Hello, my friends! I hope you are all keeping well, and that if you are stuck at home, that you are not going completely mad and have plenty of toilet paper (what is even with the toilet paper hoarding? Myself, I hoard chocolate. And, apparently, garlic. But that is another story.).
I don’t think anyone needs to read any more articles about Coronavirus (though if you do, this one is pretty good). But as someone who is now practicing social distancing, I thought it might be worth sharing some of the many, many links I’ve seen go past on my social media of things to do if you are stuck at home. I mean, beyond the obvious of reading, cooking, sleeping, and, of course blogging. I’m sharing these as much for myself as for you – I don’t want to lose track of them. And if I see anything else good go by, I’ll add to it.
Please do look after yourselves and each other. Check in with friends and family, especially those who live alone, by phone or by Skype – I’m planning some Skype gatherings with friends, and we are also thinking of going to some of these exhibitions and other bits and pieces together. Do your best to eat properly and get some exercise and see some sunshine, as far as this is possible. If you can afford it, donate to charities that provide material aid – a lot of people, particularly casuals, are without income at the moment. If you are someone who can leave the house, do some shopping for someone who can’t. This is a time to really practice being a community, because a lot of people are vulnerable and scared right now.
And look, you know all of that already. Let’s get on with the fun stuff, eh?
Edited: Note that I’m updating this every so often, as I see or am sent more links.
Ways to leave the house while you are at home
Music and Dance
- Melbourne Digital Concert Hall – support local artists by attending livestreamed recitals. Profits from ticket sales will go directly to the artists – this is a fantastic initiative, because a lot of artists are dependent on live gigs for income, and are now finding themselves without a lifelihood.
- Go to a Broadway show – some of these are available to stream or on YouTube, others are on DVD, but either way, this is an excellent list of musicals to watch.
- Attend the Berlin Philharmonic (Australians will have to get up early for these, as they are being livestreamed in the European evening.)
- Attend the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra‘s weekly livestreamed performances.
- Go to the opera! This article has links to a variety of top opera companies which are livestreaming past productions or which are making their archives available to view. In particular, the Met Opera is launching nightly Met Opera Streams.
- I’m also planning to attend the Social Distancing Festival.
- Here is another list of livestreamed concerts.
- Go to the ballet at Sadlers Wells! Added 25/3/20
- Or go to the Opéra de Paris! Added 27/3/20
- TodayTix has started the Intermission Mission, where Broadway performers are bringing you music theatre from their living rooms in support of the Actors Fund. Added 27/3/20
- The Flinders Quartet is doing a weekly Friday with Flinders video, and you can sign up here. Added 30/3/20
- Eurovision home concerts! I am SO excited about this! The first of these will be on April 3. Added 30/3/20
Art Galleries and Museums
- Visit one of the many Art Galleries with online exhibitions through Google Arts and Culture.
- Or try a museum. How does the Louvre sound? And here are some other immersive museum experiences.
- Ooh! Turns out that the Musée de la Musique in Paris has virtual tours of their collections, which includes samples of music for many of their instruments – I’ve been to this museum, and the experience of wandering through listening to music is wonderful – I highly recommend this virtual tour. (Descriptions are in French, but if all you want is beautiful musical instruments and classical music, you will be fine)
- Or if you want a whole different view of museums, here’s a rabbit hole for you – the Great Museum Dance Off. There are some true gems on that blog.
Theatre, Films and Books
- Visit the Virtual Cinémathèque, presented by ACMI and Melbourne Cinémathèque for a weekly movie night.
- OzFlix is trying to get streaming happening for every Australian film if you want some local culture.
- Neil Gaiman has a bunch of cool free stuff on his website, including some fun things for younger readers.
- Listen to a Story – Amazon has made their Audible collection free until schools (presumably in the US) open.
- Watch some Shakespeare from The Globe Theatre
- The New Decameron Project – science fiction and fantasy authors are posting new stories during this time of plague. You can read the stories for free, or support authors plus a refugee clinic in Rome via Patreon. Added 25/3/20
- Sir Patrick Stewart is reading a Shakespeare Sonnet every day on Twitter. You can find him on Twitter here, or look for the #ASonnetADay hashtag. Added 25/3/20
- London’s National Theatre now has an online broadcast every Thursday. Added 30/3/20
- Cosmic Shambles is having a Stay at Home Festival – this is a comedy show with episodes focusing on books, science and music. Added 30/3/20
Science and the environment
- Take an Electronic Field Trip to a national park! (And here are some more.)
- Contribute to science by spotting seals, monitoring sea bird populations, classifying mammals, and fighting antibiotic resistance at Zooniverse. Lots of amazing citizen science projects you can contribute to from your couch!
- Learn Anatomy… with Outlander. This made me laugh so much…
- Help Birdlife Australia track migration patterns of birds in Australia.
- Visit the Wheeler Centre and hear Christiana Figueres and Ross Garnaut talk about Climate Solutions Now.
- Visit Australia’s Natural History collections.
- Go to the zoo! The Melbourne Zoo has set up livestreams in several of their enclosures.
- … or travel further afield and visit NASA’s gallery of images and videos, all of which are now freely available to view.
- A large number of academic publishers are now offering free access to their resources through Muse.
- Futurelearn has a lot of online courses, as do OpenCulture and Coursera.
- If your kids are home from school, here is a list of free educational websites you or they might want to explore.
- NASA also has some STEM activities for kids on their website.
- Digital cooking classes for kids! Added 25/3/20
- Digital Children’s books in online archives. Added 25/3/20
- Very much NOT a free resource, but the Book Depository has recommendations for books for various ages for those who are homeschooling. Added 27/3/20
Socialising & Spirituality
- Netflix Party lets you sync up your Netflix watching with friends, so that you can have a viewing party together.
- Couch choir! Their first event is over, but I think there will be more.
- A friend of mine made this lovely prayer resource for people who can’t get to church due to quarantine or social distancing.
- Tips from a cloistered nun on coping with self-isolation. (You don’t need to be religious to find some of these useful!)
- I’ve used Discord to set up a virtual living room for my friends, and you might want to consider doing something similar – it took me just a few minutes to set up and to invite people, and now I have friends in multiple time zones dropping in when they are bored or the toddler is napping, or they just feel like socialising, and it’s low-key and lovely. Slack and Teams are other apps that allow you to do similar things… they don’t just have to be for work! Added 25/3/20
- I’m also using Zoom to do tabletop readings of Shakespeare plays (something my circle of friends used to do in real life before it all got too tricky). You can find scripts here. The trick is dividing up parts for a small group when a play has a lot of parts, so that nobody ends up talking to themselves (though this can be mitigated with hats and/or silly voices). But if Shakespeare isn’t your thing, what about virtual Storytime with picture books, or a virtual soirée where people take it in turns to sing, or read short stories, or recite poetry, or juggle, or whatever? Or keep it simple and just have a dinner party. You can use Zoom for free for 40 minutes without a subscription – Skype is free and unlimited, I believe, but I’m finding Zoom works better with our terrible NBN. Added 25/3/20
- Here’s a round up from a romance review blog that I’m very fond of with fitness options for when you are stuck at home. It includes everything from yoga to push ups to dancing, and also links to a collection of truly evil romance-novel-inspired workouts.
- My talented friend Lyndall is doing online warm-ups daily on her YouTube channel (I’ve linked to the first of them – you can subscribe to the channel on YouTube). Added 25/3/20
- Barre classes at home! Only my fellow Australians will understand why I laughed and laughed and laughed when I saw this one… Added 27/3/20 – 3am tomorrow for us, so hopefully they will record it.
- KittenCam at a cat cafe. Need I say more? OK, I’ll say more. Here’s another one. And another. And another.
- Look for a ghost on a haunted house cam. Leprechauns also available.
- Watch the Northern Lights
- Twitter Model Train Show this weekend.
Keep well and keep safe!