Open Thread

Open Thread, Round Two: Lockdown Pastimes

Our readers are so busy staying busy they haven’t had time to share what they are doing going into the third month of lockdown, so we ran this Open Thread for a second week.

And more than a hundred of you told us how you are staying occupied. Here’s the breakdown: 

Walking or other physical activity:  34 percent

Learning something new:  24 percent

Doing craft projects:  18 percent

Zoom or other online visiting with family and friends:   14 percent

Binge watching TV:  10 percent.

We were amazed by the range and creativity of the solutions in the comments. Some folks amped their musical skills, others found creative ways to do volunteer work or finally tackled a creative project.  We’ll be keeping this up for a while so more people can share or find ideas. Go for it!

What's your favorite lockdown pastime or hobby?



Virge Randall is Senior Planet’s Managing Editor. She is also a freelance culture reporter who seeks out hidden gems and unsung (or undersung) treasures for Straus Newspapers; her blog “Don’t Get Me Started” puts a quirky new spin on Old School New York City each week. Send your suggestions for Open Threads to her at


Photo by Edwin Hooper on Unsplash


24 responses to “Open Thread, Round Two: Lockdown Pastimes

  1. I’m a retired music teacher. I went back to making music and sharing with friends and my church families. I’m having to learn new technology and reacquaint myself with programs I haven’t touched for 10 years. I reached out to friends in other states to collaborate with.

  2. I must say that I miss attending Senior Planet’s Fit Fusion class twice a week and all The other events there that held interest for me; it is a friendly and creative place that was a big part of my life. Hopefully, it will reopen soon , so that I may have a routine in my life. Also, a big part of my routine was attending plays, going to the museums and meeting a friend at Bloomingdales for delicious yogurt and conversation. I had planned to go to Venice and Barcelona this summer, but unfortunately they needed to be cancelled. So now I am learning Hebrew through the Pinschler audiobooks. I am enthused and eager to spend an hour a day learning something new. I am spending more time experimenting with cooking recipes. I have discovered that my big black and white cat ,Botero, enjoys going for a daily walk In the pet stroller. ThIs not only gives me exercise,but gets me out of the apartment. I avidly read the news and love Netflix. I am eager to return to Senior Planet for more computer courses, and I am glad to see other seniors are finding optional outlets.

  3. I have a bunch of workout DVDs so I do that every morning. Sometime during the day I do a little Spanish on Duolingo. Then I figure I’ve been productive and the rest can be fun. I read novels, do a little coloring, go for walks, nap with my cat, chase my other cat around the house (his idea of fun), and binge watch tv (only watch TV at night).
    Of course, I also obsessively check email and news, but I read online outlets that provide some thoughtful analysis and context. Trying to understand the world these days is a challenge.

  4. Add to the list of things to do is Virtual Traveling so that when it safe to travel,
    you’ll know where you want to go and what you want to see!
    Try Rick Steves utubes and podcasts. Google travel tubes, etc

  5. I am ordering books online that I have planned to read for ages. I do you read on the Internet but I have only a phone that is quite tiring for my eyes. I have picked up knitting again. I do exercise and play Internet games. I belong to a senior center that provides some sort of connection every afternoon at 2 PM. Sometimes it’s recipes and sometimes it’s chat. I really appreciate

  6. I would like to say I have cleaned my house, learned a new language and become a happier person, but it is not honest. I live alone and this has been hard for me. My sister lives 8 hours away and the virus wasn’t as bad as it was in my county. I stayed home, wore my mask and had food delivered. I was scared and severely depressed. I missed 2 sessions of migraine shots and 2 sessions of skin cancer body scans.
    I adopted a dog right before shelter in place started so that brought me joy each day . Without my golden retriever Charlie and kitty Katie I don’t know what I would have done. And then the protest and litters and riots. I am thinking of moving closer to my sister.

    1. Dear Leslie,
      I share a few struggles that are similar to yours. If you like, I’d be glad to stay in touch with you. Human contact can help keep both our spirits up.
      We’re all in this together; my hope is that we’ll get out of it with new insight and ways to deal with hardship.

      1. THANK YOU SO MUCH Joseph for reminding people to ADOPT animals instead of buying them from stores, breeders or anyone else! I think people should know that if we are not permitted anymore to sell/buy humans (thank God), we should not be permitted to sell/buy other living beings either! :) Adela

    2. Nice, cat and dog….I too have this perfect combination. I have no idea what I would do without them. Being alone is not easy.
      I work from home and I was told we will not be back in office anytime soon. I miss human interaction.

  7. Covid-19 Shelter in Place order left me with no excuses to finish the book and teacher’s guide I began a year ago. As a retired educator (37 year teaching career) one would think that I would have found the time! However, the forced seclusion forced a finish to the project. OPERATION HOPPER AND OTHER TALES is a collection of twelve short stories about kids from Oakland Acres. The accompanying activity/teacher guide contains questions and activities for each story. Both focus on comprehension and figurative language. The wonderful part of this project was teaming with a former student (who is now attending college). She illustrated the stories.

    Check out the books on my author page

  8. We’re not professionals, but making music is keeping us going. My husband is working on improving his guitar playing. We found and dusted off the beautiful accordion that I haven’t used in 60 years; had it cleaned and tuned and now I’m trying to relearn it. While walking our dog, we saw a piano in someone’s front yard with the sign “free.” Wheeled it home and had it cleaned and tuned; now it looks and sounds fine. With the help of YouTube videos, I’m learning to play! Once a week we have a social-distanced music jam in our backyard with a few close friends, including a drummer, a vocalist and a few more guitars. All that is in addition to gardening, reading, jewelry-making, cooking, and keeping up with the news. Bored? What’s that??

    1. I ordered a keyboard. Can only play with one hand but will be fun to plunk around on. Have to get out at least once a day.
      Watch videos, trade back and forth with neighbors, Read immensely, find new, cheap books at thrift stores.

  9. It’s great to hear what a few others are doing. I found the greeting cards to home bound a super idea. For me, my program to tutor young children in reading is back online with sessions from their homes. That program is in 16 major USA cities and a source of joy for me. I continue to knit items for back to school project and I am also taking art classes online from a local community center. Our retirement home pool and gym are open again so that helps with the physical body. Thank you senior planet for being there. And thank you posters for sharing.

    1. Yes, Yes, Yes! What joy – I heard a glorious organ concert online from St. John Divine with dinner. Plus cooking, gardening, weeding out closets and the fabric collection, quilting (some for charity), making some “soft” presents, and long quiet walks off hours.

  10. As an 80+ senior I am learning Hawaiian language and also moving as much as possible riding the bike, weights, dancing, walking to avoid wright gain.
    I have also used my time to declutter old papers in the file cabinet, statements, ten year old tax records and stuff not important. Keep removing clothes I no longer use to donate. Reading books, magazines to donate to other readers in my building.

    1. Similar to you, I have made the need to de-clutter more if A fun project rather than A chore.I will analyze and plan my (corner-of-the-room) that I wish to tackle. Being retired for only A few years kept me from taking organizing seriously .
      I always put it off in favor of attending an interesting event in the city.
      Now I have run out of excuses, and welcome all
      the changes and great progress I have made in my home.

  11. I keep busy with reading books & newspapers, working jigsaw puzzles, cryptoquotes, crosswords, sudoku, and woodcarving, not necessarily in that order, plus caring for and playing with my three dogs and doing housework. I miss carving with my carving friends, but we exchange photos via email of what we’re all working on, and that helps.

  12. I make greeting cards for home-bound seniors, ordinarily for birthdays or the various holidays. During isolation I have made over 1000 “Thinking of You” cards that are distributed through a social services agency. The cards are cheerful, colorful and easy to read. I hope they bring a few moments of comfort to the recipients while keeping me busy and productive.

Leave a Reply

Senior Planet’s comments are open for all readers/subscribers; we love hearing from you! However, some comments are not welcome here as violations of our Comment Policy. If you would like to express a comment about Senior Planet locations or programs, please contact Want to continue the conversation? Start your own discussion on this topic on Senior Planet Community.

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *