ALX Kids: Things to do while quarantining this winter

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ALX Kids: Things to do while quarantining this winter
Verveine White. (Courtesy Photo)
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By Verveine White

What have you been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic?

This pandemic hasn’t been the easiest time for anyone, but I think it is especially hard for kids. Now it has hit home. Literally.

Both of my parents tested positive for COVID-19 a few days ago, but I tested negative. As a result, they are in isolation, and I am in quarantine from them and everyone else.

Here is what I have been doing to keep myself busy. Others may want to try some of the same things:

  • Zooming and FaceTiming constantly with my soccer team. They have been very supportive, helping keep me busy and not feeling lonely.
  • Cutting and dying my hair and painting my nails. I have dyed my hair five times already. Note: Don’t try this idea without talking with your parents.
  • Doing arts and crafts. My favorite thing to do is knitting.
  • Playing video games, like Minecraft and the Sims.
  • Playing Zoom games like Pictionary with friends. It’s pretty easy. Go on Zoom with friends, share your screen, pick the white board option, then draw and have your friends guess.
  • Bingeing movie series like Harry Potter.
  • Watching shows with friends using Netflix Party. This lets you watch shows and movies at the same time and chat while watching. It’s easy to set up.
  • Playing with and taking care of my dogs, Suki and Pippin.

Before my parents tested positive for COVID-19, I hung out with my close friends outside a lot, playing things like soccer, Among Us and flashlight tag. I also took my dogs to the dog park.

While my parents are under the weather, I have also been eating a lot and obsessing over getting a pet tree frog, but that is probably not very helpful.

Even though coronavirus vaccines might be available soon, more kids are going to be stuck at home this winter. I know it is tough sometimes to think of things to do, but there are plenty of people, young and old, who have found ways to stay busy.

Here are some ideas of things to do during the winter months while COVID-19 is still raging:

  • Learn a new language or American Sign Language. You can do this by learning a new word or letter each day or by downloading a language learning program.
  • Knitting is really fun, and I love it. You can learn online or even buy a “learn to knit kit” with instructions. Make a scarf or something for an elderly neighbor or relative.
  • Call or write to someone older than you. Maybe drop a note off at an elderly neighbor’s house or make several cheery cards for people at a nursing home. Just getting mail can be exciting for some of the residents. In the note you can talk about the weather or the holidays or describe a favorite place in Alexandria.
  • Go on a tour or visit a museum. Some options in Alexandria are the Alexandria Historical Old Town Ghost Tours, Manumission Tour Company’s African American history tours, Carlyle House, the Apothecary Museum, Lee-Fendall House and Gadsby’s Tavern. A lot of these places have virtual tours, too.
  • Take an online art class.
  • Learn to play an instrument by taking lessons online or in person.
  • Talk to your parents about shoveling snow for neighbors if it snows this winter.
  • Keep a gratitude journal and write down things you are thankful for each day.
  • Ask your parents if there are things you can do to earn money around the house or in the yard.

I know winter is going to be hard for kids and adults while COVID-19 is still here. Find several things you like to do on your own or with friends via Zoom and go for it.

Maybe by this time next year, we will all know how to knit, play Zoom games or maybe even speak a different language.

The writer is a student at George Washington Middle School.

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