Our “new normal” is anything but, however, there are plenty of ways to participate in life without ever leaving the safety of your home. You can visit places that aren’t even open during the pandemic, attend events taking place near and far, learn something new (and check it off your bucket list) or just enjoy a little movie binging.
Virtual Field Trips
Thanks to the internet, the world is at our fingertips and there are lots of places to go. Take Mars for example. Access Mars is a collaborative experiment between Google and NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory that takes you on an interplanetary spin starting on Earth in 2011 and ending up on Mars with NASA’s Curiosity rover traversing the planet’s surface.
Try a little aquarium time on any of the eight webcams at the Georgia Aquarium in Atlanta. Start with the Indo-Pacific Barrier Reef that is teeming with bright-colored fish peacefully going about their daily routine. Next, watch amazing jellyfish undulating through the water (great for relaxing!), beluga whales gracefully swimming through canyons, or for maximum fun, spend time with resident Southern Sea Otters, who like all otters, never fail to entertain. Take a break and dive in!
A visit to the Great Wall is still possible with The China Guide which offers a virtual tour that lets you zoom in and out, pan 360 degrees, and see different sections of the Great Wall in different seasons.
More ideas and links are available for virtual expeditions around the country and the world from Google virtual field trips.
Americans are nothing if not inventive, so it’s no wonder creative geniuses are coming up with ways to keep fellow citizens calm, entertained and even happy. One great example is virtual concerts. From the Metropolitan Opera to Shut Up and Sing to Willie Nelson check out the list from National Public Radio.
If you don’t see your favorite musicians on the list, worry not. Yahoo Entertainment has a list of some greats who are live streaming from their homes for the other music lovers like themselves. Names include John Legend, Keith Urban, Yo-Yo Ma, and many, many more. Check it out at “All the Free Livestream Concerts to Watch While Stuck at Home — John Legend, Pink, Keith Urban & More.”
Good sources for local virtual events are National Public Radio stations like WBUR in Boston which has posted an online rundown of virtual events going on locally, but accessible by anyone with a computer. Viewers can take classes, tours, and webinars, and even stream theater productions.
Movies for free and for purchase
PBS has long been the go-to-network for exceptional shows and documentaries, and thanks to their generosity, the public can stream a variety of both now. Shows like “Finding Your Roots” and “Craft in America” and documentaries including Ken Burns’ “Baseball” and “Circus” are on tap, as well as select episodes of “Great Performances” and “Live from Lincoln Center.” Check local PBS stations for streaming and regular programming available.
With the closing of movie theaters nationwide, Hollywood will be offering new movies as Video On Demand. Some movies already in theaters and others newly released will be among the offerings, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
For those on a budget and/or new to the world of streaming, the Chicago Tribune article, “Cooped up, bored and on a budget? Here’s how to stream TV without paying a dime,” walks through the process and offers a range of low-cost subscription services for a broad range of movie genres and free-trial services available now.
For those ready to commit to a streaming service, PC Magazine compares a seemingly endless list of providers in the article “The Best Video Streaming Services for 2020.” The article looks at everything from rankings to costs to pros and cons.
It is a stressful time for all but it’s important to take a break from the news and check out all that technology can bring directly to you.
Call (240) 455-4582 if you have any questions or would like to schedule a virtual tour today.