By Nancy Groves
1. Baking banana bread.
Not to be that early adopter braggard, but making my own banana bread was the first thing I turned to the night of Boris’s inaugural corona press conference in a vain attempt to regain control over our new normal.
Now the whole world’s at it, even Gemma Atkinson of Hollyoaks and Strictly fame, who celebrated her debut loaf on Insta stories last night. Don’t judge.
Is Covid-19 sponsored by banana bread?
— Angelica Malin (@jellymalin) March 29, 2020
The great thing about this teatime treat is that, yes, it reduces food waste – important now for obvious reasons – but also, you can’t really screw it up. And once you’ve mastered the basics, you can make it fancier – culinary sources tells me Nigella’s recipe (heavy on the rum) is a real goodie.
It does involve a toss-up, though: using up those brown rotters in your fruit bowl, but also your last two eggs – the foodstuff at highest premium now except for pasta. But our (vegan) news editor says you don’t actually need eggs in the mix – simply substitute more banana. I’ll just pop out to get some… oh, hang on.
2. Doing all the jigsaws.
I don’t know about your work hangouts, but ours are dominated by banana bread recipes and my colleagues panning their webcams over the coffee and/or kitchen table to show off their latest Ravensburger 1000.
Yes, the humble jigsaw is back, with sales rocketing and supplies already scarce. From cityscapes to seascapes to Elsa, Anna and Olaf from Frozen, it’s the all-ages past-time, only with no real payoff for the hours you spend collecting all those bits of blue sky.
I’m judging people on the number of puzzle pieces their jigsaws have…
— Nicola Slawson (@Nicola_Slawson) March 31, 2020
As Ellen Degeneres found out, lose a piece and it’s game over. But at least it uses up this ‘time’ thing we seem to have so much of – and gives you something to piece together when you feel like, sob, you’re falling apart.
3. Working out with Joe. Or Adriene and Benji.
4. Turning your spare room / garden / cupboard into a low rent gym.
Gym = fitness matt and one dumbbell. And yes, I’ll be sure to ignore anyone who tags me in Instagram’s #pushupchallenge. I’ve not changed overnight.
5. Forgetting to brush your teeth till teatime.
We’ve been so busy washing our hands to Happy Birthday or Jolene, we’ve started skipping that other mainstay of personal hygiene: a shiny set of nashers. Hands up (mouths closed) if your teeth are feeling a bit… furry.
Don’t let this one drop, guys – for the sake of your nearest and dearest, as well as your own dental health. Now is not the time for halitosis or toothache.
See also: hair-brushing.
6. Pub quizzing in far too large a conference call.
Found yourself asking friends and family for the Zoom meeting code like it’s a totally normal app we’ve been using forever? How about getting notifications that your most respectable, professional acquaintance is ‘IN THE HOUSE’ – beers, beers, beers – not a minute past 5pm on a weekday?
The centre of this broken social scene is the virtual pub quiz, the only group hangout where the mute button comes into its own – especially during the music round. How else are you going to recognise that intro to The Police?
Word to the wise: download the lolz-heavy Snap Camera add-on with caution or you might end up like me – and this woman – trapped as Mrs Potato Head for the rest of time.
my boss turned herself into a potato on our Microsoft teams meeting and can’t figure out how to turn the setting off, so she was just stuck like this the entire meeting pic.twitter.com/uHLgJUOsXk
— Rach (@PettyClegg) March 30, 2020
7. Drinking alone. On screen.
Totally normal behaviour. Just go easy on the quarantinis.
8. Watching Tiger King.
No, I haven’t binged it all yet. There is such a thing as delayed gratification, even in self-isolation. But did you know that animal trainer Doc Mantle, who stars in Netflix’s new megahit, had a brief brush with pop culture two decades ago alongside none other than Britney Spears? Plus, have you seen the outfits? Now that’s what we call iso inspo.
9. Taking up running.
Pre-quarantine: can’t be bothered to move from the sofa, let alone go outside and run. In quarantine: suddenly you’ve downloaded Couch to 5K (the K standing for keeno) as you become desperate to spend your state-sanctioned exercise hour running round the park. Every. Single. Day.
Cue the regular runners wondering where the hell you all came from.
Why is that a lockdown has suddenly made all of England into runners?! Asking for a very annoyed constant runner xxx
— Sophie (@Sophie1Hamilton) March 25, 2020
Sorry, not sorry.