A Social Distancing and Quarantine To-Do List

A social distancing to-do list

Yesterday, I wrote about how the massive spread of the coronavirus will wreck havoc in American prisons unless politicians immediately release incarcerated people en masse. It’s been difficult to think about anything other than the virus and the radical importance of social distancing and quarantining oneself as much as possible (I’m sure most people can agree). Although my full-time job hasn’t (and I don’t think will unless the Governor locks down our islands) sent us home to work till everything is calmed down a bit, I’ve been practicing social distancing by not going out with my friends on the weekends or eating at restaurants multiple times a week. In order to keep myself from spiraling from coronavirus anxiety and dark remnants from my extremely heavy therapy session, I’ve compiled a mini at-home to-do list of ways to stay busy while quarantines are in effect. I can’t take credit for this post idea though, as Jonathan requested it last week when my idea well was completely dry. Let’s see how long it takes for him to insult my lists…

Books to read:

  • Stag’s Leap by Sharon Olds: I still haven’t finished this chapbook because I want to savor and walk alongside each of the pieces. As a short refresher, Stag’s Leap is about the end of Olds’ marriage when her husband left her for another woman. Her poems are brutally honest and almost too intimate, but I can’t get enough of them.
  • Three Women by Lisa Taddeo: My sister and mom both consumed this book with ease, so I feel that I must complete our own chain of three women and finally read it for myself. The book focuses on the sexual and emotional lives of women of varying ages in an unapologetic manner. I think I’ll start this one next!
  • Prisoners of Politics by Rachel Elise Barkow: I received this important guide back in December, but I still haven’t gotten to it. For my own research work about incarceration, I need to invest more time in this essential reference tool because Rachel Elise Barkow is everything in research and we need more widespread knowledge about the way prisons, jails, and the criminal legal system work.
  • Baldwin Collected Essays by James Baldwin (edited by Toni!!!! Morrison!!!!): Why haven’t I yet read through a collection of pieces by one of my favorite authors/revolutionaries you ask? Because I’m a trash person who doesn’t value books and knowledge as much as I should! Self deprecation aside, James Baldwin is literally one of the most important writers ever and it feels embarrassing that I have so many of his essays on my shelf at this very moment and I haven’t read any of them! Adding that to the top of my social distancing list.
  • White Teeth by Zadie Smith: I was assigned this novel(!!!) for one of my English classes at Baylor, but we didn’t have the chance to read it, so why not do that now? Zadie Smith is a brilliant writer and her short stories are the ones with which I was first acquainted. I rarely read novels, so this one will be a fun challenge.

Shows to binge:

  • High Fidelity: I’ve only read rave reviews about this Hulu original and I have to imagine they’re all true, because ZoĆ« Kravitz is incredible.
  • Pen15: The leading ladies of this middle school flashback series are hilarious and although some of their scenes with the actual 13-14 year olds make me queasy, I want to watch this whole series in full.
  • Atlanta: I love Donald Glover’s music, so attempting to binge his award-winning tv series seems like the next best thing. Hulu has both seasons and I think I need to get on this one soon!
  • Watchmen: One of my close friends has only shared the most positive opinions about the HBO series and Regina King is the lead character, so do I need any other excuses to watch? I’m excited to see how the show concludes at the end of the first season since it’s the only one they’ll make.
  • The Leftovers: Clint Smith (one of my all-time favorite poets/people ever) has repeatedly recommended this show to his readers and I can’t say no to him, can I?

Movies to watch:

  • Call Me By Your Name: Is there any better time than a worldwide social distancing ban to watch the most beautiful love story on repeat? I’ve been reading through the novel multiple times a week (specifically the parts where Elio wants to see Oliver before their love affair takes off) and I’m convinced that it’s the most romantic story ever.
  • A Quiet Place: Sometimes a jump scare is needed (in the rarest of occasions) and this movie is chock full of them. I loved watching it in theaters last year, so to prepare for the (delayed) part II version, I want to rewatch part I as the masterpiece lesson it is.
  • The Man in the Moon: I’ve been watching clips of Reese Witherspoon’s film debut for the past few months and I think it’s time I take the plunge and watch it in its entirety. I love a good love triangle and as much romantic tragedy as possible, so this one seems like a good pick.
  • The Last Black Man in San Francisco: After starting this movie on the plane ride back from Texas last month, I want to finish what is already some of the most beautiful cinematography I’ve seen since Moonlight. It also helps that the story line is just as appealing and important.
  • Clemency: One of the most essential films of 2019, Alfre Woodard’s movie didn’t receive enough advertisement or attention as it should have (besides a major Sundance victory). It looks intense and devastating, so it’s perfect for one of those long days where a relevant narrative is needed in the streaming rotation.