April 6, 2020

ROVINE | 161 Things to Do Under Quarantine

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Image by Olivia Weinberg

Unless you’ve been living under a rock (in which case, don’t move), you know the importance of self-isolating to protect yourself and others during the coronavirus pandemic. We might be stuck at home, but we need not succumb to boredom. It’s time to devour pop culture, learn new recipes or even invent the next Instagram or Airbnb. Unprecedented circumstances call for innovation and revolution. 

And with that, I present: 161 (CLXI) Things to Do in Self-Isolation, aka my senior thesis. On behalf of Cornell University, I’ve decided that this will be the capstone of my undergraduate career. As you’ll find below, rules have no place in my quarantine plans. 

This is for all the foodies, daredevils, art heauxs, fashionistas, self-proclaimed intellectual superiors, horny loners, pop culture vultures, science geeks and spiritual freaks. I promise there’s something here for everyone. 

  1. Make some virtual pancakes and Buzzfeed will reveal whether you’re a morning person.
  2. If you are, no excuses. Get up!
  3. Watch Governor Cuomo’s daily briefings.
  4. Check out Cuomo’s nipple piercing.
  5. Watch Andrew’s brother make fun of his thirsty Cuomo-sexual fanbase.
  6. Live vicariously through your Sims’ social interactions.
  7. Check on whether your Neopets are still alive. 
  8. Watch classic 2000s YouTube shopping hauls
  9. Upload your own Amazon Prime haul on YouTube.
  10. Watch Lazy Sunday, the Digital Short that broke the 2005 internet and basically invented YouTube.
  11. Develop an intense obsession with Andy Samberg and The Lonely Island, comedy trio and Digital Short legends.
  12. Watch the 16 Best SNL Digital Shorts (including Mother Lover, I’m On a Boat, and D*ck in a Box).
  13. Enjoy this Brooklyn Nine-Nine imprisoned Backstreet Boys cold open.
  14. Be absolutely charmed by a 1999 Jimmy Fallon Valentine’s Day serenade.
  15. Get Stefon’s inside scoop on New York’s hottest clubs.
  16. Take comfort in knowing that Stefon talking about New York’s hottest clubs will always be more fun than actually going to the clubs.
  17. Check out Will Ferrell’s midriff in More Cowbell.
  18. Obsess over Kate McKinnon’s best celebrity impressions.
  19. *Immediately* watch this TikTok starring Kate McKinnon and Elizabeth Warren.
  20. Make your own TikTok (go viral — in the social media way!). 
  21. Wash your hands. 
  22. Say three things you’re grateful for while you wash your hands. 
  23. Sing No Scrubs by TLC while you wash your hands.  
  24. Whip out the old Bath & Body Works hand sanitizer. Glitter! 
  25. Make your own face mask (the beauty kind). 
  26. More importantly, DIY surgical masks to protect yourself and others. 
  27. Donate blood (if you are able to and feel comfortable doing so). 
  28. Order in to support local restaurants. 
  29. Support Be My Eyes, Charity Miles, Dorot and School in the Cloud
  30. Consider 101 more ways to give back.  
  31. Thank those on the front line every chance you get.
  32. Learn calligraphy.
  33. Leave love letters to yourself around the house.
  34. Watch Love is Blind.
  35. Install Netflix Party to cringe about Jessica and Mark with friends.
  36. Listen to this Jessica baby voice impression. 
  37. Find out which LiB contestant is your soulmate.
  38. Download a dating app.
  39. Try a social distancing pickup line. 
  40. Read the (hilarious) NYC government-administered safe sex guide
  41. Read SEX ON THURSDAY: Video Sex in the Time of Coronavirus.
  42. Read the Corona Sex Diaries of a “Very Celibate New Yorker.” 
  43. Block all your exes.
  44. Impulsively unblock the ex you want to text.
  45. (Maybe) text them.
  46. Throw your phone to the other side of the room until the morning.
  47. Get your phone (who were you kidding?).
  48. Join the Zoom Memes for Self-Quaranteens Facebook group.
  49. Stream online workouts.
  50. Try intermittent fasting to control that night eating.
  51. Just kidding, eat a lot.
  52. Eat all 100 greatest snacks of all time.
  53. Take this favorite foods quiz to find out why people love you.
  54. Join Queer Eye’s Antoni Porowski for “Meet Less Mondays,” “Squash Your Hands” and “Stripped of My Sanity Chicken Strips” on IGTV.
  55. Make a 9:30AM cocktail as gigantic as Ina Garten’s (aka Barefoot Contessa).
  56. Learn 50 ways to make bacon.
  57. Master 63 ways to cook a potato.
  58. Make homemade Twinkies, Twix, Doritos, and other gourmet versions of the classics.
  59. Brew your own kombucha
  60. Ferment sourdough bread.
  61. Master more scoby recipes with Brad Leone, Bon Appétit Fermentation Enthusiast.
  62. Make Molly Baz’s iconic Grilled Romaine “Cae Sal” Caesar Salad.
  63. Study Andy Baraghani’s skincare routine.
  64. Fall in love with Brad, Molly, Andy and the entire Bon Appétit test kitchen squad.
  65. Cure meat for 12 days. 
  66. Watch cheese age.
  67. Watch wine age.
  68. Make a charcuterie board with your aged meat, cheese and wine.
  69. Gain the #COVID19. Kinda like the Freshman 15, but faster and heavier —A rite of passage during these trying times.
  70. Grow a corona beard and/or corona pits. 
  71. Trim your nose hairs.
  72. Cut your (head) hair.
  73. Dye your (nose and head) hair.
  74. Embrace #goingnowherebutfuckitimgettingdressed by Man Repeller.
  75. Wear all your high-fashion outfits that look better with slippers or no shoes at all.
  76. Make Amazon Prime your best (and only) friend.
  77. Order Paint by Numbers.
  78. Paint the wrong numbers. No rules!
  79. Watch the paint dry — yes, literally…
  80. Whip out an adult coloring book (not what it sounds like).
  81. Draw a still life of the friends you’ve seen recently. Good thing they’re all inanimate objects!
  82. Host a silent disco for one.
  83. Host a loud karaoke for one.
  84. Build a six-feet tall friend from scratch with paper mache.
  85. Sit six feet away from your six-feet tall friend.
  86. Make an imaginary friend.
  87. Wine and dine with your four closest friends.
  88. Plan a house-bound wine tour.
  89. Host your own 2020 Olympic Games.
  90. Compete against the paper mache friend and imaginary friend you made in steps LXXXIV and LXXXVI, respectively.
  91. Learn about how Saturn’s movement from Capricorn to Aquarius and back to Capricorn might be influencing current events.
  92. Study your birth chart.
  93. Download CoStar for a daily, hyper-personalized sassy horoscope.
  94. Talk to the dead with tarot cards.
  95. Invent the next Instagram, Uber or Airbnb (all founded during the last Great Recession). 
  96. Design an obstacle course like this one. One rule: the floor is lava. 
  97. Make life-saving penicillin fungus out of mold. 
  98. Become a Quora Expert in Baby Names, Zoology or Mythology & Folklore.
  99. Take one of these 450 free Ivy League courses
  100. Train your cat to use the toilet.
  101. Teach yourself to juggle toilet paper rolls.
  102. Watch Good Will Hunting.
  103. Become your own Moral Philosophy professor by watching The Good Place.
  104. Craft a point system assigning positive or negative values to every action.
  105. Tally up whether you’ll go to the good place or the bad place. 
  106. Contemplate free will vs. destiny as you stare out the window.
  107. Narrate your every step in the voice of Kristen Bell as Gossip Girl.
  108. Revitalize your ~angsty~ 2007 Tumblr.  
  109. Watch John Legend’s serenade to a towel-clad Chrissy Teigen. 
  110. Watch celebrities read mean tweets about themselves.
  111. Watch celebrities read thirst tweets about themselves.
  112. Choose celebrity baby names you love and hate and this quiz will determine how you’ll become famous (Reignbeau, Dweezil, Jermajesty…).
  113. Listen to newly released footage from Taylor and Kanye’s infamous 2015 convo.
  114. Determine whether Kanye or Taylor was on the right side of history.
  115. Binge-watch Tiger King.
  116. LOL at Chloe Fineman’s Carole Baskin impression. 
  117. Check out Doc Antle in Britney Spears’ iconic 2001 VMAs performance.
  118. Watch Superbad starring Jonah Hill and Michael Cera.
  119. Watch Booksmart, a 2019 film with the same plot as Superbad with reversed (and more diverse) gender roles, starring Jonah Hill’s sister. 
  120. Check out the New York Times’ top movies, TV shows, books, podcasts and recipes.
  121. Garner enormous respect and admiration for President Obama’s top movies, TV shows and music of 2019.
  122. Listen to what Bernie Sanders bumps on his “Gizmo.”
  123. Blast all 16 (and counting) Big Bootie remixes.
  124. Enjoy this podcast recap of Keeping Up with the Kardashians Season 1, Episode 1.
  125. Lift your spirits with a Jerry from Cheer mat talk.
  126. Find the silver lining with Silver Linings Playbook.
  127. Take part in a Jewish tradition and hide a Matzah afikomen.
  128. Pretend you weren’t the one to hide the afikomen and go find it.
  129. DIY an ever-so-relevant Passover Bag of Plagues.
  130. Write a memoir.
  131. Realize that writing a memoir is inherently egomaniacal. 
  132. Read Prozac Nation, the memoir by Elizabeth Wurtzel, aka “Sylvia Plath with the ego of Madonna.”
  133. Watch the Prozac Nation film adaptation starring Christina Ricci and Michelle Williams. 
  134. Read The Bell Jar by Sylvia Plath. 
  135. Listen to “Like a Virgin” by Madonna. 
  136. Make a Virgin Mary for brunch. 
  137. Disregard the above: make a Bloody Mary for brunch. 
  138. Make a Bloody Mary for dinner. No rules!
  139. Listen to Proud Mary by QuaranTina Turner.  
  140. Watch Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, Pulp Fiction, Inglourious Basterds and more Quentin Tarantino Quarantino films. 
  141. Accidentally put dishwashing liquid in your dishwasher. 
  142. Observe your dishwasher overflow and spurt bubbles all over your house. 
  143. New activity alert! Clean your kitchen. 
  144. Congratulate yourself for saving the day!
  145. Listen to the Mamma Mia! soundtrack while you clean the rest of your house. 
  146. Marie Kondo the f*ck out of your house, your phone and your spirit.
  147. Clean obsessively to the point of becoming Danny Tanner. 
  148. Watch Uncle Jesse sing My Sharona
  149. Check out The Knack OG guitar player changing his song to Bye Corona
  150. Crack open a cold one with the boys yourself — yes, a Corona. 
  151. Play beer pong with yourself. 
  152. If you’ve gotten this far: congratulate your attention span. You haven’t lost too many brain cells from this lack of activity just yet! 
  153. Play these games to boost your attention span even more. 
  154. Email me at [email protected] and tell me if you did any of these. I need a friend!
  155. Count sheep. 
  156. Count tigers. 
  157. When you can’t fall asleep, rewatch Tiger King.  
  158. Count tigers again. 
  159. Count sheep again (for real this time). 
  160. Pop a few Melatonin gummies.
  161. SLEEP!


Nicole Rovine is a senior at the Cornell School of Hotel Administration. She can be reached at [email protected].