Cooking, fitness, and solidarity: What to do in lockdown

During this state of emergency and home-confinement orders, you can learn to cook world-class meals, visit the Dalí Museum, and help your neighbours

Two neighbours chatting in an apartment building in Sabadell where the community have started an initiative to buy shopping for vulnerable neighbours (by Norma Vidal)
Two neighbours chatting in an apartment building in Sabadell where the community have started an initiative to buy shopping for vulnerable neighbours (by Norma Vidal) / ACN

ACN | Barcelona

April 1, 2020 02:14 PM

Catalonia, like much of the rest of the world, is in lockdown to combat the spread of the covid-19 coronavirus. Cultural activities have been cancelled, as all of society is confined to their homes when they’re not out working, if they work in essential services, only. 

Every month, Catalan News normally offers readers a selection of festivals, concerts, exhibitions, and more taking place around Catalonia. More than likely, everyone in the country will still be stuck at home for the entirety of April, so this month’s ‘What to do’ is taking a different approach: What to do in confinement in April. 

Balcony fitness

In these days of extremely restricted movement, most of the walking people are able to do is limited to going to the shops, health centers, or taking your pet out for a walk, although not all pets count as legitimate reasons to leave your home. For this reason it’s hugely important to set up some sort of home exercise routine

Calisthenics is a form of exercise that requires minimal equipment, making it perfect to try out at home. Yoga too is a brilliant way of loosening your muscles, and is also a fantastic way to get some movement in your body while at home. 

However if you’re unsure where to start and if you live in Barcelona, the city are promoting a massive city-wide balcony fitness session on April 12. Local television station Betevé will also broadcast home exercise sessions that you can follow along with. 

Volunteer and help your community

Catalonia and its people have a great history of solidarity. In times of crisis like this, people turn up to help one another and look after the most vulnerable in society. Once again, we’re in a situation where we need to look out for each other. 

If you’re healthy enough, consider writing a note or letter to any of your neighbours who you think may appreciate or need your help with anything. Acts of kindness as simple as picking up an elderly neighbour’s shopping, or going to the pharmacy for them can be a massive help.

Even checking in on those who live near you for a short conversation and asking how they are doing, of course with the appropriate distance between one another, can offer a social connection that everybody could do with, while also helping stave off loneliness, which elderly people are especially susceptible to. 

Needless to say, if you’re feeling symptoms, hold off on helping others for a couple of weeks, given how highly contagious covid-19 is. 

If you’re looking to volunteer in projects organized by other groups, CoronavirusMakers, who make and disinfect personal protective gear may be of interest to you, or else the volunteer network application Voluncloud. Both operate across Spain. 

Concerts at home

Musicians are leading the way in offering entertainment during these quarantine days. The ‘Cuarentena Fest’ have moved from their first series of concerts featuring bands mostly from Catalonia and Spain, to now showcasing South American groups, and will continue to stream the gigs online for free.

Catalan pop star Ramon Mirabet is also performing concerts most evenings, streaming online. 

Museum Quiz at Home

Various museums in Catalonia have come together to create fun quizzes for you to put your knowledge to the test. Entities such as the Natural Science Museum, the Maritime Museum, the Tarragona Modern Art Museum are organizing a different quiz each evening

From Monday-Friday, a family version of the game takes place from 6pm onward, while Saturdays at the same time are for adults. Perfect for teams of 2-5 people. 

Cook Easter treats at home

Holidays are always accompanied by a seasonal delicacy, and Easter is of course no exception. While bakeries are still open, as one of the services considered essential by the Spanish government, you can still buy bread, bunyols, and Mones de Pasqua, but it could also be fun to make some of them at home yourself. 

Bunyols are a popular treat during Lent, the period before Easter, and they can be thought of as something similar to small doughnut balls. There are plenty of recipes available online, if you google something along the lines of ‘how to make bunyols.’ If you’re ambitious and skilled enough, you could try your hand at making a mona de pascua, but for those of us less experienced, perhaps bunyols would be a better starting off point. 

As a quick mini-guide to how to cook bunyols, boil milk in a saucepan with sugar, butter, salt, and lemon zest. When mixed, add flour until the dough comes together and doesn’t stick to the pan, then remove from the heat and beat in eggs. Let the dough rest for at least half an hour, before simply frying small balls of the dough with a diameter of around 3cm. Check online for exact quantities of ingredients, and bon appetit! 

World-class cooking lessons

If you understand Spanish, now’s your chance to get some free cooking lessons from one of the world’s finest chefs - Ferran Adrià. Every morning from 11.30, he teaches viewers how to make impressive and healthy dishes at home through uploading videos to his Twitter account. 

What’s more, at the beginning of the week he also publishes the menu for the week, so you can buy the ingredients in advance if you wish to follow along and make world-class meals. 

Virtually visit museums 

With museums shut around the country, many have opened up online portals to visit their spaces from the comfort of your own home. The Dalí Museum in Figueres, northern Catalonia, is one of the latest to open up a fascinating web-tour of its premises using a pioneering technology to offer an experience similar to Google Street View, but with much more added information. 

As well as that, various other museums from around Catalonia are offering similar online tours, giving you the chance to take in some culture at a time it can be very difficult to find, and also very needed. 

Visit the Catalan parliament 

In normal times, one can get guided tours of the Catalan parliament, but as we are all now confined to our homes, things like that are a little more complicated. However, the guides that give the tours of the iconic public building are still doing their job, but now to virtual visitors rather than in-person ones.

You’ll still have to book your spot, and tour spots are limited even if it is all online. Some of the guided tours are also done in English too.