"Today on Good Morning Selly Oak, we'll be looking at how to make the most out of the three hours you'll spend queueing outside Aldi, the best indoor workout routines that you'll try for two days before binning, and just how many packs of Mini Cheddars can you eat before you need to call 111? Don't go anywhere."
During a bout of intense studying (procrastination) on Thursday, I decided to buy a turbo trainer. It's a stand for a bike that allows you to cycle whilst remaining stationary - useful when opportunities to leave the confines of your home are limited. Like most hobbies, there are now several online platforms that allow you to use a 'smart' turbo trainer to compete against other riders in a virtual race in different locations across the world. Fun, right? The turbo arrives tomorrow. I'll let you know if it's any good.
In the meantime, there's coursework to be done. It's surreal, to be honest - as of Friday 27th March, there are nearly 15,000 confirmed cases of Covid-19 in the UK (with many more people self-isolating as a precaution), and I'm sat at the kitchen table trying to write about alternative transport solutions for Leicester.
I'm not the only one, either. To date, three universities (Exeter, Southampton and Edinburgh) have introduced a 'no detriment' policy, meaning that - assuming students submit work for all of their assessments this semester - their average grade will not be negatively impacted if one or more of these assessments is below their year average. Students across the country are setting up petitions in order to have a similar system introduced at their institution, regardless of any measures currently in place in some cases. For many universities, this will be the first time in their history that such a policy has even been considered, let alone implemented.
I'm in two minds about having a 'quarantine routine' (quaroutine?). The daily pattern helps with the illusion of normality, but it also hammers home the sheer monotony of the situation. There's also the chance that - as a result of the sheer quantity of tea I've consumed on a daily basis for the last two weeks - I've completely obliterated my circadian rhythm, which doesn't help anything.
Nights are spent playing Candy Crush - I'm past Level 1,000 by the way - and scrolling through social media into the early hours of the morning, before waking half a dozen hours later and repeating the process. The only positive to take away from this is something that my housemate cracks a joke about every morning, without fail: the commute isn't bad.
Another thing she finds funny - everything on social media. You know, all of those tweets and posts that you've been sent seven times in four hours?
The first rule of Isolation Club is: everyone has already seen it. The second rule of Isolation Club is: The person you're showing it to probably sent it to you. And don't start quoting movies, we've had enough of that already.
An interaction we had yesterday during lunch encapsulates this:
Living room, 1.30pm. Elliot and HM are eating lunch.
ME: *sends tweet to HM*
HM: *opens tweet*
HM: *turns phone to me* Have you seen this, Elliot?
As it happens, mate, I have.
The rest of today will be spent convincing myself that running low-speed train derailment simulations is good fun. Failing that, the turbo has just arrived a day early, so might give that a go - may as well try to be productive whilst procrastinating.