From cooking classes to DIY face mask tutorials, 6 things to do during shelter in place order

In an effort to curtail the spread of COVID-19, Gov. Gretchen Whitmer on Monday issued a shelter in place order i.e. don’t leave the house if you don’t have to (yes you can still go outside and get groceries but no you can’t go to the bar). Luckily there are some creative Metro Detroiters coming up with ways for us to pass the time. From Google Meet to Facebook Live, digital platforms are helping us be together while apart. Here are six of our favorite shelter in place online ideas from local organizations and businesses, from cooking classes to pop and lock tutorials:


Economics, public policy, and cocktails: Shady Ladies Literary Society founder and journalist Amy Haimerl is hosting virtual cocktail hours at 8 p.m. on Fridays. The inaugural cocktail hour last week featured epidemiologists Dr. Emily Martin and Dr. Aubree Gordon as well as Castalia Cocktails’ Kevin Peterson, who demonstrated how to make a Manhattan. This week, University of Michigan economics and public policy professor Betsey Stevenson will talk about the economic fallout from COVID-19 and what the public policy should be. Marlowe Johnson, beverage director at Flowers of Vietnam, will lead the cocktail lesson. Free to join but make sure to register to snag your seat “at the bar.”


Level up your cooking game: Staying at home presents a unique opportunity to use what provisions you have on hand (maybe not that expired can of evaporated milk), or in the words of Jonathan Kung “take a bunch of random sh*t from your pantry and fridge put it into a f*cking frittata.” At 4 p.m. Wednesday, March 23 Kung aka @kung_food will do an Instagram Live on roasting potatoes and cooking with spices.


Laughter is the best medicine: COVID-19 got you down? Every night on Facebook, Planet Ant is live streaming video content and interactive shows, such as Homerphilia, a Simpson-based podcast, and Boxed In with Friends, a show where actors improv character scenes. Support local comedians and artists and social distance responsibly at the same time.


Party on: Willis Show Bar is keeping the party going online while raising money for staff and the talent through “Willis at Home” on Friday nights. The weekly one-hour show features video cocktail tutorials for signature cocktails like the Mojito Criollo and Godfather and live performances.


Get into the groove: The Motor City Street Dance Academy team is hosting online dance classes through Google Hangouts Meet. Check out the Facebook page for details on how to join in.


DIY face masks: There is a serious shortage of masks right now as hospitals struggle with the lack of personal protection equipment. Several DIY’ers are taking it upon themselves to help hospitals by parlaying their sewing skills into homemade masks, such as Macomb County commissioner candidate Mai Xiong, who is making N95-type masks and donating them to hospitals. The sister team behind Deviate, Cassidy and Kelsey Tucker, created a video tutorial on how to make your own mask.

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Read more articles by Dorothy Hernandez.

Dorothy Hernandez is a freelance writer and editor who frequently writes about food at the intersection of culture and business. She has contributed to NPR, Midwest Living magazine, Eater, and a variety of other publications. Visit her website and follow her on Twitter @dorothy_lynn_h.