Here’s what to watch, read, listen to and experience while we’re in coronavirus isolation
In order to stop the spread of coronavirus, pretty much everything is closed, canceled or shut down. So as we try to keep the community as healthy as possible, many of us will be spending a lot more time indoors than we’re used to.
We can finally clean out that closet! Catch up on those award-winning TV shows and films! FaceTime with our friends! Plant some veggies! Maybe even bake some bread!
We don’t know exactly how long we will be isolating, and there may be days when we just run out of ideas for things to do. But don’t worry, here are some suggestions of things to watch, read, listen to and experience while we’re at home, flattening the curve.
For those who want to go all-in on the virus
Maybe you’re the kind of person who is soothed by embracing the news and consuming everything ever made about viruses and dark times. If so, here are some ideas for you.
Watch: Marc Maron: End Times Fun
Comedian and podcaster Marc Maron embodies anxiety and outrage. His new comedy special takes things we’re afraid of and makes them funny, which is exactly what we need right now. (Available to stream on Netflix.)
Listen: It’s the End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
R.E.M.’s 1987 song is back on the iTunes charts, probably because it captures the very sentiment of 2020. (Buy it on iTunes or watch video on YouTube.)
Read: Flu: The Story of the Great Influenza Pandemic of 1918 and the Search for the Virus That Caused It
In her 2001 book, New York Times reporter Gina Kolata looks at history to predict and prepare for future pandemics. (Available for purchase at warwicks.com)
Steven Soderbergh’s 2011 movie about a virus that slowly starts shutting down society is eerily realistic. (Rent on iTunes, Amazon and YouTube.)
Listen: Coronavirus: Fact vs Fiction podcast
Sanjay Gupta, CNN’s medical correspondent, goes over the latest news and makes sense of what’s going on by interviewing experts and sharing tips to help keep you safe and healthy. (Find it on podcast platforms.)
Ling Ma’s novel about a millennial office worker who barely notices when Shen Fever starts spreading in New York. Eventually she’s enlisted to help save society. It’s witty and sarcastic and lonely, just like so many of us. (Available on Amazon and local bookstores)
*Things PACIFIC’s Pamela Razo will do while at home: “CLEAN! Nap and play with my dog.” She’ll also watch the Harry Potter series for comfort, listen to news podcasts and watch Love is Blind on Netflix.
For those who need to be comforted
If you prefer to hide under your weighted blanket and keep away from news and updates, you’ll want things that are nostalgic and comforting without getting boring.
Watch: The latest season of Project Runway
Though Nina Garcia is the only holdover from the original fashion reality show, the creations are both as fabulous and as cringey as you remember. Don’t worry about Tim Gunn no longer offering his soothing “make it work” catchphrase, new mentor and former winner Christian Siriano is the perfect replacement. (On Bravo, or stream on Hulu or YouTube TV.)
Listen: Office Ladies podcast
It’s likely you’re already watching a lot of The Office episodes on Netflix. So check out this recap podcast, hosted by best friends and series stars Jenna Fischer (Pam) and Angela Kinsey (Angela). It’s so wholesome and sweet, but also filled with really great behind-the-scenes stories. (Available on podcast platforms or officeladies.com)
Read: Evvie Drake Starts Over
This breezy romantic comedy by NPR’s Linda Holmes is set in a remote town in Maine and involves two people — Evvie and Dean — isolating themselves for different reasons, only to find comfort in each other. Also read this if you’re upset about baseball season being postponed since Dean’s character is an MLB pitcher. (Available at warwicks.com and Audible.)
Watch: The Breakfast Club
A group of high school kids are, uh, isolated at Saturday detention —without the Internet! John Hughes’ 1985 classic is a good tutorial on how have conversations and make connections. (Rent on various streaming platforms.)
Listen: Goop podcast
However you feel about Gwyneth Paltrow, she does have an incredibly soothing podcast voice. Put this on before bed and get some pretty interesting conversations about fear, food and friendship. (Available where you find podcasts.)
Read: I Might Regret This: Essays, Drawings, Vulnerabilities, and Other Stuff
Abbi Jacobson, co-creator of Broad City, goes on a solo road trip in order to reset her life and discovers who she is along the way. (Available via online bookstores.)
Follow: @sadanimalfacts on Instagram for cute illustrations about anxious animals.
*What PACIFIC’s John Vacarro is reading and listening to: How to Win Friends and Influence People by Dale Carnegie, plus Tucker Max and Mark Manson novels. Podcast favorites are Congratulations with Chris D’Elia, The Joe Rogan Experience and Going Deep with Chad and JT.
For those ready to unleash their inner warrior
Are you someone who feels motivated and inspired by hardship and chaos? Here are some options to bring out your fiercest self.
Is there anyone as tough as the cheerleaders from Navarro? Get inspired by the squad’s drive and determination. (Streaming on Netflix.)
Read: A Song of Ice and Fire series
You’re going to have a lot of time on your hands, plenty of time to finally read George R.R. Martin’s epic books that inspired HBO’s Game of Thrones. (Available where books are sold, maybe buy one at a time, though.)
Kanye West’s 2012 album, considered one of the best of his career, is filled with anger, bite and a splash of wit to keep you in a fighting mood. (Available to stream on Spotify.)
Follow: @msjeanettejenkins on Instagram for at-home workouts by the popular Hollywood trainer.
*What PACIFIC’s Sara Butler likes to watch: The Bold Type, Fleabag, High Fidelity TV shows. Comforting movies are Stuck in Love and “anything Molly Ringwald.”
For those who use comedy to cope
Sometimes, all you can do in difficult times is laugh. Yes, it’s easy to turn to favorites like Tina Fey and Will Ferrell, but here are some other options.
Watch: Los Espookys
This is a surreal show, filmed primarily in Spanish with English subtitles, about a group of friends who love horror and create a business creating spooky situations for people in their neighborhood. (Streaming if you have HBO, available for purchase on other platforms — and worth it.)
Read: The Last Black Unicorn
Comedian Tiffany Haddish is perhaps the best companion to have in dark times. Her New York Times bestselling book is a funny, honest and sometimes filthy look at her rise to stardom. (Available at online bookstores.)
Listen: Doughboys podcast
Since we can’t go out to eat, here’s a podcast where comedians Mike Mitchell and Nick Wiger hang out with fellow funny friends and review fast food and casual restaurants like White Castle, Marie Callender’s, Del Taco and Subway. (Listen on podcast streaming services.)
*How PACIFIC’s Jennifer Ianni is spending her inside time: “Reading Demi Moore’s autobiography, Inside Out (P.S. it’s excellent)” and “bingeing Vanderpump Rules and 90 Day Fiance, of course.”
*How freelancer Maya Kroth is spending her time indoors: “I’m watching Sex Education on Netflix, Shelley Long movies and Rosemary’s Baby. I’m reading the New York Times obsessively and Ross Gay’s The Book of Delights for balance.”