What to Watch, Listen to and Cook During Your Coronavirus Self-Quarantine

Oh, something mindless? The latest reality dating show sweeping the internet is Netflix’s “Love Is Blind,” in which strangers form relationships from one-person pods, and see each other only after they’re engaged. Beware, though: Despite the silly set up, you may find yourself emotionally invested.

What about movies?

That’s a big question! Well, first, you should start with our lists of the 50 best movies to stream on Netflix and the 50 best movies to stream on Amazon Prime.

Some of last year’s Oscar-nominated movies are now available to stream, rent or purchase, including:

The Irishman” (what better time to watch this three-hour-plus film) and “Marriage Story,” on Netflix.

Parasite,” “Knives Out,” “Uncut Gems,” “Ford v Ferrari,” “Jojo Rabbit,” “Once Upon a Time … in Hollywood,” are available for rent on iTunes, Amazon and other digital video platforms

“Little Women” and “1917” are available for purchase at iTunes and Amazon Prime.

For something very dumb, yet very entertaining, watch just the first 15 or so minutes of Michael Bay’s latest film, “6 Underground,” on Netflix.

For something not dumb, subscribe to the Criterion Channel and watch the works of Fellini, Kiarostami, Truffaut, Bergman, Tati, Denis, Varda, Renoir …


What should I listen to?

It’s understandable if you don’t want to look at a screen right now — maybe you’re working from home and your eyes are burned out from staring at your laptop; perhaps you’ve been watching cable news for too many hours and just can’t with your TV anymore.

Luckily, there’s a world of audio-only content we can recommend. For example, if you want to hear something that might make you feel better, you can listen to someone read our profile from last fall: “This Tom Hanks Story Will Make You Feel Less Bad.”

If you want deeper dives, here are some podcasts, broken down by category.

I want to hear some food podcasts.

I’m looking for something about health or emotional well-being.

I love movies and want to listen to other people who also love movies.

I miss sports so much.

I need to get in touch with my spiritual side.

Broadway is closed, as is my local theater, and I’ve worn out my cast album recordings. Are there theater podcasts? (You better believe it.)


What new songs should I stream?

OK, so you can’t go to any concerts right now. But millions — yes, many millions — of songs are at your fingertips.

Want to start with the best new music you should have on your radar? Listen to our latest Playlist, which features new releases from Lil Yachty (featuring Drake and DaBaby), Ava Max and more. Below is a new song from Tones and I, the Australian songwriter behind the world-conquering hit “Dance Monkey.” We'll have a new playlist for you every Friday, as always.

And if your tastes run more to jazz, here’s a playlist of the essential McCoy Tyner, in honor of the jazz pianist who died on Friday.


What should I cook?

Even in the most stressful moments, we need to eat good food. The New York Times Cooking site has thousands of recipes to help you weather these next few weeks. (You do need a subscription to access a lot of them, though.)

For example, since we know many of you will be working from home for the foreseeable future, here are 30 recipes for lunch at home. It doesn’t have to be grilled cheese every day! (True, there is a grilled cheese recipe here, but it has some zhush.)

It’s St. Patrick’s Day — here are recipes for Irish stew, corned beef and cabbage, and other themed recipes.

And since some of you have bought beans and beans and beans for the long hibernation, here’s Melissa Clark’s guide for how best to cook them, as well as many delicious recipes like one for tomato, white bean and kale soup.

Sign up for the Cooking newsletter, for recipes, food writing and culinary inspiration. Like all our newsletters, it’s free.


What should I play?

Wirecutter, a New York Times company that focuses on product recommendations, has some great suggestions for the best board games to play with people who are interested in advanced board games — we’re talking more than just Monopoly and Trivial Pursuit.

Interested in console, mobile, or PC games? The Guardian has just published a list with 25 suggestions, including “Pokemon Go,” which is making changes to allow for more monsters to be found closer to home.

Family fare

What should I do with my kids?

Look, let’s be honest. It’s almost inevitable that many children are going to have more screen time over the coming weeks. It’s fine, it doesn’t mean you’re a bad parent, as our Parenting editor, Jessica Grose, recently explained in her newsletter, which you can sign up for here.

In terms of specific shows to watch, New York Times readers recommended their favorite kids TV shows, and Mike Hale, one of our TV critics, chose four recent kids shows you might want to check out.

Here’s a long list of podcasts for kids ages 2-6, from story-focused ones to educational fare to music one.

Do you need some help figuring out what books to get and read to your children? The New York Times’s children’s book editor, Maria Russo, has a recurring advice column called Story Times. She has already written up lists like eight great (and short) books for brand new-readers and seven great shorter stories for the elementary school years. Check out the rest at Story Times.

Mo Willems, the children’s book author and illustrator (the Pigeon, Knuffle Bunny and Elephant and Piggie series) has launched a “Lunch Doodles” series on YouTube. “Let’s find a way to be isolated and together at the same time,” he says.

Wirecutter has recommendations for educational apps and learning games, as well as thoughts on great board games to play with children.

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