The Unemployed and Single Lockdown Manifesto | COVID-19 Stories | Hudson Valley | Chronogram Magazine
click to enlarge The Unemployed and Single Lockdown Manifesto
Illustration by Alex Bildsoe

Mandatory daily walk, even if it's just around the block.

Sit outside and watch things for a while. Longer. Longer still.

When you clean your space, pretend like your apartment is a bed and breakfast and you're preparing for a special guest to arrive.

Get dressed (out of PJs) at least every other day.

Do not let your thoughts dwell on the possibility of touching another human (because it ain't happenin'), unless you have just taken zzzquil and you'll be unconscious soon anyways.

Make fancy foods for yourself, like a pie. However, if you make a large quantity (like a pie), make firm plans to get rid of at least half of leaving it for a non-immunocompromised neighbor or putting it in the freezer (the single person's secret food hiding spot). Failing to do this will ultimately result in resentment towards the food, i.e. "Oh god, I have to eat that pie again today. Day 8 but I cannot waste it because this is a crisis."

If you have the option to do something in a short amount of time or a longer amount of time, always choose the longer one.

If you feel a cry coming on, get off of Instagram Live first, and then let it all go.

Never, under any circumstance, listen to the White House briefings.

Make a real effort not stare at yourself in Zoom meetings.

Plan out your following day the night before. Any activity besides sleeping can go on the schedule.

Start growing anything you can get your hands on; avocado pits, sprouts, celery stubs, random branches, succulents from CVS, etc. Seeing plants grow will remind you of the passing of time.

Dance at least once a day.

If you get cold, dance. Your apartment isn't cold, you just haven't moved in nine hours.

When in doubt, start soaking some dried beans. By the time they are ready, you will know what to do with them.

Listen to your thoughts like you are listening to a friend. Hear them out, then move on to a new subject gently and mercifully.

Seriously, forget the idea of "making the most out of your quarantine." It is an extension of the productivity-minded rhetoric of grinding capitalism. You do not need to be productive to have worth.

Read anything you've got.

Make low-key art.

If you feel like taking a nap, go ahead. No need to set an alarm.

Look at as many flowers as you can. Look closer. Closer still.

Rearrange things and decorate your space. When you do this, pretend like you are in quarantine for an indefinite period of time and this space is your whole world. Wait... yeah.

Alex Bildsoe is an artist/writer/illustrator from Minnesota who is currently making and distributing zines from her cozy hobbit hole in Kingston.

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