Hey everybody, I hope this blog post finds you well! I myself am in day 8 of my self quarantine after returning from Ireland last week. Although I feel fine, I understand the importance of social distancing to protect those around me who would not be as fortunate if they were to come in contact with the virus, so please stay home! I know that it can be quite boring to be in your house all day, so I’ve compiled a list of things to do while social distancing. There are plenty of virtual museum tours to take, free book downloads, and learning sites to take advantage of. I myself am in the process of learning German, and if there’s been a certain language you’ve always wanted to learn, here’s a really amazing opportunity to do so!
As for virtual museum tours, Mental Floss has compiled a pretty decent list that takes you anywhere in the world from France to Italy to Britain to Washington D.C. If fine art or history isn’t your forte, then you can look a photographs taken in national parks and “tour” those as well! Here are some other tours, nature walks, etc…even a graffiti tour that you can spend time going through.
As for reading, the New York Public Library has over 300,000 books you can browse through electronically. All you need to do is download their app SimplyE and, voilà, you have plenty of books to choose from. You can also simply go online and look up PDFs of books…I just found one for “The Bell Jar” by Sylvia Plath since I’ve been wanting to reread that novel. Audible is also offering a ton of free ebooks for kids to listen to! Amazon just also made a bunch of kids shows and movies free to watch with no Prime account necessary!
If you’re super into film, there’s been some early releases on streaming services like Amazon Prime or Hulu from the movie theaters. I’m personally going to set aside time to watch the 2020 adaptation of “Emma”. Early releases will be a little more costly, (i.e. “Emma” is $19.99 on Prime) but that’s only because they are being released super early from theaters. For students, Prime is free for the first 6 months so you could totally go on there and watch as many movies as you want. Spotify also still has the $4.99/month deal where you get both Spotify Premium and Hulu in the same package. If you like Anime, I know there’s Crunchy Roll where you can watch a ton of shows and movies.
I don’t play a ton of video games, but I know Animal Crossing was just released for the Switch if you have a Switch. I had a tough time locating free resources for video games but I did find this website that had a bunch of options. There’s also board games or puzzles which can be a really fun time either with family or by yourself. If you have the resources to print out stuff, you can start a D&D campaign or play Magic the Gathering by printing out images of cards instead of playing with the actual ones for the time being. Now is also a great time to get into lore if there’s been a character(s) in a game you’ve been wanting to read about!
Right now is also a great time to create your own art or write your own stories! It doesn’t matter what supplies you have, be it paper or pencils or markers or crayons or dirt…now’s the time to go inwardly and learn something about yourself. Self expression is a beautiful thing and I really do believe that a slowdown was necessary for everyone to stop and do some self reflection. If you prefer to work digitally, there’s tons of free apps out there (I have Sketchbook on my Surface Pro) for making digital work. Adobe is also letting students and teachers access their services for free for the time being.
This list isn’t extensive, but I think it’s a really great starting point for people to find resources to turn to while social distancing. I cannot stress the importance of staying home enough…I know it’s hard and can be boring, but as this list proves, there’s so much you can do and there’s so much you can still learn!
We all know how comforting visual art can be in times like this, or why else would we turn to watching movies or taking virtual tours or reading books? Take this time to learn! For those who aren’t on the front lines taking care of the sick or working at essential businesses, learn anything you want, there’s nobody stopping you and you deserve to filter through as many web pages or go through as many books as possible to achieve your dreams of learning. We’re gifted with this odd thing called a brain that stores and processes all of this wonderful information and it would be a shame to just resort to fear and not take the time to sit back and learn a thing or two while stuck inside. We can get through this! I hope everybody is taking care of themselves and is staying safe…and wash your hands 🙂
* image at top is courtesy of https://www.thelist.com/194323/what-it-really-means-to-practice-social-distancing/ *