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The answer is ...
Tom English

The answer is ...


About 1 year ago, our world changed. We suddenly had to unexpectedly and dramatically alter how we live our lives. From going to the grocery store to adapting to our new virtual normal, many daily practices could no longer be done subconsciously. We were warned against visiting family and friends, we lost the ability to enjoy a relaxing night out, and many of our favorite hobbies were canceled or postponed until further notice. All of these events that we may have once taken for granted fulfilled our intrinsic desire for human connection and camaraderie. Finally, many of these activities provided a much-needed stress outlet.

When attempting to relieve myself from learning all the nuances of pharmacy, one hobby I continuously use to take a step back from the medical realm and de-stress is trivia. 

Exercise your mind
Regardless of age or profession, exercising your mind is always important. There are so many ways to participate in trivia and this pastime never fails to bring people together.

Television trivia. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention the likes of Jeopardy!, Wheel of Fortune, Who Wants to Be a Millionaire, and The Chase. These television game shows are available on a nightly basis or around the clock through various streaming platforms. Schedule a time to sit down with your household to watch a television game show.

Trivia podcasts. In the age of digital technology, podcasts have become more popular to receive news, share information, and pass the time. Trivia podcasts are no exception. From themed episodes and rapid-fire questions to the hosts making you feel as though you are sitting in a pub playing trivia with them for 2 hours, there are options for everyone. Trivia podcasts can be streamed any time anywhere, so what are you waiting for? Schedule time to listen and play along with your COVID crew.

Crossword puzzles. Back to the books! Crossword puzzle books are readily available at many retailers. You can also check (and support) your local newspaper for daily crossword puzzles to test your trivia knowledge. You’ll often find other trivia games and brain teasers as well to jolt your brain awake with your morning coffee or as a method of relaxation later in the day. For added competition, invite friends to time themselves and see who’s weekly total takes the cake.

Pub trivia. Local pub trivia is still a great way to get a group of friends together, but be sure to maintain safety for both yourself and those around you. Although COVID restrictions have limited social gatherings, pub trivia still occurs in some locations in accordance with current social distancing guidelines. Search the internet for pub trivia in your area.

Last but certainly not least
Since the first COVID restrictions were enacted until present day, I have gathered friends near and far to play trivia virtually. These trivia nights allow us some normalcy by re-connecting and enjoying a night of laughs. Although we tried different formats in the beginning, our games now consist of 4 rounds, 10 questions per round at 10 points each, along with a bonus question each round with multiple answers worth 5 points each. The music round, consisting of 10 songs in which players must name both song and artist, personally gets me every time. The winner gets bragging rights and the option to host the following week if they want.

Designing and hosting a trivia game is extremely fun. Here are some brain teasers you can use to get started. 

Sample questions:

1.    Sports: How many current MLB teams are named for four-footed animals?
a.    2 (Cubs and Tigers)
2.    Literature: “Call me Ishmael” is the opening line from what famous literary work?
a.    Moby Dick
3.    Pop Culture: EPCOT was originally conceived by Walt Disney during the early development of Walt Disney World. Based on the park’s concept, what is EPCOT an acronym for?
a.    Experimental Prototype Community of Tomorrow
4.    Geography: What U.S. state’s name is spelled incorrectly from how we know it today on both the U.S. Constitution and the Liberty Bell?
a.    Pennsylvania
5.    Science: Albert Einstein is famous for penning the equation E=MC2 as part of his Theory of Relativity. What does the “C” represent?
a.    Speed of light
6.    Food: What cheese is served with a classic Greek salad?
a.    Feta

7.    The letter “g” appears twice in Google’s logo as the same color. What color?
a.    Blue
8.    Starburst candy is manufactured by what subsidiary of Mars Inc., which has been a Chicago pastime since its founding in 1891?
a.    The Wrigley Company
9.    During WWI, British soldiers cropped their uniforms as a means of beating the heat while serving at Britain’s North American headquarters on what island?
a.    Bermuda
10.    Since 1984 until his death in 2020, all but one episode of the Jeopardy! game show has been hosted by Alex Trebek. Who hosted the only non-Trebek episode on April Fool’s Day in 1997?
a.    Pat Sajak

Round Bonus:
I’ll give you the 7 Wonders of the New World and you tell me what country they’re in.
Great Wall—China
Christ the Redeemer Statue—Brazil
Machu Picchu—Peru
Chichen Itza—Mexico
The Colosseum—Italy
Taj Mahal—India

Whether it’s watching a television game show, listening to trivia podcasts, working on your trivia knowledge via crossword puzzles, playing pub trivia, or designing and hosting a game night for a group of people, trivia truly allows for a fun environment for all involved.

Abigail Takacs, PharmD, MHIT, is a PGY1 resident at Medical University of South Carolina Health in Charleston, SC. She loves traveling, ultimate frisbee, good soft pretzels, and recently matched for a PGY2 emergency medicine residency at UC Davis Health

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