The coronavirus outbreak has disrupted our daily routine. As more people are staying in, many establishments are losing customers and money, which is a big deal for small businesses. Another (admittedly less pressing) issue that has arisen as a result of COVID-19 is that many of us suddenly have a lot more free time on our hands, and we don’t know what to do with it. It turns out, there are several ways to tackle both these problems at once.

If physical distancing has you stuck inside going stir crazy, there are several activities you can do to pass the time and keep yourself grounded, and many of those activities can be done with the help of local businesses. Ahead, you’ll find our suggestions for how to stay busy during the coronavirus outbreak while also supporting small businesses in your area.

Tune Eeeen to Caribbean Saturdays on WMNA 1210 am or

Every Saturday, from 9:00 am to 6:00 p.m. the islands of the Caribbean takes the spotlight with music, information and special guests. Don Daly and Rosie start at 9:00 with The Caribbean Upliftment Program, Mike Andrews makes the Caribbean Connection at 12:00 pm and Three@3, Eddy, Cleve & Gillian brings Caribbean Riddims at 3:00 pm., as they say “It Nuh Normal”.

Take a virtual class

While gathering in a classroom might not be advisable right now, thanks to the power of the internet, classes of all kinds are still available. Learning something new and thinking critically are great ways to stave off cabin fever. Since many small language schools in the U.S. and abroad have been forced to shut down in-person sessions, look into how you can support them by signing up for virtual language classes.


If it’s your body that needs exercising right now and not just your mind, check to see if local fitness studios are streaming sessions with instructors. It’s tempting to sit in one spot all day when you have nowhere to be, but exercise is known to help with anxiety, and right now, many of us could use all the help we can get in that department. Go for a 30-minute walk and get some fresh air.

Start a craft project

In the past, have you’ve bristled at the “what are your hobbies” question simply because you don’t have time to do anything just for its own sake? Well, now you might actually have the bandwidth to pick up a hobby, and why not look to the arts and crafts arena? Find a small arts and crafts supply store in your area and purchase everything you’ll need to create a masterpiece: think yarn and needles for knitting, needlepoint kits, or paints and canvases. If you’re nervous about starting a new creative project, use the store as a resource — one of the best things about small businesses is that those who work at them are almost always extremely passionate about their area of expertise. They’ll likely have advice on where you should start.

Do puzzles & play games

Another great way to put your brain to work is by doing a puzzle. Whether it’s a traditional jigsaw or a book of Sudoku, puzzles are extremely stimulating, and they can be purchased at local game shops.

If you’re looking to compete against someone other than yourself, get some board or card games from that small business. Ask the shopkeepers for their suggestions for the most invigorating and entertaining games that can include all your roommates.

Bake or cook something special

Take the extra time — we know you have it or else you wouldn’t be reading this article — to try a new recipe and surprise the family by cooking something that’s outside of your regular quick-dinner rotation.

Many supermarkets and stores are delivering so you can purchase the ingredients online and have them delivered right at your door. Instead of binging on the Cooking Network for the umpteen time, get off the couch and make something spectacular yourself.

Read some books

All those books you’ve been meaning to read can finally get the attention they deserve. Reach out to your local book store to see how they’re handling the coronavirus outbreak. If the store is delivering or open to quick pop-ins from a limited number of customers at a time, stock up on a pile of books and get to reading.