9 People Keeping Me The F Together During Lockdown

Give me that sanity-saving content.

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Via Dan Pelosi’s fundraising project for Sage USA (fundraiser is over but how cute is this shirt?)

We’re in a halflife. It’s gone on too long, we know this. We also know there is no goddamned choice in the matter, and in moments when humans have no choice, we tend to freak the fuck out. There are days when it feels like my skin is screaming because I’m so tired of not living a real life, so over being afraid of everyone and everything, and I’m entirely depressed by plastic barriers going up between human beings like we’re cookies in a package of Chips A’Hoy. I mean it might also be nice to go see my parents? I don’t know.

While I have good coping skills, at what point do coping skills become all you do? I feel like I’m suspended in a CBD tincture of temporary existence and I can’t get out.

But there are moments, glowing moments of joy that take me out of this moldy headspace and help me forget, if only for the length of an Instagram story, what’s actually fucking happening. They are the people and creators who have been saving my sanity in my fifth going on sixth month of lockdown. They deserve to be celebrated here, because while I’m hanging on by a thread, it’s a good thread.

What I love most about the content we consume is that it’s so personal, and tailored to our specific tastes, when you really glance at it from above. So below, my very own content goulash for anyone in need of something new.

Katie Sturino’s Try-On Videos.

I could watch Katie Sturino road-test plus size clothing options for a full hour every day of my life. Honestly Netflix is sleeping on this. Katie Sturino, founder of Megababe and champion of the #makemysize hashtag, has been conducting her own brand of research on everything from underpants to polo shirts. She gives honest reviews and is an absolute change-maker in the everysize space, because honestly it’s fucking time.

Yamaneika Saunders talking to her cats.

If you don’t know who Brooklyn and Pryor are, get out of my house. Yamaneika Saunders is a New York-based comedian I’ve been following since before the pandemic thank god, because she’s been an absolute comfort in the form of hilarity. From her Tiger King live commentaries, to her attempts to get her cats involved in the Black Lives Matter movement, Yamaneika’s Instagram is where I go when I need good company.

Heather McMahan’s very existence.

I mean, where to begin. Heather McMahan is winning quarantine. Her incredibly personal and consistent Instagram story videos featuring everything from her hilarious original characters to her own family are literally the only thing tethering my fragile being to reality. She is a standup comedian and podcaster you need to start following now, so that when she does have a Netflix special it won’t get buried in your algorithm.

Sarah Powell’s Elevensies.

Sarah Powell is a lovely human being who lives in London and is a positivity advocate if I’ve ever seen one. Every Thursday at 11am London time (6am for me), she hosts an Instagram Live called Elevensies, where followers have a cup of tea and chat with Sarah on all things worth celebrating. It’s intent is to be a comfort, and that’s precisely what it’s been for me, just sitting at my desk, having a giant iced coffee and listening to some of the most genuine people on earth celebrate everything from job interviews to not burning their toast. Because that’s the spectrum these days, friends: it all counts.

Dan Pelosi’s recipes.

Dan Pelosi aka @grossypelosi is a delightful human being who shares delicious, highly do-able recipes and also happens to live two blocks from my front door. (I’ve deduced this because I know we both live in Bed Stuy and frequent the same establishments, I’m not a fucking stalker.) I love how his recipes are, for lack of a better way to put it, real food. This is the stuff you wish you were whipping together for dinner every night, only Dan really does it. He feeds his household of roommates and honestly if anyone’s lease is up soon I will pay top dollar. Look to any of his sauce/dressing recipes for new mainstay additions to your repertoire. Also, make his “Any Fruit Crisp” this weekend. Just trust me.

Chevin Dash’s comedic stylings.

I have zero interest in TikTok, but if I ever get it, Chevin Dash shall be my reasoning. This woman is HILARIOUS and is also HILARIOUS IN VOLUME. She literally posts some of the most cackle-worthy videos you’ve every seen, and she does this EVERY DAY. I have very rarely seen such a wealth of inspiration, motivation, and get-it-done in my life, but she is working hard to make you laugh, and you need to appreciate the gift she’s giving you.

Claire Burns’ haunted hallway painting.

Claire Burns is the only person on this list I know personally, and her fucking lobby is haunted. For the last several months, there has been, without explanation, a FUCKING CLOWN PAINTING sitting on a ledge in her lobby for no goddamned reason other than to terrorize my dreams. There have been other objects that have joined it, things have disappeared, returned, risen from the dead, I don’t fucking know but the saga runs DEEP. Most recently, the clown painting has gone away, presumably back to hell where it belongs, but something tells me this story isn’t over…

The Try Channel.

These are my Irish people. This conglomerate of funny humans literally just create videos of Irish people trying things. Foods of the world, drinks of the devil, you name it, they’ll try it. I am endlessly entertained by how revolting they all seem to find American products. It really makes me want to travel to Ireland, go to the most basic grocery store I can find, and really get to the bottom of the differences between our two nations. This crew also did an incredible 3-hour livestream wherein they raised about $20K for Black Lives Matter, making their very dedicated audience laugh the entire time. Love these guys.

Tieghan Gerard’s recipes.

You might know her better as Half Baked Harvest. I know her as the person whose website I visit every Friday morning before I go to the grocery store. Tieghan’s recipes are not for the faint of kitchen, she uses edible flowers and shit, but more than anything, they have amazing flavor. She’s really outstanding at creating deliciousness, especially if you’re in the market for a recipe you want to make for yourself as a challenge or a treat. Cooking is entertainment for me, and without Half Baked Harvest I’d have been pretty damned bored since March.

And you? What content has kept you balancing on the edge of a knife in 2020? Now is not the time to keep our comforts to ourselves, especially not when they’re on the internet. Hang in there everybody.

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Shani Silver is a humor essayist and podcaster based in Brooklyn who writes on Medium, a lot.

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NPR once called me a humor essayist, let’s go with that. Host of A Single Serving Podcast. shanisilver[at]gmail

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