People Are Sharing The Most Mind-Numbing Things They’ve Been Up To In Isolation

by : Emily Brown on : 02 Apr 2020 14:37
People Are Sharing The Most Mind-Numbing Things They've Been Up To In IsolationMatt Broome/Helena Wöhlke

Self-isolation measures are well and truly underway for most people across the globe, and as it becomes increasingly difficult to come up with entertaining pastimes, some people have been sharing the most mind-numbing things they’ve been up to. 

I don’t know about you, but for the first week, self-isolation didn’t seem so bad. It presented an opportunity to relax for hours on end, binge-watch my favourite shows, and tend to a few chores that had been piling up.


Eleven days in, and it’s a different story. There’s really only so much TV I can watch before my eyes start to feel like they actually might be going square, and I’ve already completed the necessary tasks around the house.

With long days of this housebound state stretching before me, I’ve started to turn to more menial tasks, like sorting out the hoard of plastic bags under the sink into one larger bag.

Though I approached the task with no enthusiasm whatsoever, it kept me busy, and I’m not the only one resorting to such boring activities.


In a post on LADbible and UNILAD’s Facebook group Isolation Nation, one user asked people to share the most mundane things they’d been up to in isolation, after revealing they’d recently found themselves using a needle to pick the fluff out of their hair comb.

Check out some of the other responses below:

[Mine] has to be counting how many pasta pieces I wanted to eat…

Cleaned the shower door frame with an ear bud

Scrubbed old paint from the bathroom floor with my thumb nail

Folded all my plastic bags into little triangles so they all fit in a tub.


Matt Broome, a 24-year-old from South Carolina, resorted to organising rubber bands by size after going into isolation on March 18.

Matt Broome spent two hours organising rubber bands by sizeMatt Broome

Though he’s a ‘homebody by nature’, Matt pointed out there’s a big difference between staying home because you want to, and staying home because you have to. He’s already managed to spend an entire week cleaning the living room, which included wiping down each individual stone of his cobblestone fireplace.

While cleaning, Matt came across a bag of rubber bands and proceeded to spend two whole hours organising them by size into three separate ziplock bags.

Rubber bands organised by sizeMatt Broome

Recalling the process, Matt told UNILAD:

My neck and back ached from leaning over the table, but I was determined to finish it.

It probably wouldn’t have taken as long if the bag I originally started out with for the smaller rubber bands had been big enough for them all. I didn’t expect there to be so many.

I hate these small rubber bands. They were so much trouble. They kept falling on the floor. It took time.

After completing task, Matt accepted he had ‘no plan for these rubber bands’, adding: ‘I did all of that for nothing.’

Rubber bands organised by sizeMatt Broome

Helena Wöhlke, a student from Brazil, turned to her dog Banzé to help while away the hours after exhausting the pastimes of cooking, cleaning, studying, sleeping and watching movies, TV series and YouTube videos.

Helena was watering her plants when Banzé came over and started smelling them, so she decided to teach the pup how to help care for the plants, should he ever be in a position to have to do so – which seems unlikely, but you never know.

Helena Wöhlke pictured with her dogHelena Wöhlke

The student taught her dog that he needs to be patient when it comes to growing plants, because we aren’t all lucky enough to have green hands (or paws).

She told Banzé every plant needs specific care, and took the time to teach him how much water each one needed and which ones liked direct sunlight.

When asked whether Banzé’s lesson was a success, Helena told UNILAD:

No, apparently he was more interested in licking my face.

Woman tries to teach dog how to look after the plants but he's not interestedHelena Wöhlke

Other responses to the Facebook post included sewing up sock holes, washing out plant pots, sorting out a box of differently sized screws and wiping light switches.

Though these tasks are, without a doubt, some of the most mind-numbing things I’ve ever heard, it’s interesting to see how isolation is forcing people to get creative. Perhaps I’ll try sewing up my sock holes the next time boredom looms.

Check out more personal stories and self-isolating advice on Isolation Nation here.

If you have a story you want to tell, send it to UNILAD via [email protected]

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Emily Brown

Emily Brown first began delivering important news stories aged just 13, when she launched her career with a paper round. She graduated with a BA Hons in English Language in the Media from Lancaster University, and went on to become a freelance writer and blogger. Emily contributed to The Sunday Times Travel Magazine and Student Problems before becoming a journalist at UNILAD, where she works on breaking news as well as longer form features.

Topics: Life, Self-Isolation