Since Gov. Lou Leon Guerrero ordered the shutdown of schools, non-essential government agencies, bars, restaurants, amusement and fitness facilities, Guam residents have sheltered in place, abiding by the governor's social distancing mandate.
And while stuck at home, residents find creative ways to spend their time. Many social media users post daily updates on what they playfully label #lockdown diary. Some catch up on their reading. Many have taken up new hobbies such as gardening, cooking and baking. Others finally find time to purge their jam-packed closets.
With the usual cleaning, playing video games, napping, reading, so on, some residents were able to find other fun and creative ways to stay busy.
Freelance writer Gina T. Reilly, who lives in Barrigada, has given her backyard a makeover, turning it into a vegetable garden. "You can't complain about staying home Plenty of things to do," she said. "Gardening can calm you down."
Twenty-four year old Yona resident, Juaria Camacho, a theater major with the University of Guam, plays Dungeons and Dragons on the popular website roll20.net. Roll20 is a popular virtual tabletop community, where players across the world come together to play tabletop games, such as Dungeons and Dragons and Pathfinder, according to the website Since residents are urged to practice social distancing, this is one way to play with others in the comfort of your own home.
“Personally, I like tabletop better, but online is pretty cool, too,” Camacho said.
The website has dice mods and character sheets that you can fill out and maps that you can use for your campaigns Camacho added. “You can also use your keyboard or mouse to move your avatar around the map,” she added.
The website also enables to use voice and video call so you can see and hear your party members act out their characters during game play. It’s free to play, and anyone can sign in to start playing. There is a premium account, which gives you more perks, and discounted pricing on their website. But you will have to pay for it.
Camacho also said her family loves putting jigsaw puzzles together. “We would leave the puzzle on the table for anyone to do when they get a chance,” Camacho added.
She said sometimes her family end up getting together to solve the puzzles together, and it adds hour of family fun and bonding time.
Patty Blas, a high school teacher from Talofofo, continues her children’s education at home. “I want them to stay sharp,” she said.
Blas said her two grade-school children are working on their homework assigned by their teachers. Her high school son didn't get a homework, so she assigns him work from the Khan Academy website.
Although schools may potentially close for the rest of the school year, Blas wants her children to learn that “We never stop learning!”
She wants her children to come out of this unprecedented time as better people by making productive use of their time instead of being couch potatoes. As a reward, Blas and her husband allow their children to stay up late at night, sleep in later in the morning, play games on their gaming systems, and play on their smartphones.
Blas also added that her 8-year-old daughter also initiated an exercise routine for her and her mother. Since then, they have been exercising together, everyday.
And as any other family activities, they do things together like cleaning the house, playing Connect Four, watching movies and doing some yard work. But one thing that this time has brought for this family is that they are now having more family meals together. Before the quarantine, the Blas family barely ate together, except for dinner. Now, they are having lunch and breakfast together. “It really feels nice eating together,” Blas added.
As for Gabe Posadas, a Chalan Pago resident, and a high school counselor, he spends his time reading some of his favorite books, like “For One More Day” by Mitch Albom, the same author who wrote “Tuesdays with Morrie”.
The book is about a man who tries to commit suicide by crashing his car, because of his struggle to deal with hard times. He wakes up in the neighborhood where he grew up, and he gets to spend one more day with his mother, who passed away many years ago. They patch things up, reminisce, and he gets to know a side of his mother he didn't know.
“I wrote an analysis of this paper for my counseling class,” Posadas said, “because you take time for granted that you spent with your loved ones.”
Posadas recommended the book. “It puts a new perspective on one’s life,” he added.