The Very Many Things I’ve Accomplished During Quarantine

Chris Hudson
7 min readJan 5, 2021

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Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

The COVID quarantine has been a very trying, stressful time for almost all of us (except billionaires). As someone who was performing two to three times a night as a stand-up comedian, it has been especially trying. I’ve been sorely missing all the shows I used to do. It’s been almost 9 months without a normal showcase in front of a live crowd that can freely laugh & enjoy themselves without worrying about catching a deadly virus. It’s been a tough time.

At the beginning of quarantine, I saw some benefits to an unlimited amount of time locked inside. I busted out an old script for a short film and actually finished it. I swore up-and-down that I would start writing another one. I edited old stand-up video clips I hadn’t posted anywhere yet. I started a new podcast exclusively about all things coffee where I started interviewing fellow quarantined comedians, musicians and artists about coffee. I felt like I was progressing forward to be prepared for a near future time when I thought we’d all be free from the extreme virus danger.

An early quar self portrait

Then, things just kept getting worse. They got worse locally and globally. People started ignoring the advice of medical professionals and started spreading the virus even more. Global unrest started with the murder of George Floyd, which became a catalyst for a powerful & important movement. An unprecedented storm and wildfire season happened. More things were for real on fire in general than ever before. The same government that urged us to stay home offered no money with which to survive on. Continuing to “work on my comedy career” and “getting a new tight five” seemed minuscule and unimportant compared to everything else happening. And this quarantine doesn’t seem like it is going to end anytime soon. It‘s all been pretty dizzying.

So, what have I accomplished since the world went full 2020? Good question. Let’s take a quick peek at my ultra productive months in quarantine:

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I’ve re-played Pokémon:

The 1996 Game Boy classic came back into my life during a nice bout of quar depression I was dealing with. I went with Pokémon Leaf Green Version because it’s a remake of the OG Blue Version and I heard it was dope. It did not disappoint. I named my Pokémon fun things like “Garfield” for my Pikachu and “Ex-Girlfriend” for my Haunter. I didn’t catch ’em all.

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I’ve tried every seltzer:

Besides trying many different blends of coffee for my podcast, I also am now a certified seltzer aficionado. I tried every seltzer I could get my hands on. Polar? You got it. La Croix? Of course. Lime Bubly? What a great flavor! I gave Aha another chance when I saw their Watermelon Lime and was surprised. My favorite seltzer is a tie between Waterloo’s Coconut and Spindrift’s Raspberry Lime. I get nervous now when my fridge seltzer stock runs low. They’re something I casually got into when I quit drinking alcohol and have been getting into more and more ever since. However many cocktails you’ve had, triple that and you’ll get how many seltzers I pound a day. It’s a lot.

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I’ve walked around:

Since it’s one of the few virus-safe activities, I have been walking a fair amount. Portland, OR is a beautiful place! I moved here from Baltimore in mid-February 2020, which means I never really had a full month to appreciate all PDX has to offer. Now I know a few nice parks!

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I’ve started getting creative with breakfast:

Breakfast, to me, is the best meal of the day. I’ve also heard it’s the most important meal, too. My go-to is usually an egg bagel sandwich with tomato and cream cheese. I’ve since switched to vegan cream cheese after wanting to cut out dairy, but the fact that I still make a variation with real pepper jack cheese kind of negates that. I also make meatless sausages, meatless bacon, waffles and my old standby: cereal. At the beginning of the COVID outbreak, I used to wolf down whole boxes of the generic Fred Meyer peanut butter chocolate cereal. It was definitely a comfort food. Breakfast and coffee are what I look forward to every day now. A 2020 vibe.

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I’ve been single:

I’m sure a lot of people can relate to this one. How are you supposed to date during a global pandemic? With COVID testing somewhat unreliable, it’s hard to trust being around any new person. The dating apps are more like a fantasy now. Guess I could try webcam dating! Haha.

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I’ve rediscovered music from my past:

From Disturbed’s wailing in “Down With the Sickness” to a rare Mudhoney b-side on a CD I bought off eBay just to listen to, I’ve been going way back. Some music I used to listen to I really don’t vibe with anymore (sorry KoRn), but a lot of it conjures memories of jammin’ out by myself. I’ve definitely had my Snoop Dogg days. Or weeks.

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I’ve done A LOT of Zoom comedy shows:

Ever since in-person shows have been mostly canceled, comedians, musicians and more have turned to Zoom. Take the energy and swirl of laughter out of a live show and add some existential dread and you have Zoom comedy. “It’s definitely different than being seeing it in a bar,” someone told me recently after seeing me do a Zoom show.

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I created a new Vaporwave internet radio show:

I joined an internet radio station (Shady Pines Radio if you’d like to check it and my show out) and started a smooth show as my DJ alter-ego, ratbainbow. I play crazy fuzzy vaporwave. Sultry synth jams. Chillwave, gothwave, Mallwave, lolwave, I play all the waves!

Photo by Jack Cohen on Unsplash

I’ve stood in a CVS for way too long:

This one is pretty self explanatory. I love CVS coupons, so I compare sales against the coupons I have for a long time. What else are you gonna do? When I first moved to Portland, I spent more than half an hour just looking at toothbrushes.

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I started writing satire news articles:

Fellow comedian Tyler Dark started his own satire news site called The Bringer where I luckily get to contribute satire news articles exclusively about stand-up. It’s incredibly cathartic, especially when other comedians relate & can laugh with me about how ridiculous our stand-up world was and is.

So, a lot of those things involved computers or electronics, food or aimlessly wandering around. Those are the three main categories I think that most activities you could do in 2020 fell into. Sometimes, you’d end up doing all three at the same time. Like, if you were eating a bagel while checking your phone while walking through a park in no particular direction.

I think it’s still safe to say we’re all going a teensie bit insane. A lot of us can’t continue our lives the way we were living them. Being a live performer, this has been especially hard. Our culture massively conflates our achievements with our identity and sense of self. What you do and how well it’s going can define you. It can make us feel like we’re failing when nothing is happening. I do know it doesn’t feel good to spend this much time on Zoom.

I’ve been seeing things opening up in other parts of the country and have seen them quickly close down again. Millions of people are still losing their jobs and their homes. The Stock Market is an alternate reality where “who’s gonna buy TikTok?” was a big question for weeks. Vaccines are out but who knows how much they’ll help us stabilize. We’ve gone past an end of the year review where we all realize somehow another year has gone by. It’s felt more like ten years. We’ll be lucky if we see anything approaching normal in 2021.

At least I can say I did a few things.

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