Essays

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For some people, celibacy may be an unfortunate side effect of COVID-19, but don’t despair. (Photo by Alaina Johns.)

How to survive the pandemic when you're home alone and horny

The next sexual revolution is in our hands

Let’s be honest about one of the toughest things in lockdown: unless you live with a partner, your sex life is on hold. Marta Rusek talks to Philly experts on keeping things spicy anyway.
Marta Rusek

Marta Rusek

Essays 5 minute read
Hitting a home office first thing in the morning is part of what keeps this writer mom going. (Photo by Cass Lewis Slattery.)

As a parent and a writer, I’m learning to cope with life in quarantine

Waking, sleeping, keeping up

How do we balance anything during life in lockdown? We don’t. But here’s how writer and mother Cass Lewis Slattery is learning to cope.
Cass Lewis

Cass Lewis

Essays 5 minute read
There’s a growing public appetite for art by people in prison, like this 2013 ink drawing by Jerome Washington, who is in a Pennsylvania state prison. (Image courtesy of the author.)

Can museums present art created inside prisons without retrying offenders?

The exhibition of incarceration

As art by people in prison becomes a sought-after prize for museum exhibitions, Treacy Ziegler wonders how artists, curators, and the public grapple with questions of moral judgment and acceptability.
Treacy Ziegler

Treacy Ziegler

Essays 6 minute read
Organizer Jose de Marco sees the parallels between who’s most affected by the AIDS epidemic and COVID-19. (Photo by Kaytee Ray-Riek.)

Philly is still fighting: AIDS, activism, and COVID-19

What AIDS organizers already know

Longtime ACT UP Philadelphia member Jose de Marco talks with Joshua Herren about what we should learn from AIDS organizers in the COVID pandemic.
Josh Herren

Josh Herren

Essays 6 minute read

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Nobody laughs now if you wear a mask to the store and leave your bags out for a few days. (Photo courtesy of the author.)

How does life in the pandemic feel with a lifelong anxiety disorder?

Anxiety, meet COVID

Fredricka R. Maister has lived with anxiety her whole life—and in some ways, it made her better prepared to handle life in a pandemic.
Fredricka R. Maister

Fredricka R. Maister

Essays 5 minute read
Beautiful visuals, unforgettable soundtrack: ‘Sayonara Wild Hearts’ is a top pick. (Image courtesy of Simogo.)

Five great stay-at-home video games that don’t need a console

Chicken soup for the mobile gamer soul

Looking for something fun and relaxing to play that won’t break the bank or take all day? Mina Reinckens curates five suggestions to try right now on your phone.
Mina Reinckens

Mina Reinckens

Essays 5 minute read
Blue Steel in quarantine. (Photo by Jillian Markowitz.)

I couldn’t cope with isolation. Then I began taking costume suggestions online

Behind-the-scenes with Quarantween

Philly writer and comedian Jillian Markowitz was spiraling as COVID-19 news spread. But a chance social media post spawned her Quarantween Costumes, now a hit destination on Instagram.
Jillian Markowitz

Jillian Markowitz

Essays 5 minute read
Eerily empty: SFO Terminal B at 8pm on April 4. (Photo by Roz Warren.)

What was it like to fly to California and back during the coronapocalypse?

Braving essential travel

The CDC guideline was clear: no nonessential air travel. But Roz Warren didn't have a choice when she got the call from California.
Roz Warren

Roz Warren

Essays 5 minute read
Chikaonda Mlotho Malawi BSR 4 12 20

Instead of distracting ourselves, what happens when we grasp our new reality?

The only way out is through

One of the most challenging things in the COVID-19 pandemic is trying to be okay when everything around us is not. After facing her own grief, Michelle Chikaonda finds that rather than merely managing the disorientation, we can lean directly into it.
Michelle Chikaonda

Michelle Chikaonda

Essays 5 minute read
Meditation BSR 4 6 20

Meditation practice comes through in a crisis—and it’s not too late to start

Ten days later

Christina Anthony tried to meditate for years, until a Vipassana retreat in Vietnam reset her perceptions. Here’s what she learned.
Christina Anthony

Christina Anthony

Essays 4 minute read