Medley 201: COVID-19, and how to have fun the next few weeks

This is the Monday Medley, a newsletter that goes out, you guessed it, every Monday. I republish it here for sharing and referencing, but if you'd like to sign up you can do so right here:

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.

Happy Monday!

First some personal news... I got another puppy! His name is Tahoe and he's a 9 week old Shichonpoo (Shi-tzu + poodle + bichon). Here's his instagram.

I'll be honest with you. I read basically nothing except COVID-19 stuff in the last week. It's completely consumed my mind, my attention, and the conversations I have with everyone online or in person.

So, this Medley will be a little different. I think we're all going to be stuck largely inside for the next couple months at least, so I thought it'd be fun to do a round up of things for you to check out in that time. Along with a few interesting COVID-19 things, of course.

Aside from that, I promise to do my best to get back to reading a variety of things for next week. I'm getting kinda tired of the doom and gloom, it's time to just bunker down, do good work, and ride this thing out.

The World of Sponsorship

This Medley is brought to you by Perfect Keto! We really couldn't have timed this better, since PK is one of my favorite companies for stockpiling quarantine supplies from. Their nut butters in particular are phenomenal, and super calorie dense giving you a good volume to calorie ratio. Definitely try the Chocolate Hazlenut, that's my favorite. And remember they're giving Medley readers 20% off their first purchase with the code "MEDLEY."

The World of COVID-19

Alright so like I said, basically everything I read this week was COVID-19 related. But here were a couple choice reads.

βœ… First up, I made a short shopping list for prepping supplies in case you haven't stocked up already. No guns and ammo, just some basic things to make sure you're stocked up on. Though I'm not saying home defense is a bad idea...

πŸ’‘ Nassim Taleb wrote a short piece on why you're harming others by not overreacting. I'm glad people are finally taking the risks seriously, I just hope it's not too late to prevent a serious strain on the US medical system.

πŸ™…β€β™‚οΈ And this is probably the most popular piece going around right now, explaining the value of social distancing and why we need to "act now." It's quite good, and constantly being updated.

The World of Quarantine Recommendations

Alright, now on to the fun part. What are some strong recommendations for things to check out if you're gonna be stuck at home the next 2+ months.

Non-Fiction Books

There are so many books I could recommend, I'll try to stick to ones that are philosophically relevant here.

🦒 Antifragile and Black Swan: I couldn't not recommend these, they're essential for understanding why some people saw this coming way earlier while others were saying it was "just the flu."

πŸ‡ΊπŸ‡Έ The Sovereign Individual: A fantastic book on the future of governance, economics, and individual liberty. Possibly being accelerated by how we're having to adapt to a remote-work world.

β›΄ Endurance: If you think being stuck at home for two months is bad, try being stuck in Antarctica for two years.

πŸ’£ Hiroshima Diary: A first-person account of being in Hiroshima from the moment the bombs fell. Again, glad we're not in quite this bad of a situation.

πŸ“ˆ How to Lie with Statistics: There's going to be a lot of bad data coming out the next few months. Try not to be fooled by it.

🚨 Emergency: You probably should have read this a couple months ago, but this is the second best time!

πŸ’ͺ The 4-Hour Body: You can spend the next couple months getting in the best, or worst, shape of your life. This is the book that first got me in the habit of exercising and changing my body.

Fiction Books

🌎 The Three Body Problem: This series is phenomenal, I was going to bed earlier just so I could read it more. And it covers some similar societal challenges to ones we're seeing now reacting to the virus.

πŸš€ The Martian: Way better than the movie, and similar to Endurance, a reminder it could be worse!

🀑 Infinite Jest: Okay not that relevant to the topic at hand, but this is your best chance to actually get through this damn book.

πŸ˜ƒ Watchmen: Such an incredible semi-dystopian book, and much more layered and nuanced than the movie was.

Video Games

☒️ Fallout 3 & New Vegas: Two phenomenal FPS RPGs that take place in a post-nuclear war America. Again, it could be worse!

πŸ’‰ The Bioshock Collection: Medical experimentation leads to some... interesting outcomes. Incredible plots (at least in 1 & 3) and a unique, lightly terrifying playstyle.

🐎 Red Dead Redemption 2: If society falls apart you might be really happy you learned how to ride a horse and skin a deer.

😷 Plague Inc: It's a really fun mobile game and very on-brand. I managed to infect 3 billion people before displaying symptoms.


πŸ€” Primer: Perfect because you can watch this movie over, and over, and over again trying to figure out what the hell happened.

πŸš— Mad Max: Fury Road: We're not there yet, but a good 45 minute car chase never hurt.


πŸ‘©β€βš•οΈ Pandemic: A super fun and very challenging 2-4 player cooperative board game where you try to defeat a global pandemic.

πŸ•΅οΈβ€β™‚οΈ Secret Hitler: Kill Hitler before he takes over the government, a great team deceit game.

🐺 One Night Ultimate Werewolf: Also a great deceit game and I think you could tweak it to play over Skype or Zoom.


🍳 Cooking: If you're not going out to eat, now is a great time to start getting more into cooking. I've been working through some Masterclass videos and really enjoying them.

🌱 House Plants: You'll have to brave the outdoors to get them, but once you do you're going to be a lot less likely to kill them now that you're not traveling. The Planta app helps a lot.

🍷 Wine: Not great for the immune system, but if you've been meaning to do some more tasting and experimenting this is a great time. Especially if you can find a local wine bar to make some deliveries and recommendations.

Alright, that's all for now. I might expand this and publish it on the blog later this week.

End Note

As always, if you're enjoying the Medley, I'd love it if you shared it with a friend or two. You can send them here to sign up. I try to make it one of the best emails you get each week, and I hope you're enjoying it.

If you want to support the Medley and my other writing, there are many ways you can do that here.

And should you come across anything interesting this week, send it my way! I love finding new things to read through members of this newsletter.

Have a great week,

P.S. Interested in sponsoring The Medley? Reply to this email and let me know.

Did You Enjoy This?

Then consider joining the 30,000 other people getting the Monday Medley newsletter. It's a collection of fascinating finds from my week, usually about psychology, technology, health, philosophy, and whatever else catches my interest. I also include new articles and book notes.

Thank you! Your submission has been received!
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.