As countries across Europe and around the globe go into lockdown, schools close and public gatherings are banned, you may be wondering what you can do to avert boredom and retain your sanity. There are already plenty of articles and guides out there, and as regards general recommendations, I would advise reading and cooking as two prime examples of therapeutic activities during these troubling times.
However, you may be wondering what us youth activists are doing. Here is a list of five of the activities that you may find us engaged in.
Ah, conference calls. The future is undoubtedly going to involve even more conference calls, for all of us. One of the few upsides of the current global pandemic is that it has brought about a growing recognition of the fact that it is possible to conduct meetings remotely as opposed to flying people to disparate corners of the globe.
That being said, it can become rather tiresome to have people’s open microphones as the soundtrack to your life. Loud obnoxious eating noises, extractor fans in the background and people’s parents shouting at them – these are all too familiar sounds to us all now. Activists have far too many conference calls.
Twitter is perhaps simultaneously the most edifying and the most infuriating and brainless communication platform ever conceived. The ability to reach vast numbers of people via Twitter, should you come up with that smart and tongue in cheek 280 character message is unparalleled on any other social media platform.
Unfortunately, the propensity of old men to dole out unadulterated abuse is also unparalleled. During quarantine you will find many activists behind their screens attempting to find just the right words to go viral. Case in point: Linus Dolder.
Bringing new meaning to the term “Zoomer”, we have Zoom parties.
Although it may be impossible for us climate activists to meet and mingle in person these days, human interaction is nonetheless a critical, crucial part of this movement and indeed of all of our lives.
Without the ability to rant to your peers, recount life’s little dramas or watch Bernie Sanders debate Joe Biden with people from 5 different countries simultaneously, we would undoubtedly lose our sanity. Zoom parties have become the de facto method of socialising in this post social-distancing world, and if you’re not laughing at the guy who fell asleep on the call and is snoring loudly, you’re definitely doing lockdown wrong.
Planning the Revolution
Climate may have slipped down the agenda, but the climate crisis hasn’t gone anywhere. We may be less visible than before, but us climate activists are putting our free time to good use. When this pandemic passes, we are going to need to rapidly re-escalate the climate conversation. For us to succeed in limiting global heating to below 1.5ºC, we must put climate front and center, occupying the same spot in people’s imaginations that the coronavirus currently is occupying. Planning the revolution can be difficult work, but it is most definitely necessary.
Although it’s a bit of a footnote, it should not be forgotten that school still ambles on in some form of zombified digital learning. That being said, schoolwork is definitely the least important item on this list; little more than an addendum to be quite frank. If you’ve time left over after the Zoom parties and Twitter brainstorming, you may consider doing some of the homework that your teachers have assigned to you. It all seems rather meaningless when you consider the current state of the world, but it is important to appease them on the off chance that you return to the halls of unlearning at some stage in the distant future.