Coronavirus: From learning a new hobby to meeting friends online, here's how students are keeping themselves sane during school closures

With schools shut for more than a month, students cope by taking regular breaks and exercising often

Rhea Mogul |

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Amid the coronavirus outbreak, schools in Hong Kong have been shut for a few weeks, and as it stands, will continue to remain closed until April 20. Students have been attending classes online, as teachers have had to resort to e-learning to complete the syllabus.

While the situation might not be ideal, students have kept their spirits high by taking occasional breaks and speaking with friends. We asked some students in Hong Kong how they cope with being stuck at home and how they are keeping entertained. 

Homework and Netflix

I make sure I do my homework because our teachers give us a lot of work. In my free time, I chat with my friends because their parents don't allow them to meet people except for their family. Otherwise, I just watch Netflix or YouTube.

Vera Tanna, 12, Renaissance College

Online gaming

I am staying sane at home by either answering things on Quora, going on Youtube or chatting with friends on Instagram. There isn't much to be done during this time, so I just attend my classes as I was told to. I have been playing Minecraft with my friends and chatting with them through a voice/video calling application called Discord. My tutor group has played Skribblio, Uno and Kahoot online through Google Meets. 

Dennis Chow, 15, King George V School

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Regular breaks are key

I have a break every half an hour to read or just walk around my apartment, otherwise my eyes go blurry from looking at my screen so much! I keep in touch with my friends via video chat. On the weekends I try to hang out with my friends as much as I can.

Hannah Fennelly, 13, South Island School

My friends keep me busy

I have chatted with my friends via video call, and also during Google Meet calls during online school. The schoolwork does get tedious at times, but I stay sane by adhering to the school schedule, including taking breaks and talking with family after "online school". 

Jenna Chan, 15, Renaissance College

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Final exams keep me busy

I’m not really bored because I’m busy worrying about how my final exams, which are quite soon, will turn out after not going to school for months. I mostly watch videos online and text friends to entertain myself. I'm allowed outside as long as I wear a mask, but I don't see much reason to go out nowadays.

Annie Kim, 16, Harrow International School

Wellness & mindfulness 

Other than keeping on top of school work, I like to practice yoga every day to maintain mindfulness. In addition, I’ve also put more time into my hobbies that I've forgotten due to my busy school life. I’ve begun to paint more often, am attempting to relearn piano and have been baking more.

However, finding ways to entertain myself at home isn’t my biggest problem, as my parents allow me to visit friends. My friends and I keep in contact through regular study groups at each other's houses and after school hangouts at more open areas. Although this extensive period of school suspension has been rather chaotic, I am beginning to sustain a daily routine that ultimately contributes to my well being. 

Gaile Ng, 15, Chinese International School 

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Excercise is key

I am staying sane by going out for five minutes every day and doing daily exercise. I also call my friends every Friday and I am not under lockdown.

Raghav Bhatnagar, 11, South Island School 

Binging on Netflix

I'm currently self-studying and e-learning at home. I've finished all seasons of Brooklyn 99 and am now indulging in arts and crafts, such as painting and sketching. I'm allowed outside my flat, but I have to bring a mask and a bottle of hand-sanitizer, per usual. 

Charlotte Lee, 12, Singapore International School 
 

The months-long school suspension hasn't put me into a tedium like the others because my teachers have been assigning lots of homework and I have been taking normal lessons with my classmates on weekdays. During this period of time, I have been chatting with my internet friends as well as following the news, so I don't feel disconnected from the world and people. Besides, for me, my parents allow me to go out for exercise, thus it helps keep my mind away from insanity and anxiety. If I were under lockdown, I would spend more time reading and playing the piano.

Janice Mook, 15, Diocesan Girls School