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Pop CultureFebruary 25, 2022

10 things to do during your 10 days of isolation


Does Covid-19 have you stuck at home with your whānau or flatmates for 10 days? Here’s the isolation inspiration you need, as well as some you probably don’t.

New Zealand has moved to omicron phase three, which means if you’re a household contact of a Covid-19 case, you need to spend 10 days in isolation. That equates to 240 hours or 14,400 minutes at home with your nearest and dearest, but who’s counting? Not us, friends. Not us.

If you’re caring for someone, looking after children or working from home, your isolation diary is probably already filled to capacity. But even the busiest among us need isolation inspiration from time to time, so we’ve created a helpful list of activities to help those hours pass quickly. These ideas might bring your household closer together, or they might make you want to curl up in the corner and rock quietly until this is all over. Either way, we’re not here to judge.

1) Watch 350 episodes of Grey’s Anatomy

The Grey’s Anatomy team face their realest drama yet: Covid-19. (Photo: Supplied)

What could be more McDreamy than a medical drama during a pandemic? Lots of things, probably. A whopping 388 episodes and 18 seasons of Grey’s Anatomy are available on Disney+ (each episode lasting around 41 minutes), so this will keep you occupied for a long, long time. Even if you binge Grey’s for 10 days straight – sleep is for the weak, obviously – you’ll only make it halfway through season 16. Good luck, god speed, may Patrick Dempsey’s hair always keep its wave.

2) Download an app and learn a new language 

Better yet, make up your own. Really challenge yourself, and only respond to your family’s demands when they learn to communicate in this new and extremely technical vernacular.

3) Finish The Luminaries

Heck, you could even start The Luminaries if you want to. I have three copies of this Man Booker prize winner on my shelves, but have I ever made it past the title page? Thrice, no. Eleanor Catton’s esteemed novel lands at an epic 848 pages, so a simple 85 pages a day or three and a half pages every hour will transport you safely through these 10 days at home.

4) Do all the Wordles 

This is tricky

A Wordle a day keeps the doctor away, but we all know that one is never enough. Praise be to the genius who created this Wordle archive, pulling together over 230 of the Wordles that time forgot. Solving 23 Wordles a day will take you to five-letter-word nirvana before you know it, and then you can move on to Lewdle, Nerdle, Quordle, and Worldle. Also, being trapped in close confines with your housemates will remind you to guess fun words like  “farts”, “dorks” and “drunk”.

5) Take a slow TV trip around the world 

You can’t leave the house while you’re isolating, but thanks to something called “the internet”, you can still travel the world. Check out this relaxing 10 hour train journey to the Arctic circle from the comfort of your own bed, and follow it up with this seven hour London canal journey. Love animals? Watch bison graze in Yellowstone National Park for three hours. Cold? Watch this crackling fire for another 10 hours. Honestly, slow TV is the gift that keeps on giving.

6) Do a really big jigsaw

This 18,000 piece jigsaw puzzle is an absolute bargain at $456, and should take you at least 10 days to complete. Maybe even 10 years. This might actually be your lifetime’s work.

7) Contemplate all the burning questions raised by NZ band The Exponents in their  pop hits from the ‘90s

Who does love who the most? What did happen to Tracey? Why does love do this to me? This is one you don’t want to rush.

8) Watch 240 episodes of The Chase

The Chasers (Photo: TVNZ)

There is no greater TV bounty than The Chase, so imagine how big your brain would be after watching all 1,860 episodes of the best quiz show on television. Alas, these 10 days will only allow you to hoover up 240 episodes, which is barely a drop in The Chase bucket, unless you watch them at triple speed like the quiz beast you were born to be.

9) Learn all five verses of the New Zealand national anthem in te reo Māori and English

This is an achievable goal. It’s admirable, even. It’s also guaranteed to win you both friends and enemies when you insist on singing the full anthem before each meal, so use your power carefully.

10 ) Make a blanket fort and live like a bear until this quality time with your housemates is over

Sometimes, hibernation is the only way forward.

Keep going!