Quarantine Kit: How Common Refuses To Miss A Beat During Lockdown

“Quarantine Kit” features interviews with our favorite actors, musicians, chefs, athletes, and artists about their personal methods for killing time, staying fit, and keeping social distance during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Common is living like seven lifetimes all at once. Dude is a Grammy-winning rapper, a legit movie star, and a serious philanthropist. So it’s no surprise that being locked down hasn’t stopped the multi-hyphenate from being productive. For him, that conversation always encompasses his own mental health and wellbeing.

“I’ve been trying to find the peace in all of this,” Common said to us over the phone last week. “The best thing to do for our fellow people is to stay home right now, but that doesn’t mean we just have to shelter and sit down. I am not zen every moment these days, but my overall energy is that elements of this can be positive. There is an opportunity to come out of this for us to be better than before — as individuals and collectively as humans.”

STAYING SKILLED: Basketball (buy online here)


I like all the great tools we have to stay connected, but I don’t want to spend my entire day staring at a screen or surfing the internet. When I feel like I’ve been too still for too long I’ll grab a basketball and go dribble out around the house. Being outside shooting some hoops just makes me feel normal, and it’s important to spend time in the real world however you can during these times.

GETTING ROMANTIC: Bumble (info here)

These days offer a time to be creative with our minds and our hearts, finding ways to connect. I want people to see that it is still possible to have a true connection with someone even while we are stuck in different places. You can still connect with new people and grow. Whether that’s in terms of a friendship or a romance.

There’s something special about that nervous excitement that you get when you’re going on a date with someone you’re excited about. That doesn’t have to go away during this time. Get on the app, and have a virtual date — something you get dressed up for. I went on one [for Bumble as part of a brand sponsorship], and I really enjoyed that process of picking out an outfit and even putting on some cologne.

I think for a woman, it’s also a safe way to start out getting to know someone new. And you can still feel someone’s energy through the screen and in how they hold themselves. The conversation can still flow. You can even find somewhere that you can both order food from and watch a movie at the same time. On my date, I watched Queen Sono on Netflix, which was a show that my date enjoyed, and we got to talk about it after. I’ll definitely be doing that again. And for some people — because of long distances and other challenges — doing a virtual date may become a new normal.

KEEPING TUNED IN: Questlove (check his Instagram here)

I’ve been loving the sets that he’s doing live online during this time. Not only does Quest play amazing music, but he also gives lessons and history on the music as he plays it. The man knows what he’s talking about. He’s a walking music library.

I know that he’s bringing a lot of joy to people right now, myself included.

BEING HEALTHY: Yoga Exercise Ball (buy online here)


My entire life I’ve believed in working out and having a clean diet. So now I feel like has been the time to share more of that journey, because I want to share the good energy that it has given me. I took a few days off when this first started but now I’ve been getting back into training regularly with what I have at home.

I just put in an order for a few more things, but I’ve been doing just fine with an exercise ball, resistance bands, and jump rope. I think you can accomplish a lot with bodyweight training alone. The other day I was doing crunches using a few books that I had kicking around for weights.

FEELING NOSTALGIC: Midnight Cowboy (rent online here)

United Artists

During the beginning of all of this I wasn’t watching anything. I decided to take some time off. But once I had about a week without, I decided to start pulling out a few classic movies that I love. I have no problem seeing this movie multiple times, even though it may have some pain and some hurt in it. There are just amazing performances, particularly from Dustin Hoffman.

Not only do I enjoy watching it, but it just inspires me with how good certain acting performances can be. I love to see actors doing their thing and being great. There’s just something dope about this movie any night.

STAYING SPIRITUAL: A New Earth: Awakening to Your Life’s Purpose (buy online here)

Courtesy of Charles Thorp

There is something to be said for taking that time that you would usually use just to stay busy, or keep busy, and using it to grow your soul. I don’t think that’s wasted time. In that pursuit, I read a lot of books on spirituality. This is one of my favorites. I’ve also been reading Ask And It Is Given. Both books that tackle the idea of building a stronger relationship with God and being a better leader in our homes.

This pick is about not letting religion separate or confine us, but instead recognizing the power that we have as human beings. That’s what’s going to get us through this.