Life in the times of the COVID-19 pandemic has not been an easy one. With the circuit breaker period in full swing until June 1, it is not unusual for boredom, cabin fever and stress to set in. Technology has played a vital part in bridging the gap left by the lack of social connection and activity, with popular apps like Zoom, TikTok and YouTube keeping us connected, entertained and informed. We’ve rounded up a selection of apps that can help make life more bearable during this limiting and rather distressing time for humanity.
While Netflix has always been the favoured video-streaming platform for serious series-bingers and movie-watchers, it’s time to take it up a notch. We get it—you’re tired of watching your favourite shows alone. With Netflix Party, you don’t have to! The extension allows different users to watch the same shows at the same time and “together”, synchronising playback and allowing people to talk via the group chat feature as they enjoy the movie. Or check out Quiz Up, a comprehensive trivia app offering a wide variety of topics ranging from general knowledge, logos, sports, movies, internet, video games and much more. Play online with friends or strangers!
Arts and culture
For those longing for a taste of arts and culture, don’t despair. Just because you’re stuck at home and cannot visit your favourite museum in person doesn’t mean that you cannot enjoy the experience of art virtually. Google Arts & Culture presents over 1,200 museum collections from all over the world, all of which you can peruse and enjoy from home. Search by museum name or by location, and get that dose of culture you’ve been missing. For opera lovers, The Metropolitan Opera offers regular free streaming of well-loved opera classics in different languages.
If you feel like the current global situation—the COVID-19 pandemic—has had a negative effect on your mental health, you are definitely not alone. The isolation from family and friends, the lack of physical contact and connection, and the general uncertainty of what is going to happen next can bring about feelings of anxiety and stress. Don’t forget to take care of your mind and emotions, too. The Calm app offers guided meditations that are designed to help you get deeper and better sleep, achieve a more peaceful mental state, and deal with negative thoughts more effectively. Or try the Happify app, which uses science-based research, activities and games to help you overcome stress and anxieties and reach a healthier place in your mind.
With all this extra time on your hands, it’s understandable that you are trying to keep occupied. It’s not a bad idea to learn some new skills in the meantime. Why not learn a second, third or fourth language? Language learning apps such as Duolingo or Babbel make it easier and more fun to do so, and you can do it from anywhere. For professional and personal development, head over to Udemy, which offers nearly 100,000 individual courses—ranging from photography to finance, health and beauty and web development—for very reasonable prices. Why not come out of the circuit breaker period with a new skill?
As easy as it might be to scroll endlessly through social media or fall into a trance-like state in front of the television, there are other things you can do with your time while you are stuck at home. Thanks to the plethora of apps and services available, there are options to help you achieve and maintain a better quality of life, COVID-19 be damned.