APRIL 09, 2020

The antisocial social club

BY ALAHNA SY
ILLUSTRATIONS BY JL JAVIER

Isolation isn’t so bad with these group bonding ideas.

You know that feeling when you suddenly don’t want to do something you initially enjoyed because you’re now supposed to do it? Like, staying home? Well.

With COVID-19 cases currently in the thousands and the fact that only essential businesses are open, we really don’t have much of a choice. Stay home and stay put — it’s that simple. Don’t be that guy. You know who we’re talking about.

Early this week, the Enhanced Community Quarantine (ECQ) has been officially extended until the end of April. You’ve probably watched reruns of your favorite shows, finished your long list of to-watch movies, maybe even touched your book haul from last year’s Big Bad Wolf. Who would’ve thought?

When it seems like beating the boredom gets harder and harder everyday, we’ve come up with ways to satiate the human being’s innate need for socializing. Presenting, bonding ideas for this new normal.

Bring out the board or card games! (Or even the virtual ones)

Every Filipino household has one. May it be a good ol’ trusty chess board, a deck of cards, or maybe even an Exploding Kittens set if you’re into, you know, competitive card games that involve cats, bombs, and goats.

Maybe your mom still has that mahjong set somewhere? Assign the loser to dishwashing or laundry duty and watch everyone suddenly become competitive.

You’re not limited to physical board or card games, though! In the age of the Internet, your options are practically endless. Our recent discovery? Telegram games! Quizarium and Werewolf are worth checking out!

Have a sibling cook-off.

I don’t know about you, but having the family gathered around the kitchen can only mean two things in our household: either there’s major tea or someone just cooked or is cooking a delicious meal (or maybe three).

Most of us want to come out of this community quarantine with six-pack abs, I get it, but who can refuse a delicious meal cooked with the burning fire of sibling rivalry? I know I can’t.

Relive the restaurant dining experience by recreating your favorite meals from their restaurants! Make sure to cook just enough for everyone, though.

Reduce or eliminate food waste as much as you can! (Keep your eyes here in Pasyal for hacks on how to create new dishes out of leftovers.)

Work out together, because why not?

You have to admit, being a couch potato for a month is a bit too much. And while gyms are closed and you can’t go out for a jog, isn’t this the perfect time to bring out the yoga mat you bought that one time you felt like starting a healthier lifestyle?

Lucky us, there are several local gyms and studios providing free online classes. For example, a legit Vinyasa yoga class has become literally just a click away. Make your family join in on the fun, too!

It can be your daily activity to kickstart the day so you don’t end up sleeping in or staying in bed until noon.

But if there’s no way your family is gonna join you on the mat, call up your friends and create an accountability group. It can still be quite the bonding experience! Maybe when all of this is over, you’ll already have the momentum to continue your fitness journey in a real gym or studio.

Have a Netflix Party.

Now you can momentarily forget about the cozy seats at cinemas with Netflix Party, a handy Google Chrome browser extension that lets you watch your favorite movies and shows with your now long-distance friends (or significant other) in real-time.

While not officially made by Netflix, Netflix Party has some nifty features perfect for lockdown life.

It has synchronized playback among all users, a pause/play button which will take effect on the entire group once someone presses it, and a group chat function for mid-movie side comments. No more discreet whispers in the dark—at least for now!

Pretty sure at this point we’re all itching to go out and go back to our normal bonding routines, but it seems like we’ll be here a while, and that’s okay.

There are a whole lot of activities we can do indoors—all it takes is a bit of creativity. By staying home in this pandemic, we’re doing our part in making sure everyone stays safe. Let’s play the part, and play it well.