Home Wellness The Manly Man's Guide to Surviving the Coronavirus Quarantine

The Manly Man’s Guide to Surviving the Coronavirus Quarantine

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You can’t write an article entitled “The Manly Man’s Guide to Surviving the Coronavirus Quarantine” and not be a bit of a smart-ass. 

I’m not a doctor, so if you’re looking for medical information, this isn’t the article for you. And while I attempt to crack jokes, all the advice in here is genuine. The coronavirus has upended so much already, and we are only just starting to see its effects. It’s important to me that I don’t spread misinformation or pass along advice that hasn’t been scientifically backed up. There are a ton of great resources available on coronavirus at the CDC website, and please stay safe (and home).

Now back to being funny.

The Sports Fan

Your March Madness brackets were all filled out, your fantasy baseball team’s starting lineup put into place, and all there was left to do was sit on your couch to watch a mind-numbing amount of sports.

But then Rudy Gobert happened.

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Now? The NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, and your local adult, beer-league softball organization are all shut down. Your friends are all stuck at home, sports bars are empty, and the only thing on ESPN is Stephen A. Smith delivering a series of hot takes about Tom Brady’s departure from the New England Patriots. You’re bored, you’re lonely, and you’re struggling to figure out what to do now that sports have been effectively canceled for the foreseeable.

What to do?

Sports video games– Sony’s MLB The Show 2020 just released on the Playstation 4 and the franchise is widely considered to be one of the best sports games on the planet. 2020’s version is no different re-introducing custom online leagues for your gaming pleasure.

Custom online leagues require a PlayStation Plus subscription and allows for baseball fans to join together from all around the world to compete against each other in a full (or modified) MLB season. Since you aren’t able to make it out onto the links or take grounders at your local diamond, now might be the perfect time to get a group of dudes together to play some online baseball. It’s the perfect way to keep in touch and stay competitive while locked inside your house.

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If you have roommates, Fifa 2020 and NBA 2K are always great choices for couch co-op, and never underestimate the intensity of a good match of Mario Party or Mario Kart.

Brackets for something stupid– Sure, March Madness might be canceled, but World Chase Tag’s season is just about to start. It’s not, but since you probably haven’t watched an episode of professional parkour, the season is just as fresh as ever. Get a group of buddies together, build a bracket, and enjoy doing watching some stupid sports on Youtube.

There’s a variety of other outlandish “sports” available online as well. Remember Spike TV? Well, I haven’t been able to find re-runs of RollerJam anywhere, but I have found an online channel that replays episodes of Most Extreme Challenge 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

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Worst case scenario, pick your favorite team, hop on the old Youtube, and relive highlights from their best seasons. You can watch classic games from the NFL or re-visit your real football team’s history with some homemade year in review videos set to Despacito.

Professional Wrestling– The last time you watched professional wrestling, Stone Cold Steve Austin was still stunnin’, the Rock was still eyebrow raisin’, and The Undertaker was still dead. Well, I guess that last one hasn’t changed.

Anyways, now might be the best time to get back into the world of professional wrestling as companies are releasing tons of free content for fans across the universe. New Japan Pro Wrestling has been steadily uploading new matches to their Youtube channel, and Ring of Honor has started re-releasing classic matches from their archive featuring popular stars such as CM Punk, Samoa Joe, and Daniel Bryan. Independent companies like Ireland based Over The Top Wrestling is offering some of their events for free, like the widely-praised ScrapperMania 5.

And let us not forget about the major two professional wrestling companies in the United States: World Wrestling Entertainment and All Elite Wrestling. Both companies are still putting out live television (in empty arenas), and for the WWE, WrestleMania is still scheduled to be live from the Performance Center on April 5th. 

Resources worth checking out:

  • The Athletic: The Athletic is one of the most prolific sports websites featuring the best local and national sportswriters in the country.
  • The Importance of Male Friendship: Dudefluencer understands that close male friendships are important, learn how to build and maintain those bonds even during the quarantine.
  • World Dodgeball Federation: Remember the 5 Ds: Dodge, Duck, Dip, Dive, AND DON’T GO OUT. Seriously, stay home and watch the world’s best dodgeball players do what they do best: dodge balls.

The Political Junkie

Whether you’re upset that the wall hasn’t been built yet, or that the wall was even proposed in the first place, or even that your chosen presidential candidate is wearing a boot on his head, it doesn’t matter, you’re angry. You’re getting out to vote. You’re live-tweeting the primaries. You’re shit-posting on Facebook because someone on the internet is wrong.

Meet Vermin Supreme, Libertarian candidate for President

Now? Well, you’re still angry. That hasn’t changed. Your friends are more sick of you ranting, and the political landscape looks uncertain. Will primaries continue? How will coronavirus affect the November election? No one knows, but here are a few things you can do in the meantime.

What to do?

Volunteer – While you should be staying home, food banks are still in need of volunteers at local distribution warehouses. Many community centers, community groups, and religious organizations have temporarily closed due to coronavirus; there are still volunteering options available. Some cities have enlisted folks to help grocery shop for the elderly, and others are helping out at their local food bank.

The American Red Cross is always looking for people to donate blood, and at the moment, are suffering from a blood shortage, so this is a way you can help out right away. Many blood drives have been canceled because of coronavirus, so they need help more than ever.

Reach out to members of Congress – Right now, the House of Representatives and the Senate are working on some pretty extensive legislation to help out Americans. It’s essential to stay up to date on these developments and reach out to your congress representatives to let them know how you feel about the legislation.

If you want to get real wild, write up a script and send it to your friends so that they’ll have something to say if they want to get involved too.

Donate– Times are tough for a lot of Americans right now, but one way you can still contribute to your favorite political candidate is by donating to their campaign. Only do this if you are confident that the money you spend here won’t come back to bite you a few months from now if the quarantine lasts longer than anticipated.

Right now, there are also lots of charities in need of donations. Feeding America, No Kid Hungry, and The CDC Foundation are all doing great things to help provide food and supplies to Americans most in need.

Resources worth checking out:

  • Longreads: Longreads is a website dedicated to long-form journalism. It curates immersive, in-depth investigative reporting and offers articles that make up “the best storytelling in the world.” 
  • Everything You Need to Know About Positive Masculinity (And What Toxic Masculinity Gets Wrong: Here at Dudefluencer, we have a lot to say on masculinity’s role in the modern world. What’s your take? Let us know in the comments. 
  • Patriot (streaming on Amazon Prime): The New York Times explains it best, “How about a show that combines some of the better aspects of ‘Mr. Robot,’ ‘Fargo’ and ‘The Americans’—in a comedy? Would that pique your peak-TV interest?” Try out a different kind of political drama with this undervalued spy series.

The Crossfitter

Welcome to CrossFit, the only place in the world where high-intensity interval training and poor chin-up form collide. You know the difference between WOD (workout of the day), AMRAP (As Many Rounds As Possible), and EMOM (Every Minute On the Minute). Your cupboards are filled with paleo sweet potato chips and ghee. You’re swole, you know it, and you don’t need to tell anyone about it. 

But you will anyways.

Now? Because of coronavirus, your gym is closed, and a part of you is lost. There’s no place like a CrossFit gym, and there’s no place like a CrossFit gym, there’s no place like a CrossFit gym. Welp that didn’t work. So what can you do as a CrossFitter if you’re quarantined?

What to do?

Workout from home – While some gyms are remaining open, it’s still not a good idea to go for now. Social distancing is key to flattening the curve and helping out others. That’s why some gyms are providing virtual classes and CrossFit At Home offers a large selection of online tutorials as well.

While not CrossFit, Planet Fitness is also offering free daily classes to members and non-members. These workouts are live-streamed and will be posted online soon after they premiere. Peloton is extending their free-trial from 30-days to 90-days, and no bike is required. The company offers yoga, strength training, and other classes for free during your trial period. 

And if online classes aren’t your thing, Workout of the Day Prep are offering up tons of at-home CrossFit exercises as well as a nice WOD Prep sheet.

Join Online Communities – Even though lots of people joke about the cult of CrossFit, there’s something to be said about the camaraderie that exists in a CrossFit gym. Maybe it’s being motivated by the person next to you, or perhaps it’s the time spent socializing after a hard workout. Still, it’s impossible to replicate being a part of the CrossFit community while under quarantine.

One way to try and keep in touch is by joining an online CrossFit community. The Morning Chalk Up delivers a daily newsletter that “educates, informs, and inspires the CrossFit community.” The Reddit CrossFit community is also strong, with over 132 thousand members and daily posts about anything and everything. Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram also have healthy CrossFit communities. 

Being alone sucks, and losing a weekly opportunity to meet with your friends also sucks. Do your best to check in with your coaches, classmates, and gym owners because they are missing your friendship too.

Resources worth checking out:

  • Tricktheory: Take the time to work on balance and flexibility while learning how to do handstands, backflips, and other ninja moves, starting with Tricktheory’s Day 1 article
  • 30-Day Challenge: How to Build a Morning Routine: Your schedule is off. I get it. Check out my experience building a morning routine and create something that keeps you active. 
  • Ring Fit Adventure and Beat Saber: We know that you’re not getting the same stimulation as in the gym, so get a little adrenaline going to push through. All movement is good movement.

The Lumberjack

You’re a man’s man. The only three things you care about are trucks, IPAs, and the closing of Patagonia stores across the country. You don’t spend time indoors; in fact, you don’t even own a television. You don’t remember the last time you were sick, and …

Now? You’re stuck inside. Welcome to the internet, where people love to argue and share uplifting videos of cats. State parks have been shut down, your local brewery is closed, and the Whole Foods nearby is entirely out of pasta and toilet paper. At least you know how to make one of those at home.

For those who love the smell of the outdoors and being amongst the trees, here a couple of options to keep you busy while sitting on your couch.

What to do?

Go on walks – Despite many National Parks being shut down, it’s still important to spend time outside. Going for walks is one of the healthiest activities you can do physically and mentally. Despite local government shut-downs and a shelter-at-home order, San Francisco’s mayor made an exemption for “engaging in outdoor activity, such as walking, hiking, or running provided that you maintain at least six feet of social distancing.” Similarly, Milan residents are encouraged to enjoy a walk or jog as long as there remain six feet of social distancing.”

Take a walk through your neighborhood, find those quiet places of beauty. No matter all of the chaos happening with coronavirus, the beauty of nature still exists.

Take Vitamin D– Vitamin D, or sometimes known as the “sunshine vitamin,” is a hormone produced when your skin is exposed to the sun. Spending more time indoors means that there’s a good chance you won’t be getting as much vitamin D from the sun as you usually would, which can lead to depression or other physical ailments. One way to maintain a healthy level of vitamin D is by taking supplements every morning. Go to your local grocery store, or order them online, vitamin D isn’t too hard to find.

Live vicariously through Bear Grylls – If you’re really itching to adventure but cooped up indoors, it’s time to stream some survival guides. Hulu streams Man vs. Wild and Youtube has an array of different outdoor channels that take you around the world.

For me, I recommend hopping onto whichever streaming service you have to watch some amazing man vs. nature documentaries. On Hulu, there is Free Solo, the story solo climber Alex Honnold attempting to climb El-Capitan without a rope. If you’re into that, The Dawn Wall on Netflix is the incredible tale of Tommy Caldwell and Kevin Jorgenson climbing one of Yosemite’s most dangerous peaks.

Alex Honnold makes his way up one of the most dangerous sections of El-Capitan.

Two other recommendations I’d throw out there are Barkley Marathons: The Race That Eats It’s Young and the free to stream Garry Robbins and the Barkley Marathons. If you don’t know what the Barkley Marathon is, this 100-mile ultramarathon is one of the most grueling, competitive, and mysterious races on the planet. Words cannot describe how wild and dangerous this race is.

Resources worth checking out:

  • Co-op Cinema: REI’s series of documentaries is sure to inspire you with outdoorsy stories of overcoming seemingly insurmountable odds.
  • Alex Hultgren: As our travel reporter, Alex brings the rest of the world to Dudefluencer’s readers. Check out his travels (and wish him luck in quarantine!). 
  • Night hiking: You might not want to go to the park while it’s swarmed with people, but night hiking may be an option for you. Check out Hike It Baby’s guide to hiking in the dark

The Stay at Home Dad

You are Mr. Dad. Everyone is on schedule: lunches are packed, kids are off to school, and dinner is in the oven. All of your doctor’s appointments have been booked and put into the calendar. And while your partner is out of the house at work, the house relies on you to get shit done.

Now? Your schedule is all screwed up. There is no schedule. Instead of waking up at six A.M. with your partner, you find yourself sleeping in until eight because they’re working from home. You’re home-schooling your children the best you can while your partner is in the other room teleconferencing. 

Simply put, your schedule is fucked.

What to do?

Build a routine – This is the most important advice I can give for people working from home right now. Build a schedule, make a routine, and follow it. One way to do this is to block out your time on a calendar the old fashioned way. Throw in some exercise in the morning, meditation in the evening, and plenty of time for cooking. This way, by following your schedule, you are setting yourself up to stay productive rather than sit around streaming Netflix all day (not to say that’s the worst thing in the world). 

Google calendar is an easy to use scheduler, and Zapier has a great blog offering advice on the most productive scheduling techniques.

Take time for yourself and your partner– As a stay at home dad, there isn’t much alone time. If you’re a stay at home dad during a pandemic, there is no alone time. That’s why it is so crucial for you and your partner to build some time into your schedules for yourselves. Whether that means going on a walk by yourself in the morning, or even just writing in a gratitude journal for ten minutes, give yourself a bit of introvert time.

That being said, also find time for you and your partner. Date night has been thrown out the window, so you need to be more creative. Focus on a nice home-cooked meal, or a unique activity while the kids are asleep (that doesn’t require going outside). You’ll be surprised how quickly the romance can fade away in a perpetual lockdown, and that’s why it’s necessary to keep the love alive even when in quarantine.

Make creative activities – A lot of people on social media are suggesting to use this time with your children to teach them the basics: how to cook, change a tire, and do laundry. And there will be plenty of time for this. But I’m suggesting you go a little wild. Think Nickolodean’s Guts or Legends of the Hidden Temple. You’re already super-dad, now make some one of a kind memories.

Take the next couple weeks to design the most intricate live-action board game for the whole family, hell, design an escape room. Second thought, maybe the escape room isn’t a great idea.

Remember how much you loved American Gladiators, now is your time to recreate it in your living room. If you have older children, enlist their help to build something that no one in your family will ever forget.

Resources worth checking out:

The Office Executive

Your workday begins before sun-up and ends after sunset. 9-5 is merely a suggestion, and you are damn good at your job. Presentations? Nailed them. Conference calls? Easy. Armed with your American Airlines Elite Status card and thousands of frequent flyer miles, you can’t remember the last time you slept in your bed every night for two weeks, let alone two months. You are the executive, the manager, the guider of all things business.

Now? Well, life’s a lot more uncertain. Stocks have come crashing down, businesses have shut down, and the office is empty. Working from home is mandated, not optional. You’re used to business moving quickly, but you never expected something like this. What should you do?

What to do?

Set boundaries – You’ve already struggled setting boundaries, now prepare for a whole new set of boundaries to be trounced over by your kids, your partner, and your dog. That’s why it’s imperative to have clear boundaries and expectations while working from home. Set up office hours so that everyone in the house understands you’ll be working (obviously if you have little children, it’s a bit different).

If you have little ones, find small projects for them to do while you’re working. Maybe have them build a lego set, or complete a puzzle. Keep them productive so you can be too.

Create a space dedicated to work – Having a dedicated workspace should be the first step in getting ready to work from home. Think about it: if you’re doing all of your work on the couch, does the couch then become your office? Does your office become the living room? Where does work end and fun-time begin?

If you have a desk that makes this situation easy, if you have a door, that makes it 10x easier. Build yourself a little nook in the house that will be for work only, leave any relevant work documents over there, and your work computer. Entrepreneur has a fantastic article that goes through all of the steps to build the perfect workspace

Rethink work/life balance – I’ve got a lot of friends in education who spent too many evenings in the classroom grading papers. I also know a lot of people who identify themselves based on their work; without having work to do, it can cause a personal identity crisis. Use this time to rethink about your work/life balance. Are you happy? Do you spend enough time with the people that you love? Your family? Your partner?

One way of looking at it is ignoring the phrase work/life balance; instead, realize you only have life balance. Integrate work into your daily life, as seen in this chart. To live a healthy and happy life, there is more than just work. Try and use this time to figure out other activities that you love.

Resources worth checking out:

  • Headspace: Headspace is one of the best meditation services around, and recently announced a collection of their services are available for free.
  • 30 Day Meditation Challenge: Cannot emphasize enough the positives of meditation, but if you need more evidence, check out our article about how meditation changed my life in 30 days.
  • Matt D’Avella: No Youtube channel is better at connecting beautiful filmography with handy life advice like Matt D’Avella’s channel. Watching one video will quickly turn to ten, and next thing you know, you’re donating money to his Patreon.

Conclusion

Rachel and I sat down to watch this past Sunday’s Last Week Tonight, and even though it only came out four days ago, it still feels like a different world. There are daily press conferences, news reports about local restaurants shut down, and of course, millions of social media posts delivering conflicting messages to the public. As our country and many parts of the world continue to practice social distancing, it’s important to take care of our mental health while stuck indoors.

That means finding ways to remain physically active, communicating with others daily, and staying updated on the latest news. As someone with anxiety, I know it’s hard right now. There’s a lot of scary news around the coronavirus, and it’s so easy to get swept up in the deluge of information that everything can feel overwhelming. It’s okay to feel overwhelmed, and it’s okay to feel stressed. I feel overwhelmed and stressed too.

Now is a time for everyone to work together. Stay safe.

And six feet away from me.

Garrett Michael Carlson
Garrett Carlson is the founder of Dudefluencer.com, an online men's magazine dedicated to publishing articles around positive masculinity and men's self-care. A graduate of the Johns Hopkins Non-Fiction writing program, he loves to break traditional storytelling norms intermixing personal narrative, comedy, and research to talk about men's issues. Garrett currently lives in Northern Virginia with his wife, two cats, and Icelandic Sheepdog, Orla.

18 COMMENTS

  1. Why you got to be so awesome, Garrett? This post is really good. Professional parkour?! I’m totally in… to watch it not to participate. Never underestimate trying to slurp a nice cold beer while staying on the track of Mario Kart. Lots of great suggestions here. Volunteering and donating are a must.

    • You’d be surprised at the amount of crazy Youtube sports available. I’m hoping that some of the lower-viewed channels get some spikes so I can make dreams of being a professional dodgeball player a reality.

  2. Great suggestions! For @$10 a month, you can get the WWE network and binge watch all the greatest moment in wrestling.

    • Absolutely. My friends and I have been watching old shows together and group chatting throughout. It’d be nice if they added a chat feature like on Netflix.

  3. Tomes like these are perfect for exercising more! There really is no excuse right? I can’t claim my time is needed elsewhere when everything is closed. Give me time though- I’m sure I can still find an excuse

  4. Ooh, we will be trying out the parkour bracket idea in this house! Filling out those March Madness brackets had become a family battle (in a fun, healthy way!)

    • Never underestimate the number of weird and odd sports on Youtube. Heck, if your house is big enough you can invent some there.

  5. We’ve done so many of these things. My husband usually works at home so he exiled himself to the garage while the rest of us set up work/homework stations in different rooms (I’m a teacher), we’re walking and biking in our neighborhood, I’m working out indoors, and I’m sure the home improvement projects will be starting next week 😉

    • Oh of course! I feel bad for the folks in the middle of construction that won’t have any of their new rooms finished. Especially bathrooms!

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