Activites and suggestions for COVID-19 coronavirus quarantine time

I’ve been compiling a list of things we can do together while living apart. I’ll keep this updated! Stay safe, miss you, but there are lots of ways we can keep socializing while maintaining a healthy distance. These are just a few of the things I’m trying.

Virtual Social Activity and Work Ideas

  • Regular on-nomi (digital happy hours with friends)
  • Weekly virtual TED Women in Tech happy hours on BlueJeans/Zoom (h/t Claire)
  • How people are using Zoom outside of work via Morning Brew
  • Virtual Pomodoro sprints with Superorganizers on Zoom (h/t Dan Shipper)
  • From tinyletter writers: We’re All Stuck At Home But We Can Still Be Brilliant – a Google Sheets collection of personal projects that can be done at home
  • Virtual book clubs – one method is Book Club by Numlock, but lots of fun manual ways to do this too!
  • Play Codenames board game – free online – Codenames Green
  • Netflix Party Chrome Browser Extention to watch Netflix with friends Netflix Party
  • Create a Slack private instance for asynchronous group chatting with friends!
  • Daily noon meditation on the Waking Up app (free 30 day trial) with a group of tanguero friends (h/t to Avik and Robin) – you can create a group on the app to facilitate regular meditation.
  • Daily writing prompts as a group!
  • Learning fun choreography virtually (yesterday we worked on Ciara’s Level Up)
  • Cook new recipes!

The Arts

Free Exercise / workout offers

Wellness / Mental Health

Addendum March 22, 2020:

From all of us at TED:

  • TED is running a daily series of conversations with wise minds such as Bill Gates, Susan David, and Gary Liu.
  • TED Ed at home is launching to support students, parents, and teachers affected by the COVID-19 pandemic. Sign up to stay updated.
  • TED Circles allows you to watch TED Talks and engage with your friends 100% virtually!

let it be absolutely winter

In February, it is too cold to meander: leisure takes a backseat to power walking through gallery openings. The wind rips through my hat but I try to find the beauty too, like the coziness of being outside looking into a window lit with warm light, watching other people drink cheap champagne and discuss art. There is a German word for this feeling, I am sure of it. The art-goers are nibbling on Chex Mix and in any other setting, the Chex Mix would seem cheap but against the backdrop of nocturnal art and winter it looks like the best damn snack in the world.

I frequent basement jazz clubs more often in the winter. Our coats strain against the random hooks scattered across the walls. This coats-on-hooks thing is uniquely wintry, something I had never experienced before in Texas. The constant scramble to make sure you have all the accessories at the end of the night: Scarf? Hat? Gloves? Multiple sweaters? I’m still not used to it. The orange-brown hue of Old Fashioned drinks illuminated by candles that blow out every few minutes from the opening door. The way the saxophone wraps itself around you like a purring animal – all of this, this can’t be replicated in the heat.

A few months ago, E. texted me that he was out buying a snow blower with his brother-in-law. I responded, “Wow, that’s New England AF.” E.’s response: “…Rose, we don’t live in New England.” (“She’s smart, I swear,” I heard him whisper later. I did deserve that.) Living most of my life in the very southern part of the country insulated me from having to know where “New England” really is, or definitively what the demarcation is. Not that if you had asked me to think about it I really would have made the mistake, but it was an honest snap retort that made us laugh later. I just think of New England as The Place Where There Is Cold Winter. And The Need For Snow Blowers.

It doesn’t ever get easier. Not this season, not these feelings, not this cold. But the light changes, yes. Or, how we see the light. Or how we use it, sometimes even to our delight.

AK asks me if I’ve been writing, and it’s hard to answer that sometimes life moves too quickly for writing. It moves at the pace of note-taking, frantic scraps. Fragments I scribble even when my fingers are freezing in the tunnels of wind. Poems I write down to think about later.

Speaking of the winter and New England, I can’t stop thinking about this:

Part of Me Wanting Everything to Live

This New England kind of love reminds me
of the potted chrysanthemum my husband
gave me. I cared for it faithfully,
turning the pot a quarter turn each day
as it sat by the window. Until the blossoms
hung with broken necks on the dry stems.
Cut off the dead parts and watched
green leaves begin, new buds open.
Thinking the chrysanthemum would not die
unless I forced it to. The new flowers
were smaller and smaller, resembling
little eyes awake and alone in the dark.
I was offended by the lessening,
by the cheap renewal. By a going on
that gradually left the important behind.
But now it’s different. I want the large
and near, and endings more final. If it must
be winter, let it be absolutely winter.

― Linda Gregg

in which my brother teaches me about street fighter (and therein, about life)

  • stop button mashing even if that’s your primal instinct!
  • be patient.
  • observing can be as important as taking action.
  • rather than focusing only on your own character, remember that it’s even more important to watch your opponent first.
  • both your offensive and defensive strategies should come from what your opponent is doing.
  • timing is everything!
  • high blocks, low blocks, and throw escapes only work if you’re watching what your opponent does.
  • run in the right direction.
  • sometimes you have to protect yourself rather than attacking.
  • rose, if you resort to button mashing again, you do worse!
  • stop gripping so hard, you’re just causing more stress for yourself and it’s not going to have the impact you want. just hold the joystick like a wine glass and relax.
  • remember to have some fun, it’s not that big of a deal.
  • seriously, learn how to throw a fireball.