Brooklyn Basin seen from top floor of the Orion apartments. Credit: Azucena Rasilla

We’re nearly three weeks into the new year, and still not out of the COVID surge. If you haven’t already, be sure to check out our updated testing guide. You can also now order a free kit of four rapid COVID tests from the federal government. If you have questions about that rollout, you’ll find some answers here. Lastly, if you’re venturing out to local events and concerned about COVID, be aware that the virus isn’t likely to show up in a test until at least three days have passed since you were exposed.

As a reminder, we are currently only highlighting online events and outdoor activities geared to individuals or small circles of loved ones. We’re steering clear of indoor and large outdoor events until the current surge is past us. 

Email your questions and comments to, and if there’s an upcoming online event you think we should feature, fill out the form at the bottom of this page.

Lockdown Comedy

Bay Area-based comedian Lisa Geduldig didn’t anticipate that visiting her 90-year-old mom, Arline Geduldig, in Florida back in March 2020 would turn her career upside down (in a good way). When the pandemic hit, Lisa hunkered down at her mother’s home and in July 2020, Lockdown Comedy was born. On the third Thursday of every month since, Lisa and Arline have met over Zoom to host the show, which features comedians from all over the country. If you can’t watch live, you can buy a virtual ticket and Lisa will send you a link to the taping the following week. If you’re into comedy, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a better way to spend time on your couch than watching this mom-daughter comedic duo do their thing. 

Third Thursday of every month, 7 p.m., $10-20, via Zoom

Take a walk at Mountain View Cemetery

For years, Mountain View Cemetery has been a favorite of Oakland residents looking for a serene green space to run, jog, or walk their dogs. But shortly after the pandemic started, the cemetery closed to the public. Then in May of 2021, the cemetery—which, unlike many parks and trails in Oakland and around the East Bay, is privately owned—launched a pilot program reopening its doors to visitors, but only twice a week. Cemetary tours, which were previously available, are not taking place due to the current surge of COVID cases. Please read the guidelines beforehand if you want to walk, jog, or run around the cemetery.

Wednesdays and Saturdays, 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., 5000 Piedmont Ave. (Enter through the Piedmont Avenue gate only, and sign in before entering.)

Rollin’ with the Homos

Combine rollerskating with a drag show, and you are bound to have one hell of a good time. This outdoor show at the popular Brooklyn Basin is hosted by drag queens Nicki Jizz and Mama Celeste. The event is from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and the drag happens every hour. Expect plenty of good music by DJs Nate Manic and Charles Hawthorne, and performances by Polly Amber Ross, Ali Scat, and Holly Graphic. Make sure to follow the Rollin’ with the Homos crew on Facebook or Instagram to stay up-to-date with other events. 

Sunday, 3 p.m. to 6 p.m., Township Commons at Brooklyn Basin, $7 suggested donation but nobody turned away

Skate N’ Chill at Mosswood Park

The Skate N’ Chill weekly event at Mosswood Park began as a safe outdoor social gathering for rollerskaters when the pandemic started in 2020. The event went on a hiatus last summer but soon restarted in September as a monthly event at Liberation Park in East Oakland. Then, just a few days ago, the event’s organizers took to Instagram to ask their followers whether they should bring it back to Mosswood for the first time in 8 months. The answer was a resounding “yes.” Organizers are asking that attendees bring masks (which are recommended in crowded outdoor spaces) and not leave any trash behind. 

Friday, Jan. 21, 6 p.m. to 9 p.m., Mosswood Park, 3612 Webster St.

Hike through Huckleberry Botanic Regional Preserve

This is probably one of the best hikes if you want to be transported into a different world, where you’ll forget that you are in the East Bay. You’ll also get to see tons of native plants. Print a map and take the Interpretive Loop Trail (a self-guided 1.7-mile hike). As you go, check the map and see which plants and flowers you come across. As a reminder, doggies are not allowed at this park, so please leave them at home. 

Every day from 5 a.m to 10 p.m. (unless noted otherwise), 7087 Skyline Blvd., south of Elverton Drive.

Azucena Rasilla is a bilingual journalist from East Oakland reporting in Spanish and in English, and a longtime reporter on Oakland arts, culture and community. As an independent local journalist, she has reported for KQED Arts, The Bold Italic, Zora and The San Francisco Chronicle. She was a writer and social media editor for the East Bay Express, helping readers navigate Oakland’s rich artistic and creative landscapes through a wide range of innovative digital approaches.