Satire | Top 10 ways to relieve quarantine depression

By Alex Dolinger, Staff Columnist

Quarantine is lasting way longer than my big dumb brain could have guessed back in March. Now that we’re on month six of trying our hardest not to summon the apocalypse, the cute and quirky activities I’ve suggested in the past seem like child’s play. We’re in this for the long haul, and it’s time to start acting accordingly.

When this all began, I was pretty optimistic. I thought after a couple weeks of working out and baking some stupid bread, we would be on track for a normal school year. I was wrong, as I usually am. Now, instead of simply trying to keep my mind active, I am trying to keep my mind out of the endless abyss. Here are some of my favorite coping strategies, in no particular order.


Kacey Musgraves

I guess I like country music now. I was minding my business on a run, listening to my carefully curated running playlist, when suddenly the playlist ended and Spotify took matters into its own hands. I felt like the sky opened and angels were singing “Golden Hour” to me. Now, I am too depressed and too busy to go on runs anymore, but that leaves me more time to stare at the ceiling and listen to “Happy and Sad” on a loop for three hours. Yeehaw, I guess. 


Make a playlist

This brings me to my next suggestion. If you’re unfortunate enough to have read my other, much more optimistic work, you’ll know that I’ve already made this suggestion. However, I am through with abstract concepts. I need music that’s going to make reality feel like less of a prison and provide the catharsis I am desperate for. Thus, I have created the playlist, “songs to cry in the shower to.” It is a necessary evil, and it is full of Kacey Musgraves, and no, it is not collaborative. It is better than any column I will ever write.


Guitar Hero

I’ve been blessed with roommates who are also losing their minds, so one of them brought her Guitar Hero set from home for all of us to enjoy. I am very bad at Guitar Hero, but I am very determined to be good. Getting to the expert level has consumed my waking days, and I spend a lot of time practicing that I should be using to do homework or write columns. I could also be using that time to play my actual guitar that I have been playing for 10 years, on which I have not yet hit expert level. “Are you winning, son?” my roommate asks. The answer is no.


The X Files

“The X Files” is my favorite television show that has ever existed. It is nine seasons and two movies of pure chaos. Complete with an inconsistent plot, horrible lighting and special effects and the slowest burn of all time, it is the perfect dose of ‘90s garbage that any depressed adolescent will love. It was all I watched in high school, and I have restarted the series now that I am in college just to feel something. It is not a good show, but it makes me feel like a lonely high schooler again, which is exactly what I am right now.


Go to CVS

There are not a lot of places that are safe to go to right now, so I’ve been frequenting CVS Pharmacy to make impulsive purchases in order to get my serotonin for the day. For example, the other day I bought some very expensive vitamins that were in a very funky little circular container, just because I thought they looked cool. Now, I have lots of biotin that I can use to grow out my natural hair color to an even more horrifying length. I also bought a PayDay bar, which is proof that I have completely lost my mind.



Speaking of losing my mind, I am actually becoming completely unhinged and unearthing the fanfiction that I used to write in high school. That’s right, I had been writing garbage and posting it on the internet long before The Pitt News even knew my name. Now that I do literally nothing, I thought it would be fun to log into my ancient Tumblr account and atone for my sins. It was not fun, but it was necessary.


Purchase nonsensical items on the internet

If you don’t feel up to going to CVS, you can be a dumb bitch remotely. In a full circle moment — in terms of this column — I recently bought a candle that is meant to smell like Kacey Musgraves’ song, “Slow Burn.” It was an unreasonable amount of money for a very small candle, but when I saw that it had arrived on my porch, I broke down in tears. It smells like going on a first date with someone you know will never call you again.


Do your homework

This is pretty self-explanatory. I’m not very good at this, but I do try my best. It’s just too bad I don’t know how to read.



You may be sensing a theme of high school nostalgia, and you’d be right. The Twilight Saga did not age well, and that’s just what makes it so incredible. I’ve been rewatching the series with my roommates and I have literally never laughed so hard in my entire life. Seeing Emmett walk into the Forks High cafeteria with a bag of hard-boiled eggs has revived all the brain cells I killed watching “Tiger King”. Also, watching Bella dramatically running through an Italian fountain in “New Moon” in middle school was when I discovered that I was gay, so it’s wonderful to relive the memories of teen angst now that I’m going through adult angst. 


Write satire

The world isn’t especially funny right now, so these silly little columns of mine are getting increasingly harder to write. What do I make jokes about when we are literally shrouded in death and incompetency? How do I make light of the complete and utter madness that descends further upon us? I don’t know, but I just revealed to the whole world that I used to write fanfiction, so anything is possible.

Alex is a senior theatre arts major who primarily writes satire. You can reach out to them at [email protected].