In earlier times of national crisis, you may have had books or television to soothe and distract you. But one obvious way our current shelter-in-place, pandemic crisis differs from those in other eras is how wildly connected we already were in virtual space before all this began.

People are hosting happy hours with friends using teleconference software like Zoom. And lots and lots of performers of all stripes have been taking their performances online, often in their living rooms, and accepting tips through Venmo and Paypal.

Dragula Season 2 winner Biqtch Puddin did a "digital drag show" on Twitch last week that is getting repeated this coming Friday, March 27, at 5 p.m. PT on Twitch (she's a gaymer, so...). $10 donations are requested, but the last show had a ton of great talent including

Here in San Francisco, the great Miss Rahni did a show for Venmo tips in her living room over the weekend. And tonight (Monday, 10 p.m. PT), "Glama's Online Pillows" is happening on Twitch, featuring Rahni, Cash Monet, God's Little Princess, Cyanide, with special guests Glamamore and Max Jqh. (Cash Monet, a friend of the just-voted-off Rock M. Sakura from Rupaul's Drag Race, was quoted today in a GQ piece about the drag-queens-home-performance phenomenon, and how it creates one particularly dicey issue: copyrighted music, which may explain the Twitch thing. "The thing about streaming—and this really falls into the category of how drag works in bars—is that you can't do copyrighted music on Instagram or YouTube."

Rupaul's Drag Race Season 11 queen Nina West says she's "unemployed" now for all intents and purposes. But she's already launched "Storytime with Nina West" on Instagram — and as part of a "digital drag fest" with other Rupaul queens, she's doing a with kids in mind that launches March 31. (The fest, called PEG Presents Digital Drag Fest, kicks off Friday and is selling actual digital tickets — with Alaska Thunderfuck's shows already sold out.)

In upstate New York, the great Justin Vivian Bond gave a live concert on Instagram on Friday afternoon from her living room in the character of "Your Aunty Glam, the Housebound Chanteuse de la Plague!" And if you missed it, too bad! Because, as she writes in a post, "We had some technical glitches and lost most of the footage." There will be another show on Thursday at 5 p.m. ET @

And Broadway performers have been doing shows like this, in support of the great Actors Fund (which distributes cash grants to actors during times of struggle), all week long on YouTube. The series is called #StarsIntheHouse, it's hosted by musical maven Seth Rudetsky, and tonight's show features the great Audra McDonald (in a hoodie) and her onetime Ragtime co-star Brian Stokes Mitchell, who now heads the board of the Actors Fund.

So even though no one is making any money and Broadway is shut down for the foreseeable future, everyone's trying to make the best and do what they can for those who are truly struggling.

There will be more where all of this came from! So stay home! Watch all this amazing stuff, in real time, and give back to these performers as much as you can.

Believe in humanity. We will all get through this.

Photo: CashMonet/Instagram