Spring is here in the Northern Hemisphere, but in most of the world, people aren’t enjoying the warm weather because we’re all under quarantine. COVID-19, also known as the coronavirus, has replaced all of our outdoor spring activities with indoor ones as we try to slow the spread of the virus and flatten the curve so the number of people infected doesn’t overwhelm available medical services.
Of course, for a lot of the country, that also means we’re going stir crazy. People haven’t left their house for days or weeks, celebrities are trading banana bread for romaine lettuce through social media — from a distance of six feet, of course — and we’re left to find ways to keep ourselves entertained while we try to stay healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19. Thankfully, we have the internet and the ability to stay connected even when we can’t leave the house. Here are some virtual hangouts that you might want to try to help you stay connected while you’re quarantine over the next few weeks.
1. Virtual Happy Hour
Just because you can’t go to the bar doesn’t mean you should cancel all your night’s out with your friends. Instead, plan a night in — a virtual happy hour. Mix up some drinks, set up your laptop and Zoom-call with all your friends. You can have just as much fun drinking at home as you can at the bar, and you don’t have to worry about calling an Uber or having a designated driver at the end of the night.
Just make sure you’ve got your Zoom call set to private to prevent uninvited guests from ruining your good time. These Zoom-bombers, as they’ve been dubbed, have taken to invading public Zoom calls and spamming them with offensive or pornographic imagery.
2. Virtual Dance Classes
Have you always wanted to learn how to dance, but never had the time? Maybe you’re really missing your weekly Zumba class and need some encouragement to stay active while you’re at home. Whatever the case, if you’re stuck in the house, why not take the time to learn to dance? There are dance schools, private instructors, and even professional dancers that are giving lessons online over Zoom, social medial and through various apps.
Some are free, while others require a subscription but if you need some motivation to start moving your body while you’re stuck in quarantine, there are plenty of options for you to choose from.
3. Virtual Therapy Sessions
While staying healthy is important when we’re contending with a global pandemic, it isn’t the only thing that you should be worrying about. We need to take care of our mental health too, especially in these uncertain and downright scary times. It’s easy to get overwhelmed and if your normal response to overwhelming situations is to head to your therapist, you might find that you can’t get an appointment.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to seek it out. There are a number of virtual therapy resources that you can utilize to help you deal with these crazy times. Some are free, others might require you to pay out of pocket, and some might work with your insurance.
4. Virtual Workouts
Dance isn’t the only thing that can get you moving while we’re all stuck at home during the quarantine. Fitness professionals from nearly every industry are making apps, videos and even Zoom calls available to keep people moving during our extended involuntary vacation. Many apps that were normally pay-to-play are offering extended free trials, and others are using social media to share daily workouts for people to try.
Obstacle course race company Spartan has even designed virtual obstacle course races that you can do if your events have been canceled. Instead of building obstacles, each race has a variety of different bodyweight exercises to complete in place of climbing a cargo net or working your way across monkey bars.
5. Virtual Movie Nights
Movie theaters might be closed right now, but there are so many streaming services available right now that we shouldn’t run out of things to watch for a while. Of course, sitting at home and streaming things on Netflix or Disney+ isn’t as much fun if you’re doing it all by yourself. Instead, why not schedule a virtual movie night where you and all your friends get together on Zoom or Google Hangouts and watch the same movie or show.
This can be tricky because you have to make sure that everyone is synced up perfectly, and if someone’s internet goes out you’ve got a whole different can of worms to contend with, but if you pair that with some perfectly popped microwave popcorn — movie theater butter flavor, of course — and some reasonably priced snacks, you can have the perfect virtual movie night.
Stay Connected — We Will Get Through This
For most of us, this is the first time in our lives that we’ve had to face a global pandemic, and the idea of being trapped at home is lonely and downright scary. We can control part of that, at least, by staying connected — even virtually. We will get through this.