Queers in quarantine – An isolation survival guide

Peg wall with keys hanging and a post note saying
Seven ways you can stay okay

Seven ways you can stay ‘okay’

During this unique opportunity to be isolated weeks on end, we thought it might be good to give you ideas on how to survive. For me, I’m mastering challenges that have been baiting me for a while. This includes discovering a way to tell if a fitted sheet is inside out or not on the first try. Finding out what it’s like to wash, dry, fold, and put away clothes on the same day. I’ve also dug deeper into my creative side, learning how to use my iPhone camera. You can subscribe to my camera roll for just $9.99 a month on… Only Kidding!

Here are seven ways you can stay okay: 

1. Touch yourself.

Let’s get right to it. Of all the love languages, touch is important. If you’re quarantined with a partner, good, have a lot of sex and give a “Hallelujah!” for being able to touch them and yourself. Whether or not you are alone, God is generous, and she created pleasure for a reason. Did you know that when you get what I called “The Feeling” as a young lad, a fountain of hormones and good chemicals soak your body? This includes serotonin, to relax you, and oxytocin to make you feel a sense of love. Cute little hormones they are!

One German study indicated masturbation could even help combat the common cold. Hey, if we find out that ubiquitous orgasms can destroy a pandemic, that’s one press conference I’ll tune in to. I’ll really enjoy it too, Vice President Pence. Oh, and by the way, cool it with the apps. Even if they’ve “basically been around no one,” stay the hell at home. I shouldn’t have to say that. Unless you’re on TikTok, that shit is hysterical!

2. Exercise.

Walk, run, hike—do something, repeat the previous bullet. If you feel the need to post every home workout on every social platform, so be it. Flood my Instagram with you getting swole if it makes you feel better about yourself. But, be mindful that social media is easy to hide behind when it comes to emotional struggle. Talk to people. Stay connected. Put the fucking rock from your back yard down, and take a second to breathe with someone who loves you, regardless of how your body looks. You can always do this over the phone.

3. Don’t exercise. Binge Watch.

The world feels heavy, and everyone has different ways of dealing with this shit. You might not know how well you are dealing with it because none of us have been through a global pandemic before. Maybe exercise works for you, but maybe just existing and being a little numb is what you need. And that’s ok. So, there are lots of great LGBT series and movies that you could finally catch up on.

This year marks the last season of Schitt’s Creek, and I’ve yet to meet someone who doesn’t adore the incredible “frippet” that is Moira Rose. Pace yourself on that one though; I keep telling myself that not watching keeps the series alive. Eastsiders is another favorite of Out in Jersey‘s if you remember from a couple of issues ago. Lastly, Sundance Now brings Sundance Film Festival right to your living room… or bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, attic, wherever the hell you hang out these days. Just don’t hang out in the closet.

4. Host parties. Create community.

Get everyone together via Zoom or Houseparty for happy hour. If you have an Apple TV at home, download games that can be played in large groups. JackBox games allow everyone to play from the comfort of their living room. Games like these are also available on Steam and other gaming platforms. Check out jackboxgames.com for more info. Also, consider a Gay Quarantine Facebook group, there are great ones.

5. Push into passion.

Take this time to reset and reassess. When was the last time you recall having time to check in with yourself? Maybe you are always present-minded, or maybe life is so hectic that this is the first time in years you’ve been able to exist with yourself. Use this time to think about things you want to accomplish, be it as simple as organizing your closet, or complex as starting a small business. It doesn’t have to be serious, or it could be.

Clean and organize a room, go through your phone pictures and make it holy again so someone can look over your shoulder. It’s whatever you choose. You have no choice but to come out of this pandemic a changed person, so bust out of fucking isolation having a story to tell about the stronger you.

Man in red shirt looking at his cellphone6. Support Community.

Small businesses are struggling. Especially the bathhouses! Uh, I mean local gyms. Consider buying gift cards for favorite local businesses to help support. Local restaurants are providing a lot of contactless pickups. Call ahead, ask them to put food in the trunk, and then set the containers completely on fire for disinfection.

Are you currently struggling financially? One free way to support your community is to be in it, responsibly. Go for a stroll while practicing social distancing. There is something amazing about being around the neighbors in your community, simply acknowledging that they are there, and saying “hello” might save their sanity. Bring a to-go drink! Alcohol-free, of course.

7. Plant your seed.

Hear me out. This is my favorite bullet, even if it sounds super boring. I’ve never planted a seed in my life. Except, well… So, I ordered some seeds online and planted them in small containers around my house. I anticipated failure, like many of our previous hopeless relationships, am I right? You plant the seed, the seed isn’t interested in your fertilizer, and you get attached, then just like that, nothing! That seed suddenly stops texting you back and disappears as quickly as Carol Baskin’s husband.

Anyway, plant some seeds and care about them. Spray them with fresh water every morning, cover them with saran wrap for some greenhouse effect, and talk to them about how much you miss the uncensored Tumblr. Within days you’ll have a bunch of little “herb boners” popping out of the soil, getting bigger every morning! There’s something powerful about you being in charge of something else’s success. I promise. We’re going to get through this. We’ll see you on the other side of quarantine, and we’re here for you at Out in Jersey Magazine.