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Pandemic Photo Galleries

January 27, 2021
by Reiko Fitzsimonds

The "new normal" of 2020 had us doing things we never had time for, things we dabbled in new hobbies that became a weekly obsession, did things we never would have done if not for being quarantined in a pandemic! For 2021, maybe we can be inspired (or warned) by each other's answers!

Top 10 Quarantine Activites:

1. Binge watch TV series
2. Submitted a manuscript or grant
3. Cooking
4. Walks & hikes
5. Workouts & exercise
6. Pandemic Pet Adoption
7. Read books
8. Baking (bread and other stuff)
9. Games: Video, Board games, crossword puzzles, poker, chess
10. Other (>1 entry)
a. Making music
b. Brewing/fermenting stuff
c. Gardening/plants
d. Making art
e. Knitting/crocheting/sewing
f. Meditation
g. Hair change (e.g., grew a beard/new hair color)

Our animals have ridiculously long names but we call our doggie Fitzy (or truly FITC haha, for all us science nerds...) and the kitty is named Xena, but we often call her "X" or DMX for DA MIGHTY XENA because she has a warrior's heart and a rapper's swagger....calico cats like Xena get their coat colors/pattern from X inactivation!

Alice Lu-Culligan

At the #1 spot according to the survey was binge-watching TV series, which only slightly edged out the very impressive submission of many manuscripts and grants at #2—time very wisely used (writing, that is)! #6 on the list is Pandemic Pet Adoption: according to the survey responses at least 16 pets were adopted during this pandemic. I don’t think the Choate-Ceneri chicks adopted last spring are counted in that number—with those, they would pet adoptions would easily be #1!! Nonetheless, we have some adorable pets among our MD-PhD program family—check out the MD-PhD Program Pandemic Pictures Gallery (link). Cooking and baking were also popular activities—take a look at the PhooD; calories consumed were also burned with lots of hiking and walks, often with pets, and workouts & exercise. There are also pictures of people’s pandemic projects, including Baby Yoda, a turtle named Rosie and the Woo(tang) sisters. Finally, the “other” unique activities mentioned were brewing of kombucha and beer, making kimchi and pickling (fermented foods are so good for you!), kayaking, political organizing, mutual aid efforts, Konmari cleaning (ask yourself, does the item bring you joy?), and my favorite, “GOT ENGAGED!”

Lastly, alumni Jaehuk Choi. MD’06, PhD’06 and Ranjit Bindra MD’07, PhD’05 created #yalemstp @onepeleton to stay in shape and connect with classmates. Join them for their rides each week, and please feel free to email Jae Choi ( or Ranjit Bindra ( for more information on joining them to have fun, connect, and vie for #1 on the leaderboard!!

Submitted by Reiko Fitzsimonds on January 28, 2021