, to break up my gray, monotonous existence...I’ve also started to adjust well to my life at home,” he told Vox. “But I won’t lie and pretend that life is easier being at home all of the time. I would much rather be going to school, enjoying my last year of high school and creating wonderful memories.”
Shadi Kandil, the United Arab Emirates
Shadi Kandil hasn’t found the time to draw in more than seven years, he said in an interview via Twitter with CNN. Now he thinks it’s a better pastime than scrolling on his phone.
“I got away from drawing and writing because of life,” Kandil told CNN via Twitter. “I have family and two kids, too many work and life and family responsibilities, not enough time anymore for hobbies.”
Trevor Dieterle, the United States
Trevor Dieterle, in Monterey Peninsula, California, told CNN that he was not home by choice. He was employed as a personal trainer and yoga instructor until his studio shut down amid the coronavirus concerns.
“Definitely an overabundance of free time on my hands which has led me to revisit some old hobbies,” he said. In his spare hours, he has been experimenting with origami paper folding.
“It’s been pretty nostalgic. I found a stash of authentic Japanese origami paper that I had apparently been saving. Also dredged up some good memories that I had forgotten about. It’s really the perfect distraction, engages your mind and your hands.”
As these five people demonstrate, there is no need to travel outside of your home to find creative ways to pass the time.
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