• theniamhcooper

30 things to do... when you’re quarantined in a hotel room

Someone I know (you know who you are!) currently finds themselves quarantined in a hotel room somewhere in Ireland. Apart from a delivery of breakfast and dinner, there is nothing, nada, absolutely zilch they can do, day in, day out, for 14 days. They can't leave the hotel - and possibly, not even their room. So, to help them pass the time, I decided to put together a list of 30 things they can do to keep themselves amused. These are amusing Musings, after all!

PS: These were written with those in mind who find themselves locked in a hotel in Ireland. Feel free to take inspiration from these and modify at will if you are quarantining elsewhere.

1. Order food to your hotel from your local SuperValu.

Order value is usually €50 plus €7 delivery, but if you do this early on it’ll be sooo worth it!! Think of the treasures. If you don't have a fridge, well, don't order stuff that needs to be refrigerated. Ordering a bag of ice to put in the bath might be an option for a few days. Remember to make a note of your room number and phone number for the driver.

2. Of course, first you'll need to make a shopping list for that order! What do you need? What do you want? What thing that's typically Irish do you want to try? What are you likely to want in a week's time? Tesco.ie works too, by the way. Disclaimer: Even if you love the Irish breakfast, I would advise against ordering a packet of rashers, Clonakilty's finest black pudding, and some fine Irish pork sausages - unless you like them green and furry. Order bananas.

3. Pretend you have a tricycle and recreate THAT scene from The Shining. This is even more fun with more people socially distantly fake-tricycling.

4. Get to know / reacquaint yourself with some fab Irish music. Here are a few to get you started (links included):

5. See how many pairs of socks you can roll into each other. When you run out of socks, continue with underwear. Then pyjamas. Anything really. You should find yourself with a sizeable ball. Now you can play keepy-uppy.

6. Down load the Touchnote app and send postcards and cards to five people you love / like / moderately tolerate.

7. Pretend you’re in a courtroom and swear your darkest secrets on the bible. No one can hear you. Ah go on sure. You'll feel better afterwards.

8. Teach yourself origami on YouTube. If you’re an atheist, you’ve got unlimited pages to work with. If not, use the little block they give you, receipts, a free magazine (you've probably read it three times at this stage!), anything.

9. Watch all Father Ted episodes, back to back - not to get an idea of what life is like on the island. But I will promise you that you will get an insight into the deepest darkest Irish humour. "Down with this sort of thing!" is an essential phrase. You will get serious brownie points when using this phrase about Covid-19 when guzzling three socially distanced pints in 105 minutes when the pubs reopen.

10. Compose an ode / a poem / a song to someone you love / despise / a frontline worker.

11. Design a board game with Gamecrafter.

12. Write a letter to the President of Ireland:

Michael D. Higgins

President of Ireland

Áras an Uachtaráin

Phoenix Park

Dublin 8,


13. Write a note to the lovely person bringing your breakfast /dinner / cleaning your room.

14. Teach yourselves a new way to tie your laces.

15. If you don’t have laces, polish your shoes. I mean, who ever really uses that yoke - that freebie that we never need, but still pop into our toilet bag when we leave, 'just in case'. Rate the shoe polisher from 0-10. If you don't have a shoe polisher, try a banana skin or petroleum jelly. You're welcome. I didn't know that either. If you didn't order bananas in step 2., then I can't help you.

16. Internalise the linen cleaning list and prices. By 'internalise' I don’t mean 'eat'. Then devise a quiz and send it into the WhatsApp / Messenger group of people quarantining in a room near you. If no one is staying with you, or you'd rather not talk to them, leave the quiz for a few days and see if you can still answer it then.

17. Jump on the bed. If you happen to have scarily huge Aragog-type spiders on the wall, like this couple, jump higher.

18. Polish your shower with your tooth brush.

19. Then throw away your tooth brush.

20. If you’ve read 18., and actually polished the shower with your tooth brush, you are too bored, and need something constructive to do. You probably only have one toothbrush. Keep it for your shoes. Especially if you didn't have a shoe polisher, banana peel or vaseline.

21. Copy the wall art and try to recreate it. Using only toilet paper.

22. Get ideas online and prepare a zoom quiz. Play it with your favourite nieces / nephews / children / adults.

23. Do an online Tarot reading.

24. Keep a diary of your dreams during these two weeks.

25. Make a time-capsule with things you find around the hotel. Write yourself a letter. Put everything in a safe place, and in a container when you get home. Open it in five / ten years. It will put a smile on your face.

26. Buy a book in the local bookshop and get it delivered to your door.

27. Look up the practical uses for toothpaste. You'll be amazed.

28. If you’re new to Ireland, order at least five typically Irish things / food that you’ve never heard of, or like the sound of.

Oh, and buy a toaster. You'll be amazed how often you'll get midnight toast cravings. Add toast and butter to your list in point 2. And some Irish cheddar. That'll last for a few days, wrapped up well in the ice bath.

29. Get to know the town / village / city / area you’re in, by reading up about it online. Then create a treasure hunt. For yourself. Once you’re ‘out’, do the treasure hunt to see if you even know the place. If you find all the places, congratulations. You are now ready to create a treasure hunt app for several thousand euros. You can sell it and make several single euros. Ah well. It helped pass the time.

30. If you don't like my 30 tips, write your own. Sure, what else would you be doing...

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