As Jane Howze wrote recently, it is important to find diversions amid unprecedented and stressful days like these. We polled our team and surfed social media to bring you the diversions that have captured the American imagination as we #stayathome and brace for the unknown.
1. Our Favorite Artists Go "Live"
"We are lucky to live in the golden age of streaming media and TV," writes Howze. "There are online tours of art museums, national parks and concerts. I have loved the live-streamed concerts given by Keith Urban, Chris Martin of Coldplay, John Legend and One Republic (three band members are quarantined together in Ryan Tedder’s California studio)."
"And who can listen to Andrew Lloyd Weber playing “All I Ask of You” from his home piano or the California high school choir each singing from their bedroom an a cappella arrangement of Israel Kamakawtwo’ole’s take on “Over the Rainbow” without shedding a tear?"
And then there was this awkward tribute to John Lennon's "Imagine" which was more remarkable for its parodies, like this one by John Mayer and this one by comedian Ryan O'Flanagan, than in its original execution.
2. Zoom, Zoom, Zoom
Forbes reports that "Zoom is currently the top free downloaded app in Apple’s app store, and according to data gathered by Learnbonds.com, a financial publication, downloads for Zoom increased by 1,270% between February 22 and March 22."
What does this mean? Suddenly, we are ALL Zoom experts, posting gallery view snaps of our latest videoconferences on social media and experimenting with Zoom's virtual backgrounds. There's even a beauty filter to soften those stress lines. Jimmy Fallon and The Roots recently aired a "social distancing" version of their "classroom instruments" segment using Zoom. And Zoom has saved many a wedding, as guests participate in the ceremony online.
3. Why Is Everyone Baking Sourdough Bread All of a Sudden?
Time, that's why. With no more morning and evening commutes, no errands to run, and no place to go, Americans are heating up in the kitchen, also known as "distracti-baking". Publications like Refinery 29 and New York Times have picked up on the trend and shared their favorite bread recipes.
4. Club Quarantine
Club Quarantine is the brain child of DJ D-Nice, a former rapper turned DJ, who has become a coronavirus hero, reports the Los Angeles Times. "Since March 17, D-Nice has used his Instagram feed to stream DJ sets from his apartment in downtown L.A. The shows, billed as 'Club Quarantine' or 'Home School,' have emerged as the place-to-be musical happenings of the lockdown: dance parties featuring a buoyant mix of disco, funk, soul and hip-hop that have drawn hundreds of thousands of virtual revelers, including a range of celebrities: Rihanna, Oprah Winfrey and Joe Biden." (And our own John Lamar.)
Catch Club Quarantine here.
Pluto Addresses the Internets
On March 17, a Montreal dog named Pluto and his human took to Instagram to alleviate their anxieties about the COVID-19 crisis. Within days, the duo had attracted close to 50,000 followers, catching the attention of CBC News and Montreal City News.
Another four-legged friend, Fiona the Hippo, is also making waves. The Cincinnati Zoo & Botanical Garden welcomed Fiona as a preemie in January 2017; she was a Cincinnati star from the start. Recently, however, her popularity has soared as the now-closed zoo shares daily safaris with Facebook fans, and home-schooling parents everywhere rejoice at the respite.