HealthcareSan Francisco

How to Cope When COVID-19 Cancels Outside Life

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By Dan Lennar

At the risk of sounding all doomsday-like, we can’t really ignore the fact that 11 people have now died due to COVID-19, originally known as novel coronavirus, with the West Coast taking the largest hit in the U.S.

This is typically the time of year when people start digging out the frisbees in preparation for debaucherous barbecues with friends in public parks, or unearthing those itty bitty fringed outfits for upcoming music festivals. But this year, my fine people, is not a typical year.

At least for the unforeseeable future, it appears that most outdoor, social life is being canceled as we wait out this little bitch of a potential pandemic. Sure, most people would recover just fine if they contracted the disease, but the elderly, young and those with compromised immune systems are not faring so well. If you’re exposed to the virus and then go out into the world, you’re really putting some of the most vulnerable population at risk. So, don’t be a stubborn dick.

There’s no better time than the present to ride that couch like you’ve always wanted but felt too guilty to act on. Fuck it — order that pizza, pack a bowl and catch up on some interesting shows, old and new. Here are two shows recommended to fill the time while you’re stuck indoors begrudging the sunny skies.


If you’ve been living under a rock and haven’t watched the 10 seasons of a family that makes yours look functional by comparison, this is your chance. With the next season bringing the Gallagher family to a close, it’s a good time to get caught up. There’s a little something for everybody in the South Side, Chicago-set dramedy. They tackle — with absolutely ZERO shame — life issues we all face in some facet, either personally or through people we love. The broken family of six kids with a neglectful drunk of a dad and drug-addled, suicidal mom that somehow manages to navigate finances, failed loves, vices, sexuality, race, income inequality, arrests, attempts and broken dreams, and a sea of other complexities.

The “Shameless” Gallagher house in South Side, Chicago. Photo by Dustin Batt/Flickr

The thing about “Shameless” is the way it normalizes all of our strange bits, weird families and life stumbles. Sometimes we need a little validation that our fucked up parts aren’t nearly as abnormal or bad as we think they are.


The HBO series adaptation of the 1986 graphic novel does not shy from the uncomfortable. It hits you between the eyes with some of the worst of this country’s racial violence. The genius of the show is the way it takes you on a nightmare journey under the guise of comic-style fantasy and taken to the extreme with a dystopian world that could be or could have been. It will challenge you and likely piss you off, but isn’t that what the best ‘entertainment’ should do? It forces you to examine our history and current relationship with race, and the fragility of it all. And it gives us a powerful, real, humanly flawed, black woman hero depicted brilliantly by the beautiful Regina King.

The “Watchmen” lounge. Photo by Steven Leung/Flickr

After much begging from the fandom, HBO has renewed the series for a second season, and damn straight, it made the right decision. You should check it out in your downtime.

If you’re not into the whole binge scene, you can always pick up a good book or Marie Kondo the shit out of your space. But whatever you do, wash your hands and stay healthy…and if you get sick, keep it to your damn self.




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