It’s official: we’re going to be confined to our homes until the end of June. On April 2, the NSW Police Commissioner confirmed what we thought was likely coming: months of strict self-isolation. And while we’re only allowed to leave the house to do a little exercise, shop for groceries and go to work or school, that doesn’t mean there’s nothing to do. Maybe it’s not a luxurious long lunch at your fave restaurant or a festival with friends, but there are stacks of things you can do to keep your mind and body active. Here are Broadsheet’s picks for April.
Firstly, keep the endorphins and blood pumping
Lots of gyms and studios are now offering virtual classes so you can continue to get your sweat on. We have a live list here that we’re regularly updating – options include Pilates, yoga, strength training, ’80s-style aerobics and high-intensity interval training. Most classes require nothing more than an online connection.
We’re also loving the new virtual classes from Sydney Dance Company (SDC). Broadsheet arts writer Jane Albert took one of its classical ballet classes last week and said not only was it super fun and she got to learn from talented Italian SDC dancer Jacopo Grabar, but it was a decent workout. There are 45 digital classes a week in real time, from hip-hop to jazz to contemporary to stretch, with more to come. It’s particularly great if you’ve wanted to do a class but have felt embarrassed or shy. All you need is a mobile device (you can even turn off the camera) and an area of clear floor space. Classes are $12 (or $28 for an unlimited weekly pass).
What you should be eating
Work your way through our perpetually expanding live list of Sydney restaurants, cafes and bars now offering takeaway and delivery. At the moment we’re into Ho Jiak’s “survival menu”, which features the Malaysian restaurant’s dishes for just $10 (including nasi goreng, laksa and nasi lemak). CBD bar PS40 has released a “Stay Safe Soda” range free of sugar and preservatives, while Potts Point bar The Roosevelt is now making its signature drinks in vacuumed cocktail packs. And Bondi favourite Totti’s is selling its famous puffy bread for you to eat at home.
There’s also a stack of fantastic ideas here: CBD bar Prince of York is selling everything you need for a (solo) party (including food, booze and tunes); Din Tai Fung is selling dumpling packs to steam at home; and Continental deli is churning out canned goods and cocktails (including the Quarantinny). If you’re vegan or gluten-free, you might find this list helpful.
Learn to cook
The world’s most famous chefs are just like us: stuck at home. Jamie Oliver and Massimo Bottura are using their spare time to teach us how to cook. If you’re after some inspiration from local chefs, Mr Wong’s Dan Hong is making dishes for his 70,000 or so Instagram followers, including these crispy gyoza. Mitch Orr, from Italian eatery Cicciabella, is doing step-by-step pasta dishes. And everyone’s favourite Aussie cook, Maggie Beer, is about to start her online Cooking With Maggie videos. Plus, this 84-year-old nonna is live-streaming pasta classes on Saturdays and Sundays from a town just outside Rome.
Looking for a comfy pair of pants?
Sydney brand Hybernate makes a relaxed pant that Broadsheet’s Sydney editor Sarah Norris can’t isolate without (seriously, she wears them almost every day now). “The thing I really love about my isolation-saviour pants is they are stylish enough that they don’t make me feel like a shut-in slob,” she writes.
The Boredom Files: if you’re missing sport, this guy has you covered
It’s gotten a little crazy at the home of Che-Marie Trigg, Broadsheet Sydney’s assistant editor. Her boyfriend has been missing televised and IRL sport so much that he’s created his own World Cup, pitting items he’s found around their house against each other. First up was souvenir spoons, now he’s onto tacky magnets he and Trigg have picked up on their travels. Read about it in Broadsheet’s inaugural Boredom Files, and tune in here for the quarter final to see if a Katoomba magnet beats out a Pope magnet, or if Chernobyl beats Taronga Zoo. (Our money’s on Taronga.)
Wash your hands in style
It’s probably been drilled into you by now, but if not, let us reiterate: wash your hands. Not near a tap? No problem – here are a bunch of stylish hand sanitisers you can buy online. A heap of Aussie distilleries have also got into the sanitiser game – everyone from Archie Rose to Manly Spirits Co to Brix Distillers is making the sought-after product, giving us more of an excuse than ever to place a booze order.
Experts say we should be washing our hands for 20 seconds at a time (that’s two renditions of Happy Birthday). All that extra handwashing can be drying, so we’ve gathered a bunch of ultra-luxe, super-hydrating hand creams that’ll infuse some moisture into your mitts (and look darn good in your WFH space/bedside table). They’re all Australian, and all will help to replenish dried-out skin.
The Monty Python crew once sang, “Always look on the bright side of life”. And while life is a little darker than usual, one ray of light is all the extra time we have to read. This book subscription service takes the guesswork out of what to read next by delivering new releases to your door. It’ll send you a new book every month. And while most of the titles aren’t bestsellers – yet – you’ll probably see them winning prizes next awards season.
Visit some of the world’s most famous museums and galleries online as they expand their excellent virtual programming. London’s Tate Modern has an incredible dance sequence for you to enjoy; the National Gallery of Victoria has brought its current blockbuster exhibitions online (including Keith Haring | Jean-Michel Basquiat: Crossing Lines and KAWS: Companionship in the Age of Loneliness); and New York’s Moma has started a weekly themed series featuring Q&As, videos, playlists and articles. And if you need some calm while the world outside splinters, watch a 14-minute video of Yayoi Kusama’s celestial Infinity Mirror Room. It’s almost as good as meditation.