With social distancing in full effect and sports the world over essentially shut down until further notice, people have had to find ways to keep themselves occupied. This has led to larger participation in established solo activities, as well as an uptick in verifiably strange behavior.
Johnathan Dietrich, a Clinton High Schooler affected by schools being shut down, has found his time to shine.
“I’m on my 37th hour of ‘Destiny and Call of Duty,’” said Dietrich, his left eye twitching as he frantically flung empty bottles of Mountain Dew around his room, searching for an unopened one. “I don’t know how long this paradise on Earth is gonna last, but I’m gonna make the most of it.”
When asked whether he’d slept at all since the cancellation of school, Dietrich hissed, “I can sleep when I’m in school!”
Some have tried to maintain their regular sports and hobbies, albeit in an altered form.
Take for instance Clinton basketball player Indigo Lobos, who has set up HORSE games over Skype with six of his friends.
“Only one of us has a basketball goal at our house, so everyone else uses trash cans,” said Lobos.
“They just duct-tape their trash can to the wall and boom, they’ve got a basketball goal.”
Lobos says the system worked well for a while, but they don’t think they’ll continue it.
“It was a lot of measuring so everyone could be the same distance away and people were arguing about trash can sizes, and one guy duct-taped one of those industrial-sized dumpsters to his wall, which was kinda cheating. Also someone yelled ‘Kobe’ when they shot the other day and that made us all too sad to keep playing.”
Still, some people have decided to simply skip the stress altogether and go ahead and go insane. One track student, who will be referred to as John Doe to protect the student’s privacy, has taken to hurdling anything he can find in a desperate attempt to stay in shape and continue improving. The student’s mother, one Cathy Doe, said it started out relatively normal, then escalated until tragedy struck.
“Well, it started out with him just hurdling sort of normal stuff, like the couch and the car, and that was a little weird, but ya know, we’re all doing what we can.
“Then he started hurdling the dog, and we told him he couldn’t do that. Then he started hurdling his little brother, and we told him he couldn’t do that. Then before we knew it, he was hurdling other things, like the neighbors’ kids and some of the homeless people downtown. He’s been missing for two days now.”
Still, most people have taken a much more practical approach to their quarantine, with a large of number of people jokingly responding, “Is Netflix bingeing a sport?”
No – it is not. It wasn’t before the quarantine, it isn’t now, and take it off your dating profile.
And that brings us to the final sport that most people are using to combat the crippling boredom and loneliness of being out of work and away from their friends: online dating.
As the last resort turned to when people are at their loneliest and most depressed, online dating sites have boomed throughout the quarantine.
Rhajit Pie, the East Tennessee representative for dating site “Alright, Cupid,” is ecstatic about the increase in site traffic.
“Normally we only get these numbers at like 3 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights when everyone’s drunk, but it’s been like that every day! People are just so lonely and bored that they’re desperate to find a date!”
When asked if he was actually excited that people are bored and lonely, Mr. Pie shook his head with a large smile before enthusiastically denying that he was.
“I mean, of course we don’t want everyone to be lonely and miserable, but our sites sort of thrive on that, so I can’t say I’m entirely disappointed by it,” he said.
“But hey, maybe some of these people will find someone they actually click with, ya know?”
I asked Mr. Pie if he actually expected most people to find a date during the quarantine, and he stated that no, they definitely don’t expect that.
“Ya know, maybe one in 10 will find a date, and that’s great for them, but we’re not really in the dating business here at Alright, Cupid, so much as the validation and hope business.
“We want you to find that perfect match – eventually – like after a long, long time on our site consuming ads – but we definitely want you to find it.”