Tag Archives: coronavirus

Things to Do Now That We’ve “Decided” the Pandemic is Over

Not every country can ignore a pandemic because they simply got “bored” but Americans prove, yet again, that having freedom does not equate to having intelligence.

Source: Kumail Nanjiani – Twitter

“These are unprecedented times.” If I hear that phrase one more time, I might just explode into a thousand quarantined pieces. But, luckily (I guess), our country has decided coronavirus doesn’t exist anymore! We didn’t wanna deal with it anymore so we’re not! Science is incredible, isn’t it? You can just will away a pandemic. Or, at least, that’s what a majority of Americans have concluded.


Despite the continuing rise of confirmed COVID-19 cases in the U.S., it looks like people are going out more often than ever before. Okay! Since we value material things like going shopping or getting a haircut over the health and well-being of ourselves, our loved ones and essentially every living soul around us, here are some things you can do to distract yourself from the impending doom of our country:

Look Forward to a Career in Politics or, More Specifically, Capitalism

If you’re completely ignoring the safety precautions put forth by multiple health experts, you may be a capitalist! Good for you, that’s what America intended. The government is valuing the economy over human lives so it sounds like the perfect place for you. You can jumpstart your career by going to protests in favor of reopening, begin privatizing your own means of production and start saying goodbye to your friends now because they will probably (definitely) not be your friend for much longer. But, hey, you’ll have some money.

Make Some More Young, Hip Friends

It’s widely known that the most susceptible group to COVID-19 is the elderly. In fact, according to the CDC, eight out of 10 reported coronavirus-related deaths in the U.S. are people 65 or older. Lots of younger age groups seem to think, because of this, they are immune to COVID-19 and don’t have to worry. If that’s their mindset, they should prepare for the future. To those people, I recommend looking for more friends their own age. Since they’re especially endangering all their loved ones of the older persuasion, they should go ahead and prepare for what life might be like without them. Surrounding yourself with other young, carefree, selfish people will soften the blow, right?

Don’t Vaccinate Your Children

A surprising amount of people are refusing to do the easiest form of protecting themselves against an illness (i.e., wearing a mask). If they can’t follow the simplest precaution, they might as well save some money and avoid all other logical medical practices. Keep the streak going, America! Either now or in the future, you can refrain from vaccinating your children. Sure, they might be unprotected from a multitude of diseases, but they’ll be following in their parent’s careless footsteps. Like mother, like daughter. 

Don’t Use Your Blinker and Don’t Bother Flushing

America’s individualism ideology is truly in the spotlight thanks to this pandemic. I have never seen so many people blatantly disregard the well-being of those around them more than I have in the past six months. (Looking at you, Cabo 211.) Alright, fuck it! Let’s just throw in the towel now. No more common decency! When driving, don’t use your blinker; fellow drivers can just figure out your changing lanes on their own time. Don’t worry about flushing the toilet after you’re done. The person after you is perfectly capable of flushing. It’ll be like that scene from Big Mouth’s second season when shame disappears. Complete bliss(?).

Try Skydiving Without a Parachute

Yes, people are being reckless with everyone else’s lives, and it appears most Americans are paying no mind to their own health as well. As previously mentioned, people who are ostensibly young and healthy seem to believe they’re invincible. Let’s truly test that theory. You should try skydiving without a parachute! It’s just as thoughtless and irresponsible as not taking a pandemic seriously. Plus, I’m sure you’d have a really great view along the way. It would certainly be prettier than being stuck on a respirator in the hospital.

I know it can be difficult to read social cues via the Internet but this is satire. I do not condone any of these behaviors and neither does anyone at BurntX. Obviously, this is not directed at those who have been following all health and safety guidelines. This is aimed at critiquing those who are taking this pandemic lightly. It’s for those who are selfish enough to not even wear a piece of fabric over their face to protect their neighbor.

Source: Twitter

Although I have attempted to make parts of this funny, the situation of our country is no laughing matter. People are dying. Loved ones are being affected and hospitalized everywhere. 

Please please please please PLEASE do your part to help in any way you can. Stay informed, especially regarding the status of your county/city. Wear a mask. Social distance. Stay home unless you absolutely have to leave. For the love of God, stop eating out at restaurants! Get some take out! Just, please, be safe and think about those around you.

Resources:

Coronavirus album review

Well folks, we’ve done it now. Somebody took the name Coronavirus on Spotify and is pushing out albums themed – you guessed it – coronavirus (COVID-19). From hits such as “Hand Sanitizer” to “Cruise Ship,” this artist’s music is contagious. Don’t let the meager 25 Instagram followers and 8,674 monthly listeners fool you, this will be going coronaviral soon. 

To quote Trevor Noah, “started from the Wuhan, now we here” perfectly sums up Coronavirus’ humble beginnings to major success. What we experience as a pandemic is really just Coronavirus spreading itself all over the top charts and dropping a sick beat. So without further ado, I’ll be reviewing top tracks from Coronavirus’ latest album, “Pandemic.” 

  1. Pray for the World

Clearly inspired by the first track on the “COVID-19” album called “Pray for Wuhan,” Coronavirus takes it global with its new hit “Pray for the World.” For 4 minutes and 19 seconds Coronavirus explains to us why we need to pray for the world because we’ve got “diseases and violence and tyrants and all that stuff.” What a great message! Critically though, Coronavirus sounds like they have a bit of a sore throat in this song — but can you blame them?

Favorite lyric: that day you fall, you never know what’s gonna happen’ so Coronavirus is just gon’ sit here and be rappin’

2. Hand Sanitizer

In this classic hit Coronavirus advocates for keeping your hands clean, rants about the rising prices of hand sanitizer and then goes off in another direction about covering his genitals in hand sanitizer. * slow clap * Truly inspiring. (Ngl the beat is fire though)

Favorite lyric: you gotta pay a hundred bucks for some hand sanitizuh, it’s just f*cking alcohol and aloe veruh make yuh own!

2nd favorite lyric: Kind of wish this song didn’t exist. (Me too Coronavirus, me too)

Courtesy of Unsplash


3. Cover Your Mouth

“Just stop. Please. Cover. Your mouth.” This line pretty much sums up the whole song. When Coronavirus itself has to tell you that you should be covering your mouth, please just cover your mouth. 

Courtesy of Unsplash

Favorite lyric: you take a shit and then wipe your motherf*!king butt and then you go and just leave, close the door shut, but guess what? You forgot one thing – to f*#king wash your handssssss!

4. Martial Law

I think Coronavirus just straight up forgot the music and punctuation on this one. Just went up to the mic and started freestyling to silence about martial law and then trailed off into a regular conversation for a few minutes about how Coronavirus is the most conscious rapper and how people need to maintain their dignity. It was all good until Coronavirus ended by telling people that they should kill each other to protect themselves, but this is Coronavirus, what did you expect? 

Favorite lyric: You gotta be careful with the martial law ‘cause you aren’t the law…better stay inside.

5. Prepare (Stock up)

Courtesy of Unsplash

Damn, you got a fever of over 100˚F? That’s because this song is so hot. While toilet paper is not an essential (despite what some Australians may believe), Coronavirus wants to let everyone in this song know that they should stock up on essentials such as food and water. 

Favorite lyric: You don’t wanna run out of nothin’ because when you run out of somethin’ you end up with nothin’

If you want to hear more, you can find Coronavirus on Spotify or anywhere really – it spreads fast. In coronavirus fashion, there is more than just one. There are actually two other artists on Spotify also named Coronavirus. What did I tell you – it’s going coronaviral. 

10 activities for long distance couples

Courtesy of Canva

For those of us who haven’t experienced a long distance relationship, the prospect of keeping your relationship alive during what could potentially be months of self isolation seems daunting. Even if you are still choosing to see your significant other during this time, there aren’t a lot of fun date options right now. You can’t go to a movie, a restaurant, a bowling alley, don’t you dare try to go to a bar and an arcade is already unsanitary enough even without COVID-19 floating around. At the end of the day, remember that self isolation isn’t just about your own health, but the health of your community. When you’re in a relationship, staying at home instead of going out to see your partner can feel like the end of the world, but there are so many things that you can still do together without being together:

1. Play a drinking game

Courtesy of Pexels

If you’re still hellbent on wilding out this break, you can play all sorts of drinking games with your partner over video chatting (you can even make beer pong work.) The added bonus is that the drunk conversations will be fun and you can even skip down to item #8 on this checklist and play 20 Questions. 

2. Make mixtapes

Courtesy of Unsplash

This is a romantic classic that never fails to make someone’s day. You can make playlists to different themes, spelling out sentences in song titles or just compiling songs that you think they’d like. Personally, I love listening to new music recommendations, especially made by someone who knows you very well. 

3. Watch movies simultaneously 

Courtesy of Unsplash

There are plenty of websites that will allow you to do this and if your internet happens to be really good, screen sharing the movie will work just as well. Watching a movie alone is good, but reacting with your partner to the movie is much more fun. 

4. Mail a letter

Courtesy of Unsplash

Ever heard of snail mail? While texting is always great, having something physical and handwritten to hold onto is much more memorable. You can even send them a gift or drawing! (Just don’t sneeze on anything.)

5. Set fitness goals for each other

Courtesy of Unsplash

Doing the same workouts or setting fitness goals for one another will help you both stay motivated, connected and positive during self isolation/social distancing.

6. Play video games together

Courtesy of Unsplash

Transport yourself from off your couch and into a virtual world to go on a quest (or just build a farm if those are your kind of games) with your partner. You can talk to each other while playing and there are so many different video games to choose from! If you need some inspiration, check out our article on some freshly released video games.

7. Write a story sentence by sentence 

Courtesy of Unsplash

This can be a good way to pass the time and get creative with your significant other. You can expand upon an absurd plot going back and forth sentence by sentence, it’ll give you a lot of laughs and inside jokes. 

8. Play 20 Questions

Courtesy of Unsplash

A time killer and a relationship builder, playing 20 questions will spur conversations (or confessions) that you’ve likely never had or shared before. 

9. Get artsy 

Courtesy of Unsplash

Video chat your partner while you both try to follow a DIY video, then compare finished products. 

10. Share screens

Courtesy of Pexels

Share screens on your device and go on a YouTube/Tiktok/meme binge together.


Things to Do While Social Distancing

The past few weeks have been a difficult and often scary time. Between UT’s shift to online classes and the continuously changing state of the Coronavirus (COVID-19), it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel anxious or hopeless. One thing that we all can do to help slow the spread, or “flatten the curve,” is to take part in social distancing.

 Social distancing can look a bit different for everyone, but basically it boils down to limiting interactions with people and keeping a distance between you of at least six feet when you can’t go without that interaction entirely. It can be tempting to want to go out and socialize or still take part in spring break plans, but this issue is beyond us as individuals. For the sake of public health, we need to do our part and stay home. Obviously, this can get boring pretty quickly. Here are things to do to fight boredom while practicing social distancing.

Start Your Spring Cleaning

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

I’d like to think everyone else has a drawer that is always a junk drawer. Whether you have old clothes sitting in your closet or a dresser that needs dusting, though, cleaning is both a time consuming and productive thing to do. If you have a big area to cover, try breaking it up into pieces to conquer throughout the week. Even if you aren’t one of those people who find it relaxing (I certainly don’t), there’s likely to be a sense of accomplishment when it’s all said and done. 

Make a Vision Board

Photo by Courtney Smith

A vision board is a great way to set intentions and put your desires onto something tangible. The great thing about this activity is that it can be as elaborate or simple as you want it to be. I already have a large vision board made of a cork board, scrapbook paper, and magazine images, but I decided to make a smaller one to add to it. As individuals we are always changing, so this is an activity that can be done multiple times whether you’ve made it with long term goals and dreams or short term ideas. All you need is a surface such as a piece of paper/poster board/cork board, magazines or internet images to cut out, and glue/thumb tacks to secure the images. If you’re artsy you could even add paint or drawings to your vision board. This is also a great way to take your mind off of the craziness of the day and think about things you’d like to do for yourself. 

Host a FaceTime Party

Photo courtesy of Jan Vašek from Pixabay

Even if you’re social distancing with your roommates or family members, it can still feel lonely and dull. For those having to leave the dorms or other living arrangements near campus, it can feel like you’re being ripped away from your friends, support system, and overall routine. Luckily we have technology at our fingertips that can help us reconnect. Text your friends/family and set up a FaceTime date. Grab some snacks, get comfortable, make sure your device is charged, and keep each other company! You could also try playing a game or watching a movie “together” if catching up feels repetitive.

Get Outdoors

Photo courtesy of Pixabay

Avoid getting stir crazy by making it a point to go outside everyday. According to this Time article, going outside can lower stress, decrease blood pressure, and improve your overall mood. Walking your dog, going for a morning/evening walk, visiting a spacious park, drinking your coffee outside, opening up a window, having a picnic in your backyard, outdoor yoga, going for a run, or riding a bike are just a small sample of things you can do to get outside.

Workout for Free (and at home) with YouTube

YouTube

Instead of going to the gym, try something new from the comfort of your home. YouTube is a great way to get fit for free and there are literally hundreds of channels to choose from. If you’re looking for a quick, high energy workout, I recommend the Body Coach TV. Joe Wicks is the “Body Coach” and is probably the only person who can make me smile while doing a plank. His specialty is HIIT workouts and he has a huge variety of videos to try. For pilates or yoga, checkout Boho Beautiful or Yoga With Adriene. The Boho Beautiful videos are always in a unique destination that can either give you some future travel inspiration or help you pretend like you’re in Bali. Adriene from Yoga With Adriene is Austin based, so you can support a local yogi by watching her videos.

Bake

Photo courtesy of Suzy Hazelwood from Pexels

Baking is another way to pass time that is productive, entertaining, and (hopefully) delicious. Whether you fancy yourself a future Food Network star or barely know what a whisk is, now is a great time to get cooking. Try and use what you have to avoid going out in crowds. If you don’t have a favorite recipe to whip up, these cookie recipes by Tasty can be made using cake mix and are both easy and delicious. Wanting to make something from scratch? This chocolate cake recipe or these pumpkin chocolate chip cookies are two of my absolute favorite recipes. 

Start a New Show/Book

Photo courtesy of Pexels

Although the adrenaline rush of binge watching a series when you have an exam coming up may not be there, it’s still a great time to start a new series or begin reading a book. It doesn’t have to be actually “new,” either. Never understood the hype of The Office because you’ve never seen it? Now’s your chance. Wanted to read Michelle Obama’s book but didn’t have the time? Well, now you do. 

Journal

Photo courtesy of Plush Design Studio from Pexels

Journaling can be both a creative outlet as well as a therapeutic release during times of stress or uncertainty. It can sometimes be difficult to keep up with a traditional journal or know what to write so if that isn’t your thing, try using a bullet journal or a prompting/list journal. I love this reflections and intentions journal because it has fill in the blank prompts for things like gratitudes, reflections, and mood while being flexible enough so if you miss a day it is no big deal. Plus, it’s designed to be used in the morning and again at night, making it more of an activity that you can add into your new routine. A bullet journal can be bought online for relatively cheap and is a great option for those looking to tailor the journaling experience with a bit more creativity and freedom to doodle. There is a ton of inspiration for bullet journals on Instagram and Pinterest, too!

Social distancing is an important part of slowing the spread of the Coronavirus, but it can be difficult emotionally. It’s important to remember that you aren’t alone and, while it may not always seem like it, staying home is one of the biggest ways you can contribute right now. It’s also important to recognize that while getting things done while at home can feel like a valuable way to pass time, it’s okay if you aren’t “productive.” Taking care of your mental health is just as important and that can look different for everyone.

 If you’re struggling with finding things to do while staying in, try the tips above or come up with some ideas of your own and don’t forget to let us know on social media how you’re social distancing! 

Featured image courtesy of Alessio Cesario from Pexels

10 New video games to play this Spring Break

It’s been a year of whiplash. With the US’ tense relationship with other countries, the wildfires in Australia, tornadoes in Nashville and the coronavirus, things can seem pretty bleak. Now that the world has essentially isolated itself for the next two weeks, a lot of events you may have been looking forward to have been cancelled. 

There’s a silver lining, though. We may all be on house arrest and it’s the perfect time to log countless hours into a video game and add new ones to your wishlist. 2020 is a year of new titles and long-awaited sequels, so check out the list below for franchises you should catch up on and hopefully, something to look forward to. 

  1. The Last of Us Part II
Courtesy of Eurogamer

This is probably the most anticipated game of 2020. Fans have been waiting seven years for news on the fate of Joel and Ellie and Naughty Dog is ready to deliver. It’s been a long time coming, but developers have specifically stated that they want to make Last of Us 2 a sequel worth telling. The game is scheduled for a summer release on May 29 for the PlayStation 4. 

2. Half Life: Alyx 

We really have been living in an alternate timeline since 2016 because Valve has finally announced “Half Life 3.” Well, kind of.

“Half Life: Alyx” is a prequel, set before the events of “Half Life 2” and while it’s still a PC release, it’s a virtual reality shooter. Valve has marketed Alyx as its “flagship” VR game with gravity gloves replacing the iconic gravity gun.

The game is a PC exclusive, set to release on March 23. That gives you a whole week to sink into this game before classes start!

3. Cyberpunk 2077 

Courtesy of Gamesradar

CD Projekt Red can delay this game all they want; I’d wait a million years for it. Cyberpunk 2077 has already swept the award circuit, winning best game categories and people’s choice awards at E3, Game Informer, IGN, PC Gamer and Gamesradar+.

It’s got character customization like you’ve never seen before, a complex open world and Keanu Reeves. It’s breathtaking. While delayed back in January, “Cyberpunk 2077” is set to be released September 17. 

4. 12 Minutes

If you’re a fan of “What Remains of Edith Finch,” the publisher, Annapurna Interactive, is set to release another time-bending game this year. “12 Minutes” caught my attention with it’s birds-eye-view trailer at E3 2019 and it’s unique twist on replayable games; the character remembers all past loops. The trailer teases possibilities of arrest, death or a cozy night in. The game is scheduled to be released this year on PC and Xbox One and I’m ready to play this again and again and again.

5. Animal Crossing: New Horizon 

The Animal Crossing franchise is making its Switch debut this year with console exclusive “Animal Crossing: New Horizon.” The series dominated mobile games in 2016 with the release of “Pocket Camp” and I sunk so many hours into this and I am not ashamed.

One drawback; similar to “Pocket Camp,” “New Horizon” will have the dreaded microtransactions. “Pocket Camp” was a free mobile game where in-game purchases are more appropriate, but the inclusion in a $60 console game has some fans disappointed.

Perfect for your self-isolation, “New Horizon” is available for pre-order and set to launch March 20. 

6. Carrion

This is a horror game where you play as the monster. Need I say more? I will anyway. The game is set in some kind of scientific facility where the player is a shapeless red worm-spider monster hellbent on growing stronger, killing scientists and breaking loose. This has just the right amounts of chaotic energy. 

However, I’m interested how this will feel as a “reverse horror” experience, as horror games derive their entertainment from fear. Perhaps what’s truly terrifying is the monster inside us all.

Anyway, “Carrion” is set to be released on PC and consoles sometime this year.

7. Ghost of Tsushima

Yet another PS4 exclusive, “Ghost of Tsushima” is an action-adventure game set during the first Mongol invasion of Japan in the 1270s. It’s an open world game where you can fast travel by horse, so like a feudal Red Dead Redemption 2. 

The developers have emphasized the attention to detail and their desire to emulate 13th century Japan as much as possible. Any history buff should get a kick out of the setting.

This ancient adventure will be released this summer on June 26.

8. Ghostrunner

Here’s a game to scratch that “Cyberpunk 2077” itch while waiting for it’s inevitable release. “Ghostrunner” is a first person parkour game set in a futuristic world where classes are more divided than ever and everyone has cool neon lights. Textbook cyberpunk aesthetic. 

The freerunning and flips and tricks look incredibly fun. The movement is graceful and smooth, set against a beautifully designed set. If nothing else, this game is very pretty. 

“Ghostrunner” is set to release sometime this year.

9. Little Nightmares 2

“Little Nightmares” was a horror hit when it came out in 2017 and left fans hungry for more. The sequel is set to release this year with a new protagonist and the return of the last game’s protagonist, Six, as an NPC. 

It’s been a minute since a horror game was able to execute such an interesting and nuanced world, and hopefully “Little Nightmares 2” brings more of that storytelling. The game has no specific release date but is slated for 2020.

10. Tell Me Why 

A choice-based mystery game featuring twins and LGBTQ+ representation. That both excites and scares me. “Tell Me Why” is from one of my favorite studios, Dontnod, creators of “Life is Strange.” 

“Tell Me Why” will follow similar themes to “Life is Strange,” as the story follows a pair of twins who return to their childhood home in Alaska, one of whom is a transgender man, Tyler. He’ll be the first playable transgender character from a major studio and Dontnod has stated they worked with GLAAD to make Tyler feel authentic.

Dontnod nailed the Pacific Northwest setting in “Life is Strange” and it looks like they’re taking their animation one step further. “Tell Me Why” is episodic and set to release all parts over summer 2020 for Xbox One and PC.