How I Keep Calm: Binge-watching YouTube

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How have you been keeping calm during the pandemic? Carillon

Inspired by HeyAlma.com, How I Keep Calm is our new series featuring different ways students are finding peace and contentment during the COVID-19 pandemic. 

by Pratheeksha R. Naik, Contributor

I already had my hands full with my course load and part-time work this winter semester – then, two months in, Saskatchewan started shutting down. I lost my part-time job, and to add insult to injury, I was supposed to travel to India to spend time with my family after two-and-a-half long years. Alas! I was shattered!

But, thank god for the Internet, because this is when YouTubers hit their peak creativity. At this point, you might be wondering what YouTube has to do with the pandemic and the shutdown. How does someone find solace in YouTube? Allow me to clarify: I rely more on YouTube than the local TV service or even OTT platforms like Netflix or Amazon Prime. YouTube has been my go-to place for education and entertainment alike these last few months. I already had my favourite channels but during lockdown, the list increased.

A primary reason for this is because the content from my regional language increased on YouTube. This facilitated several watch parties among my family and It soon felt – albeit virtually – like spending summer vacations with them. This brought a feeling of “home” even though we were miles away. All of our nostalgic reminiscing was now available to us at the click of a button.

Furthermore, several channels sought to spread positivity. “Holderness Family,” for instance, made spoofs and parodies of popular songs, which were both informative and entertaining. They even went a notch further and hosted “Fauxlympics” where they called previous Olympians and had them do simple challenges, which we can do at home too. My roommates and I tried the Fruit by the Foot and Oreo challenges and it was super fun. The difficulty level is nothing like the Olympics, but they make for great competitive indoor games when you and your friends want to take a break from all the studying.

Moreover, actor John Krasinski stepped into YouTube to start shows like “Some Good News” focusing on the positives in the world like creative graduation ceremonies, proms, birthdays,  and marriages happening around the world. My heart warmed a little each time I saw all these people putting on their creative hats to make people’s lives better. It gave me ideas for my friends’ virtual birthday parties, which they appreciated a lot. Celebrities across different countries took to this opportunity to shed light on local good news stories, too.

Usually, I’d say I’m a decent cook. I eat simple meals as I go about my classes. But lockdown gave me the time to change this. I learned along with YouTube chefs who made amazing dishes with limited and commonly-available ingredients. Until now, I would never have anticipated that “chocolate break cake’”would taste delicious – but it did!

Socialization, positivity, and food are among the most important things people require to thrive. The COVID-19 pandemic might have changed the ways we fulfill these needs to a certain extent, but people have found various ways to keep their calm. For me, the content creators on YouTube restored my sanity and gave me some new favourite channels I will fondly remember even in the post-pandemic future.

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