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Puzzles, baking, video games and more: How Americans are staying entertained during isolation – ABC News


Sourdough starters are all over social media and so are the Sims.

Staying at home has become synonymous with healthy habits in the age of coronavirus, but what’s everyone doing to stay entertained indoors?

From insanely intricate puzzles keeping people focused for days to baking loaves of fresh bread, here’s a snapshot of what some people are doing to pass the time inside and at a socially responsible distance.

Puzzles

Whether you’re an avid puzzler who can master a 1,000 piece puzzle or a novice who needs to start small, people have shared their masterpieces all over social media as we continue to socially distance.

Even celebrities like Ellen DeGeneres have shared a glimpse at their own attempt at a 4,000 piece puzzle that she joked would keep her busy for “at least an hour.”

Late-night host Conan O’Brien also hopped on the puzzle train and said the activity is a great way to entertain yourself while staying safe.

He shared a video on Facebook to talk about the booming trend and jokingly advised dropping pieces in boiling water to ensure each one was properly clean.

The largest jigsaw puzzle store in the U.S., the Puzzle Warehouse, said on its Facebook page before they had to close their local storefront in St. Louis, that things had gotten “a little crazy over here” with the influx of attention.

The family-run shop sells 1,000 puzzles on an average day, according to the Washington Post, but in one week since coronavirus, it sold as many as 10,000 per day and can still fulfill orders online.

Sourdough starters and fresh baked bread

There has been a new food movement on social media this month that would make Oprah proud. It’s all about bread.

Compared with the first half of the month, this week twice as many people tweeted about cooking/baking, with around 500K tweets per day, Twitter told ABC News.

Social media has been filled with the sights (and we wish the smells) of fresh-baked bread.

As people sift through their pantry staples, flour and active yeast have become the stars of self-isolation for people looking to try their hand at kneading and baking.

Others have deemed this to be the perfect time to start from scratch. Using just flour and water, people are learning how to foster their very first sourdough starters. After a few days of feeding and ripening, passing a float test and eventually with the right temperature, tools and recipe, they use it to bake a lovely fresh homemade loaf.

Tara Jensen, a professional baker known for her sourdough knowledge, has even shared the journey from start to finish with all the burbling scientific details to better help novice bakers get their starter, well, started.

Video games

From Call of Duty to computer game classics, Americans are jumping at the opportunity to fire up their favorite game consoles.

Can’t go outside with friends? That’s not a problem for literally anyone who has instead turned to creating their own alternate life simulations on The Sims.

And for any parents who want to make sure their kids aren’t spending all day playing video games, the American Academy of Pediatrics advised using this time to let kids practice self-control with their consoles.

“Make a plan about how much time kids can play video games online with friends, and where their devices will charge at night,” the AAP said. “Challenge children to practice ‘tech self-control’ and turn off the TV, tablet, or video game themselves – rather than parents reminding them.”



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