2020, the year of the pandemic, and leisure activities related to the pandemic

For many people across the country, 2020 has dramatically changed the way they spend their time and the extra time they might have to spend. For parents whose children are learning online at home, free time could have been wasted. But for people who have found themselves stuck at home or without a job, free time, while potentially unwanted, can abound.

So, to fill this free time and cope with the stress brought by 2020, many people have chosen new hobbies.

Kimberly Adams of “Marketplace” learned to play the piano. Right before the lockdown, her brother decided to downsize to move in with her boyfriend, and the two siblings shared the cost of shipping their grandmother’s piano from her home in St. Louis to hers. in Washington, DC Their father had bought the piano for their grandmother decades ago, and it was in their home growing up, although Adams never learned to play.

Marketplace decided to check in with a few other people to see what new ways they are spending their time this year.

Click on the audio player above to hear the full story.

Customize figurines in Cambridge, Massachusetts

When Miles McAlpin was put on leave from his job in the travel industry, he suddenly found himself with a gaping hole to fill, and his usual hobby, travel, was out of order.

McAlpin had seen photos of people posting custom action figures on Instagram, and having been an action figure collector as a child, he figured he would give this art form a try. He took a trip to his parents’ house, where he collected all the figurines he could in their basement. McAlpin spent his days “off work, just looking for YouTube videos on how to sculpt, sand, paint.”

He began to display the numbers he made on Instragram, under the name of Sir Collect-a-Lot, and sells them.

Journaling in St. Paul, Minnesota

Mai’Nesha Cyrus has spent a lot of time at home and a lot of solo time. 2020, she said, has helped her “get better at being alone.” One of the ways she’s worked on her mental and emotional health is by journaling. “Sometimes you don’t always feel comfortable talking to someone, or maybe they aren’t there” when you want to talk, she said. So journaling was a way for her to support herself emotionally.

DJ in Durham, North Carolina

Dr. Barbara Chase retired this year, as planned, in March. For her, 2020 has been “a year of extremes”, but “music has been my pillar”.

Chase coordinated and hosted an outdoor dance party for retirees in his community, Village Hearth. Chase describes Village Hearth as “an LGBTQ 55+, friends and allies, retirement community”. The dance party, she said, was a success. “I had huge speakers that I dragged around in a cart and my laptop from which I stream all my music,” she said. The dancers were masked and socially distanced. “We were outside. And people vibrated to the beat.


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