It’s a weird and scary time right now, with COVID-19 panic having hit the US hard last week. I am on a medication that’s an immunosuppressant, so I’m staying at home as much as possible. TBH, I’m home a lot anyway so things aren’t all that different for me so far, other than washing my hands and cleaning a lot more than usual. This meme that’s been going around sums it up 100%:

From Introvert Memes on Facebook

However, I know a lot of people who now have to work from home and are going stir crazy being cooped up. So I wanted to post some ideas for things to do while you’re stuck at home, as well as some entertainment suggestions. I don’t have kids, so I don’t have the added challenge of having small humans in the house to entertain, but I’m sure there are a ton of suggestions from parents online.

This list is far from exhaustive and is based mostly on my personal interests and experience. Some of the the items seem obvious, but I figure it can’t hurt to put some ideas out there! And keep reading for a few LOL-worthy memes that have been making the rounds.

  • Organize your kitchen. All those nonperishables you bought in a panic have to go somewhere!
  • Disinfect the frequently-touched surfaces in your home: doorknobs, light switches, cabinet knobs & drawer pulls, toilet flush handles, remote controls & gaming controllers, keyboards & mice, railings, sink handles, soap dispenser tops, appliance knobs & buttons (stove, oven, coffee maker, etc).
  • Clean the fuck out of the rest of your house while you’re at it. Why not…it’s almost time for spring cleaning anyway.
  • Catch up on a podcast while you clean. There’s literally a podcast for every interest out there (see my recommendations below).
  • Organize a virtual video chat with friends! You can have drinks & pretend you’re catching up at a bar. Skype allows group video chats for up to 50 people.
  • Read! If you’re more of an audiobook fan, Overdrive is a free app that allows you to check out audiobooks and ebooks with your library card. If you don’t have a library card, some libraries are offering temporary cards that you can sign up for and use without having to go to the library to pick up a new card.
  • Meditate. Insight Timer is a free app with a ton of meditations. YouTube also has a lot of meditation. I especially like “MBSR Mountain Meditation” by Dave Potter on Insight Timer and this 3-minute Breathing Space by Jon Kabat-Zinn meditation on YouTube, which is a short mindful meditation.
  • Have a game night if you have Netflix and chill fatigue.
  • At-home spa: bust out your face masks and skin care products and treat yourself (partners and kids might enjoy this too). Throw in a mani-pedi while you’re at it. Obviously you MUST wash your hands super well before sticking your fingers in containers and applying products to your face.
  • Change your passwords for your online accounts. I’m doing this out of necessity but it’s a good idea to do this periodically anyway.
  • Check in on friends & family and see how they’re doing! Don’t forget about your senior neighbors.
    If you feel well enough, exercise at home or take a walk or run outside (just make sure to keep at least 6 feet of distance from other people).
Entertainment Recommendations
  • TV Comedies (because we all need some laughs right now)
    • Netflix
      • The Office (never gets old!)
      • Parks & Recreation (ditto!)
      • The Good Place
      • Schitt$ Creek
      • Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt
    • Hulu
      • Broad City
      • Brooklyn Nine-Nine
      • What We Do in the Shadows (watch the movie first if you can; it’s $2.99 to rent on Amazon Prime)
    • Amazon Prime
      • Fleabag (I watched both seasons twice!)
  • Podcasts (also mostly comedy or have comedic elements)
    • The Untold Hour – reboot of Bizarre States, one of my very favorite podcasts! It just relaunched today and focuses on all things paranormal, weird, and gross. Also, the Bizarre States back catalog is still available on Apple Podcasts and Stitcher.
    • My Favorite Murder – one of the most popular true crime comedy podcasts out there.
    • Natch Beaut – a comedy beauty podcast that I’ve learned so much from.
    • Bigfoot Collector’s Club – similar in content and vibe to BS/The Untold Hour, with celebrity guests and stories of high strangeness.
    • Nerdin Out – all things nerdy!
    • Office Ladies – the official Office rewatch podcast hosted by Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela).
    • Sleep With Me – a sleep podcast recommended by the MFM ladies. It’s weird and sometimes works for me.
    • Movies by Minute podcasts – it all started with Star Wars Minute, which I haven’t listened to. But I’ve been working my way through The Shining 2:37 and Cabin Minute Cast (about The Cabin in the Woods). Basically, these are podcasts where the hosts dissect one minute (or 2 minutes and 37 seconds, in the case of The Shining) of a movie per episode. There are a ton of these out there.
    • Teacher’s Pet – true crime podcast on the case of a missing Australian woman. Definitely not comedy, but worth listening to if you like true crime.

And now, some of the quarantine memes (quaran-memes?) that have made me LOL in the past few days:

This hilarious video
This creative PSA
This unique take on cheers-ing in virus-time

I hope you’re all staying in if you have the ability to do so. Please remember to frequently wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, and don’t touch your face. Hand sanitizer that contains alcohol of 60% minimum strength might be effective if you’re unable to wash your hands, but you should still wash your hands well as soon as you can.

If you do have to be around other people, keep a distance of at least 6 feet from them whenever possible. Remember that some people (like Idris Elba) have tested positive without having any symptoms, so it’s possible to spread COVID-19 while not feeling or appearing ill. And make sure you listen to trusted sources like the CDC for legitimate information.

Stay healthy and safe, everyone. Let’s keep this thing from spreading!