8 Things to do in Self-Isolation

8 Things to do in Self-Isolation

1) Join a trashy book club – The author Yiyun Li and publisher A Public Space are starting a virtual book club for readers to take on the 1,200-page War and Peace one day at a time.

“It will take us about 30 minutes to read 12-15 pages a day, (much less than the time many Americans spend on social media), and we will finish the novel in three months – just in time for summer, and with our spirits restored,” said Li.

Goodreads has numerous book clubs on everything from YA to travel literature.

Or you could start your own club for a book that is considerably less highbrow. One ‘trashy book club’ with members scattered across the northeastern US is becoming more active as members seek relief from the daily slog of bad news. Their most recent read, It Takes Two to Tumble by Cat Sebastian, is basically a “restrained English countryside gay Sound of Music,” said club co-founder Jarrett Byrnes of Boston.

He advises new trashy book clubs to have a rolling deadline for reading, share passages as they go and indulge in books they would otherwise never read.


2) Learn how to make cocktails

“Anybody can drink at home – you go to the bar to hang out,” Summers said. “So what we figured we’d do is create something that solves two problems at once. We’re going to create a space where people can hang out and we’re going to give them a virtual bartender.”


3) Live concerts in your living room

The online music festival Sofa King Fest is a directory of streaming performances by an ever-revolving array of artists, including Willie Nelson, Lucinda Williams, Paul Simon and Big Freedia.


4) Find humour even in times like these

The Magnet Theater in New York has gone all-digital for its regular comedy shows. The Maryland Improv Collective is acting out two-person scenes daily via Zoom and posting the scenes on Facebook and YouTube.


5) Exercise or meditate

Gold’s Gym, 24 Hour Fitness and CorePower Yoga have some free online classes through their websites or apps.

The meditation app Headspace offers free sessions as well.


6) Learn a new art or craft

Bluprint offers classes in arts and crafts, from drawing and painting to cake decorating and woodworking. A two-week trial is free.

Noted illustrators are posting free classes, although most are for kids. Dozens of museums and libraries are offering free downloads of coloring books.


7) Stream a movie with friends

A number of apps allow viewers in different locations to synchronize streaming films so they can watch them ‘together’. Netflix Party, for example, is a browser extension available on Google Chrome.


8) Opera and classical music


The Metropolitan Opera is streaming past performances each night. They are available from 7.30pm to 3.30pm the following day. On the schedule for Saturday is Donizetti’s Lucia di Lammermoor, and up Sunday is Tchaikovsky’s Eugene Onegin.

The Bavarian State Opera has live and free concerts. OperaVision also hosts streaming opera from all over Europe. The Berliner Philharmoniker has a free virtual concert hall with an archive of hundreds of concerts.