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Appreciating What We Didn’t Have During COVID-19 Quarantine & Social Distancing

Some days it seems like all we want to do is stay at home with nothing to do. Days with no responsibility give us an excuse to eat snacks, binge-watch our favorite shows, and be generally lazy. However, when that is all we can do, it loses its appeal. The COVID-19 quarantine kept people in their homes for weeks, cooped up with nothing to do, and no end in sight. Now that the restrictions are being lifted, it’s time to appreciate what we have.

COVID-19 has not yet been eradicated. Although quarantine and social distancing restrictions are being lifted, it is still important to take the necessary precautions to keep from contracting and spreading the disease. To learn more about COVID-19, visit the CDC website.

Going to the Gym

You may have spent some of your quarantine doing home workouts or going for jogs, but chances are you miss the equipment at your gym and the excuse to leave your house. Weights were one of the most popular items to quickly fly off the shelves of stores at the beginning of quarantine. Some people had to get creative with no-weight workouts or finding things to lift in their homes, like vacuum cleaners and crockpots.

With many gyms shutting down during the crisis, it affected many people’s motivation to stay active. If you don’t have equipment at home, a class to pump you up, or the space to exercise, it can be difficult to participate in home-workouts. However, now that select gyms are beginning to open and more gyms will likely join the fray soon, there is no excuse for you not to start working on your New Year’s resolutions again.

Some gyms that have opened in the area include:

See a Movie

During the quarantine period, you probably watched hundreds of movies and hours of television shows—but nothing compares to seeing a new movie in the theater. With many movies putting their release date on hold, there are sure to be some exciting movies hitting a theater near you soon. Plus, when you see a movie in theaters you can grab some buttery popcorn and an icee to go along with it that you probably didn’t have at home.

While many theaters still haven’t opened, drive-in theaters around eastern Idaho have been able to meet social distancing requirements and show old movies. While it may not be the new movie you are waiting for, it’s still fun to get out of the house and watch something on a bigger screen than the one in your living room. Plus, drive-in movies are an experience of their own!

Some drive-in theaters in eastern Idaho open for business are: 

Go Shopping

Let’s be honest, you’ve probably been shopping online throughout the entire quarantine. While shopping online may partially satisfy your retail therapy needs, something feels rewarding about going to stores in person. In the store, you can see things for yourself and decide whether or not you like something instead of relying on reviews. Plus, the mall provides a getaway. Going shopping somewhere besides the grocery store is practically a vacation!

This is the perfect time to go to the mall with friends you haven’t seen in weeks and check out new clothes, books, and home decorations. While you’re out, you’ll have the opportunity to support small businesses who may have been struggling during the quarantine period.

While there aren’t many malls in the eastern Idaho area, the Pine Ridge Mall in Pocatello and Grand Teton Mall in Idaho Falls are both open with new safety measures in place, though some individual stores may still be closed.


Part of the fun of eating out is staying out. Some dine-in restaurants create experiences for their diners that they can’t get at home. Dining is what date nights are made of. It’s what makes time with your friends slow down. Good food is at the root of so many experiences, and without the ability to dine-in, you lose some of those opportunities.

Although ordering take-out can be fun, after doing it because it’s the only option in quarantine, you are probably ready for a night out where you don’t have to do any dishes, not even the cups. Check-in with your favorite restaurant to see if they are open for dine-in and what their safety measures are...then, go out. It’s time to sit down and enjoy a meal outside of your home.

Get Your Hair Done

Many people don’t realize how often they need haircuts until they’ve been sequestered at home and forced to stare at their split ends or the same old, boring hairstyle for weeks. Now that hair salons are back in business, show them and your hair some love by booking an appointment as soon as you can. You may have to wait a few more weeks for an appointment though, as many others have the same needs as you. By going to the salon or barber, you’ll be supporting hairstylists and barbers who have been out of work for weeks.

Some salons and barbershops that have opened include:

Many more salons and barbershops have opened in the area. If you are one of them, leave a comment so readers know where they can take their business!

Take advantage of and appreciate the services in your life that are available outside of quarantine. While you are it, appreciate the people you couldn’t see or had to stay six feet away from. It’s easy to take things like going to the movies or getting your hair done for granted, but the COVID-19 experience has taught many people to be thankful for services they didn’t have access to. What has COVID made you grateful for?

Hannah Anderson

About the author

Hannah Anderson

Hannah Anderson, a Nevada native, moved to Idaho four years ago to study at Brigham Young University-Idaho where she earned a bachelor's degree in communication. She enjoys spending time with her husband, reading, and exploring all that Idaho has to offer.

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