The cloud without a silver lining

As of today, there are 175 million reported cases of Covid-19 around the world. I say reported since at this point there are countless people who are still waiting for test results (like several of my extended family) or infected but asymptomatic without being aware. So the real number could likely be much worse.

Unfortunately, each day as the number of Covid cases is shooting up, so are our blood pressures. Every news channel, text, office meeting, and family catchup centers on Covid. The focal point of every conversation is the pandemic. Dinner table conversations are about how we are just biding our time till we catch the infection ourselves. Even harmless coughs and regular body aches are leading us to spiral down the google rabbit hole of self-diagnosis and medication.

Every fifth house on the street seems to be infected, and people are falling like dominos. News is turning into horror stories of bodies floating in the Ganges river and people refusing to collect remains of their family members after cremation. This is just the unfortunate reality around us today.

Covid panic is real, and it is here!

Dealing with the Covid Panic

The world outside my window, along with my mood, seems a little greyer every day, and I am tired of it. Just like you, I would really like to see some silver lining now. With no disrespect to what is happening around us, I would still like some color in our conversations and some melody in our voices to help deal with the panic inside us.

So can we talk about something else today — let’s discuss #PandemicProject2021.

Your #PandemicProject2021 is that personal shiny sunrise moment that you look forward to amidst the madness of the pandemic. Your Pandemic Project could be anything helping you to distract your mind and unwind. Or it might be helping you to be part of the solution and extend a helping hand during the crisis.

Your #PandemicProject2021 could be something you started either by yourself, with family, friends or colleagues.

For me, writing is my #PandemicProject2021. I am privileged and thankful for the opportunity to be working from home, which has also helped me cut down on over two hours I used to spend on office commute. And I have finally started using that time to do something that I love — writing.

For starters, I began writing on Medium earlier this year and then created this blog to create a home for all my writing. I have been trying to spend a couple of hours on the weekend to put down 1–2 articles that I then publish through the week. I have mainly been writing on experiences of working in the environment sector, womanhood and parenting issues.

Like me, I know many of my friends and family picked up minor projects of their own as well. The things they have been learning, trying, and posting about on social media have amazed me. So at one point, I started compiling a list of all these mini-projects that kept popping up on my feed.

I hope that instead of losing yourself in Covid panic, these ideas help you find your own personal mini-project to keep calm and keep going.

21 Ideas for your #PandemicProject2021

  1. Start writing. You can put together a personal website, create a WordPress blog, or the simplest one is to write on Medium or LinkedIn.
  2. Join an art class with your kid — learn to doodle, mandala, sketch, watercolor painting, block painting. You can even just buy Mandala color books and get creative.
  3. Build a garden. While this sounds complex, it doesn’t need to be. If you live in an apartment, you can create a mini terrace garden. If you have no space to spare, you can even just grow microgreens.
  4. Be part of a virtual book club. You can do this with your friends or colleagues, virtually and effortlessly. You can even join virtual ones on platforms like Goodreads.
  5. Join a Virtual Hobby Class. This could anything from dancing to carpentry. The world is your oyster.
  6. Join a Virtual Health Class. Yoga, Meditation, Exercise, Pilates. You can find what works for you and feel physically better too.
  7. Make home videos. Make funny memories with your kids or even your parents and grandparents. Keep them for yourself or even share them on social media.
  8. Teach an Online Class. Even from home, you can act as Volunteer teachers for supplementing home learning, especially for children from vulnerable communities.
  9. Create an online course. If you don’t have time for active teaching, you could spend onetime energy. You can create and launch online courses on any subject you are good at — right from business plans to art, music, and cooking.
  10. Get certified. Is there a course that you always wanted to do but could never make time for? Google University, Udemy, Coursera-there are many people making it so easy for you now.
  11. Start a virtual fundraiser. The pandemic has pushed millions towards poverty and health crisis. If you can help someone raise money to save lives and do good, do that.
  12. Build a virtual community. From Covid warriors to jobseekers, if you have networks, use them to build a community for action. To help people in your networks who have lost their jobs, you can provide basic support like resumer reviews and sharing job announcements.
  13. Learn a game. Bring back the childhood memories and learn while having fun — Poker, Chess, Blackjack, Scrabble. Use this to spend time with the family but virtual friends work too.
  14. Learn to bake. Add some sugar and spice to your as well as others’ life. After all, chocolate always makes everything better.
  15. Create your own reading challenge — X number of books in the year or all books from a particular author or experimenting with a new genre. You choose!
  16. Take a Healthy Diet challenge. Manage calorie intake or don’t. Do intermittent fasting or go on a Keto Diet. Make your own choices, just make healthy ones.
  17. Reconnect. With old school friends, relatives, colleagues — anyone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Every week, speak to one old friend.
  18. Pick up a DIY/Upcycling project. Use materials available at home, there are so many how-to videos. Amaze yourself as well as others.
  19. Marie Kondo your home. Get rid of things you don’t need, remove the clutter — better yet, give things away to people who really need them.
  20. Learn to play a musical instrument. Classes are available online and Amazon can deliver the instrument. What are you waiting for!
  21. Journal. Use the pen to let your feelings out each night and sleep better.

I am sure there are so many more ideas or projects you might have started yourself. Do share in comments and maybe it might inspire others to pick up something as well.

Since life is handing out lemons right now, let’s make some lemon cheesecake with it.


This article was published originally in the publication Illumination. Photo by Sharon Pittaway on Unsplash


About The Author

Hello – I am Roselin. For more than a decade now, I have been working in sustainable development, and I absolutely love it. I also love being a mom to an adorable three-year-old. When I am not juggling PowerPoint and parenting, I enjoy being a librocubicularist and moonlight as a writer. I also believe in the power of chocolates and Harry Potter!

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