Photographs by Alex Block, Jordan Whitfield, and Mae Mu on Unsplash
Culture Spotlight

A few things you thought you couldn’t do in the middle of a lockdown, but actually can

There’s no reason we can’t beat this virus and boredom at the same time. By JAM PASCUAL
| Mar 20 2020

Look, I get where your emotional dissonance is coming from. As a pandemic empties our cities, forces us to retreat to our homes, threatens our way of life, and ravages the bodies of our country’s most vulnerable, you still care about the fact that you’re bored at home. There’s just nothing to do, y’know? It’s okay. You’re very fortunate if you’re one of those people who have boredom at most to worry about. But it’s valid to feel ennui, and it doesn’t make you a bad person.

Besides, it’s not like you as a citizen are expected to glue your eyes to your social media feed for every single piece of bad news this government is putting out. You need distractions! But maybe for some of us, it seems like we’re trading our favorite activities (the fun stuff that requires us to get out of the house) for moderately amusing things that we have to settle for, now that we’re all self-quarantining.

What we’re here to tell you is that a lot of the stuff you thought you had to get out of the house for? You can still do them at home! No, really! I don’t see why we can’t beat this virus and boredom at the same time.

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Go to a gig

No, but seriously, you can still go to gigs even while you’re at home. And we don’t just mean bingeing Tiny Desk shows at 2 in the morning. Look: Erykah Badu recently announced a livestream quarantine concert series. Here: a Facebook live show by Ebe Dancel, happening tonight. There’s also a local production called Gig From Home Productions, which aims to livestream sets from your favorite local artists! Doing God’s work, they are. It’s actually pretty inspiring, how even a pandemic isn’t enough to stop the music.

Photo by Thought Catalog on Unsplash

Join a book club

Everybody’s catching up on some highly introverted personal reading in the middle of this lockdown, but we suggest taking it a step further. Why not bring your friends into the mix? We’re going to be spending the next month—or two or three months (god, I’m tired)—relying on video chat to keep in touch with our social circles, so you can hold meetings on Google Hangouts. As for the issue of everybody procuring a copy of the same text? Bookstores may be closed, but we’ve seen in the past few days a massive influx of literary archives and publishers becoming open source. You’ve got JSTORThe New York Public LibraryHaymarket Books, and even this masterlist of free local komiks! If you only you were here to see this, Aaron Swartz.

 

Grab a cocktail

The more opportunistic among you might have made a panicked beeline to the grocery to hoard not alcohol, not toilet paper, but the other alcohol. And I’m not saying I condone it… but I understand. The world’s going to the dogs and I totally sympathize not wanting to be sober for armageddon. But if I may, instead of knocking Tanduay rum back like a civil war vet about to have their limbs amputated (stole that joke from John Mulaney), learn a little bit of mixology while you’re holed up. Assuming you have the ingredients, there’s nothing stopping you from stepping your drink-crafting game up. Online courses are abundant (consider: Skillshare), but instructional videos on YouTube are free. We recommend this video on how to make an Old Fashioned, and this video on bar essentials and beginner-level cocktails. But also, please stay hydrated.