10 Things Social Distancing Got Me Out of Doing

#1: Going to baby showers.

This weekend, while at the grocery store for the first time in what seemed like 1.5 years, a nice person in the bakery arranging bread looked at me and asked if I needed help finding anything. I nearly broke down crying and started to sing. The only people I’ve had in-person interactions with in nearly three weeks are my partner and my pharmacist (through a mask).

So, social distancing is… difficult, albeit absolutely necessary to slow the spread of the coronavirus. I’m trying to stay upbeat by looking at the bright things it has brought, or rather, excused me from, including:

  1. Going to Baby Showers


    To be clear, no one has invited me to a baby shower in a long time, but I dread them more than anything. The fact that everything is canceled right now, gives me deep relief that I will not be forced to sit for hours, drinking pink bubbly and watching people “oooh” and “ahhh” over onesie after onesie.

  2. Following Through With My New Year’s Resolutions


    I had lofty goals for this year that included finding a dentist (which I hate even more than baby showers), and figuring out how to break up with my internet provider (my least consensual relationship). Now, I can put off all those things due to pandemic-induced ennui, and my need to do puzzles and eat Cheez-Its.

  3. Doing Laundry

    Ryan McVay

    I have long prided myself on being a dapper queer. I have more bowties than I do pairs of socks, and when someone tells me to dress casually, I take that to mean, “wear a knit tie, not a silk one.” But it turns out that wearing the same pair of sweatpants every day so you can sit on the floor while scream whispering, “What day is it?!” is actually a joy. Today, I even bought a second pair of sweatpants for the day when I don’t feel like representing the house of Gryffindor.

  4. Going to Queer Dance Parties


    In order to retain one’s standing as an urban homosexual, one is contractually obligated to attend a queer dance party at least once every three months. I am due to attend one such event, which means staying up past 10pm in a dark, sweaty room and spending half the night in line for a bathroom where the top of the stalls come up to my chin. Corona, however, has cancelled these monthly fests, and I can easily lament with my friends about how I miss them while not being obligated to actually go out and drink vodka cranberry from a tiny plastic cup.

  5. RicardoImagen

    No one wants to be completely alone for weeks or months on end, and the best solution to this, in my opinion, is to simply cohabitate with that person you just met, fell in love with, and plan on marrying next week. In normal times, this would seem irrational (or lesbionic). In the time of corona, it’s a matter of both sanity and practicality.

  6. Engaging With Youth on Sidewalks Who Want to Know If I’ve “Got a Minute—”

    Jeff Greenberg / Contributor

    First off, I recognize that field organizers basically won us every right on the books and never ever get any credit. But the young, enthusiastic kids who stand outside my neighborhood Whole Foods and open with, “Do you know who you look like?” are taking the wrong tack. Spoiler alert: Straight people always say Ellen DeGeneres (I don’t look like Ellen. I just look gay). I like donating to good causes and supporting field organizers, but I don’t want to be gaslit into a conversation about saving koalas at 3pm on a Sunday.

  7. Eating Salads

    JGI/Jamie Grill

    It has always stunned me that gays, who have supremely good taste in all other things, seem to favor salads above all actually edible foods. No matter, though. Now that the end times are upon us and grocery shopping is frowned upon, it is no longer feasible to keep greens for more than a few days. Salads, much like zipper pants, are a thing of days gone by, and I miss them not!

  8. Pretending My Life Is Instagram-Worthy

    Inna Reznik

    Gone are the days when we were pressured into snapping photos of the one day each month when we make it out past 9pm to post to Instagram (oh, am I just speaking for me?). Look, my life is about as glamorous in quarantine as it was before the apocalypse. Now, I don’t have to fool all of you into thinking I am doing anything other than doing puzzles and watching Fried Green Tomatoes in bed.

  9. Attending Group Dinner Birthday Parties

    Charles O'Rear

    Most things just fall woefully short via Zoom calls. Thankfully, the big group dinner birthday party is one of them. Why we continue this tradition is beyond me. It’s two hours of sitting with strangers at a table clearly made for the last supper while the birthday girl’s BFF from college downs six margaritas. You’re forced to wave awkwardly, and the one other guest you do know is inevitably seated 13 chairs away. When the bill comes, it’s always $75 short.

  10. Pretending to Speak Sports


    When I lived in Boston, a neighbor invited me over to watch “The Pats,” to which I replied, “What is a Pat?!” Apparently, I am the last living soul on Earth to learn that “Pats” is short for the New England Patriots, the football team (formerly) of Tom Brady and his deflated balls. Frankly, I never wanted to devote any brain real estate to these issues. I consider quarantine a reprieve during which I will quickly fill my head with books, music, and apparently, home exercise routines.

Kate Sosin is an award-winning, trans-identified news and investigative reporter.