Banfield Recommends: Quarantine Edition

Reality has felt a bit unrealistic lately. The rules don’t seem to apply any more as the days blend together and your home turns into the Wild West: fighting is inevitable, no one can stop you from having a cocktail at 10 a.m. on a Tuesday, and for some reason, the one thing keeping everyone sane is a documentary about people that are obsessed with big cats and murder.

This is life in the midst of a 21st century pandemic. We’ve been plunged into the abyss to the likes of Space Mountain with no end in sight accompanied by a whole lot of screaming while we remain in the dark. On the flip side? Our pets have never been happier from seeing us 24/7 and nothing can compare to the comfort of pajama pants all day, every day.

As we have patiently waited for the safe end of social distancing, many of us have adjusted to new routines, picked up hobbies, and devoured several loaves of homemade bread. We’ve compiled some of the most fascinating hobbies, interests and activities the #BanFam has been relying on to stay sane.

Without further ado, here’s what we recommend:

Animal Crossing

“I think Animal Crossing is the only answer.”

  • Liz Jackson, Copywriter

 “Animal Crossing for sure. Also, keeping busy with your hands and mind! Craft, draw, sew, mend, and embroider! “

  • Katrin Emery, Creative Designer


“I’ve been watching lots of cooking YouTube videos and actually cooking when I have the right ingredients. Recently, I’ve been watching the old Nigella Lawson Cooking show, Nigella bites – it’s an absolute throwback and I love how posh she is. I also try to go out for a run every other day. Otherwise, you can find me watching Drag Race season 12.”

  • Eleanor Beale, Strategist

“I’ve been watching a lot of YouTube channels that are kind of similar to podcasts. One that I found recently is Mista GG. I like it because he’s made me laugh, even though it’s been such a crappy time. Also, his movie reviews are hilarious.”

  • Erin Watson, Digital Media Designer & Developer

Entertaining your kids

Not an actual image of the elusive Kitty Cat Lion.

“I haven’t had much time for personal hobbies so far with balancing work and taking care of my 2-and-half-year old. But I have had to think of things to entertain him!

So far two winners have been making a really long ramp out of Amazon boxes and racing toy cars over and over and over again, and going for a long walk with him every night in search of what we call the “kitty cat lion” — a local cat with a big bushy orange coat. He’s been hiding lately, but hopefully he turns up soon.”

  • Craig Lobban, Creative Director

“We’re putting on the COVID Olympics at my house called the Pandempics. We’re each making a flag to march in the Opening Ceremonies. The events will include toilet paper rolling, the card toss, the macaroni tower, hand hockey, obstacle course, competitive cheese grating, and the dreaded Lego challenge. Gotta keep these two boys busy!”

  • Derrick Outram, Creative Writer & Partner


“Survivor: Winners at War is the show we need right now. Not only is it the closest thing we have to live sports, it is also a unique, first-time concept in Survivor history: A season made up entirely of winners. But it’s not just that. “Winners at War” has offered some truly excellent episodes which will no doubt go down as some of the greatest in Survivor history.

Unpredictable blindsides? Check. High-level gameplay? Check. The early removal of some true Survivor legends? Check.

If you haven’t watched Survivor since season one, you might want to think twice about starting with this season — there’s just too much context here that you may not appreciate. That’s why this is also the perfect time to go back and get acquainted with the evolution of the game over the years. (CBS has all the old seasons streaming on CBS All Access).

Don’t want to waste your time on crummy seasons? Check out this spoiler-free overview of the best seasons. Or you can also just email me.”

  • Mark Brownlee, Digital & Content Marketing Manager

Walks, card games and Netflix

“So far, my top three favourite things to do have been going for walks with the dogs through parts of the neighbourhood I’ve never been before, playing card games like Unstable Unicorns, or Llamas Unleashed, and getting into ‘edge of your seat’ Netflix shows like Lost in Space and Turn.”

  • Stephanie McCleave, Media Coordinator

Music and books

“I am reading a book called Creative Calling by Chase Jarvis. It’s all about how to be more creative in your life, with lots of practical advice on how to train your creative muscle and the importance of routine and scheduling creative time. Just like gym or yoga practice, you need to be deliberate about carving out time and sticking to it. Very appropriate for this time of crisis when our routines have been turned upside down and we are all realizing how important they are to getting stuff done.

I’m also trying to discover a new music artist every day, find an album or artist I haven’t heard of and give them a listen. I found some great ones so far including Orville Peck, Michael Kiwanuka, Gotan Project and Parov Stelar, to name a few!”

  • Timothy Jones, Creative Director and President

That’s a wrap on this week’s episode of Banfield recommends. We strongly stand by our staff picks and suggest that you try some of these on your own (though it might be difficult to replicate the OG kitty cat lion). Continue staying home, washing your hands, and hugging your pets until they’re begging you to please, please go back to the office.

Remember, we’re all in this together!


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