SIGN UP – to our new daily update! So, those virtual coffee dates are a thing. Except, Amy’s apartment had no water (something to do with a burst pipe in Washington Heights – as if things weren’t crappy enough as they are) so, instead of coffee, she was drinking whisky. She’s my friend for a reason!

Anyway, she’ll be climbing into a car around now and driving back to Indiana to be with her family, relishing the prospect of social distancing with the ones she loves.

Our conversation was not about fear or rumors (although we did at one point suggest this was probably all predicted in the Book of Revelation and may have pointed a finger at a potential Antichrist … but I digress). The tone was one of joy and optimism; and how she plans to fill the long days and weeks ahead. 

This is what she said:

“We’re going to read plays out loud. My family are actors. But whatever. This is how generations of people amused themselves before television. You can, too. My 17-year-old son has assigned us a 90-minute cut of Romeo and Juliet, with my husband and me as R and J, and him playing EVERY OTHER ROLE. How can that not be fun? (note: Shakespeare wrote R&J when the playhouses were closed because of plague. It was the first play his company performed after the playhouses reopened two years later. Not a comedy, but a funny, charming, sad, tragic, beautiful, sexy play about love and death and grief.  There was collective and cultural and personal trauma after two years of plague; this is how he helped people heal.)

“We’re going to play board games. I always say that I wish I could have time to play games, host a board game night, etc. But what better time for it than now? 

“I’m going to walk outside. A lot. Because I can keep my distance from people and because fresh air is healing.

“I ordered five new jigsaw puzzles from Amazon. Last time I checked, Amazon is still delivering. I love doing puzzles and thinking. Or doing puzzles and talking to my loved ones. Or doing puzzles and …

“Listening to all the classics on Audible I haven’t read yet. There are so many. And they are classics for a reason.

“I want to watch (and read) Love in the Time of Cholera. Because there is always love.

“I’m going to bake and cook and experiment in the kitchen. And then eat the results.

“Maybe I’ll try to write a poem each day until life as normal returns.

“And, oh yeah, I’ll watch some movies and TV shows on Netflix and Amazon and be reminded that there is a world and stories and people and relationships without virus.”

Don’t you love Amy Hayes? I do. She’s inspired me to see this gift of time as an opportunity for growth. Who wants to read a book with me?

Send me your social distancing hacks – how are you filling your days? Staying motivated? Managing #wfh while maintaining some semblance of personal dignity?


CULTURE BREAK
There’s a ton of free stuff happening online. My favorite today. Only DEBBIE ALLEN is teaching a free dance class. Whaaaaaa? Your Fame dreams just came true. 

Learn body  percussion with the New Victory Theater.

Or watch a Broadway show from the comfort of your sofa (the wine’s much cheaper too!)  – including Company with Neil Patrick Harris, Sweeney Todd with Angela Lansbury, and Sunday in the Park with George, starring Jake Gyllenhaal.

Plus, my fabulous friend Abby Feldman will be playing a set at the world’s first (maybe) live stream music and comedy festival. No pants required. 

See y’all tomorrow!


I’ve been enjoying artist Rob Wilson’s whimsical illustrations about social isolation. Follow him for a wry chuckle.


THURSDAY’S NAME GAME

Tell me your name, and what’s something you’re excited to devote more time to? I’ll go first. Hello everyone, I’m Ruth, and I’m excited to spend more time meditating, reading, and speaking to my friends on Facetime.

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