The main event this week is COVID-19, which has really outshone all other cultural happenings. For those of us who are able to self-isolate and socially distance, it means spending a lot of time at home. While it is an absolute privilege to worry about boredom in times like these, the days can stretch out and begin to feel long and lonely ...
Free streaming services
For those who don’t subscribe to online streaming subscriptions or are looking for something new, check out Kanopy. It is 100 per cent free, and all you need to gain access is a library card. Kanopy is chock-full of old classics and new documentaries and indie favourites for when you want your screen time to make you smarter. If you really want to get classy with your streaming service game, sign up for the Criterion Collection and get a free two-week trial. By the time the pandemic is over and we are allowed to hang out IRL again, you can be an irritatingly/enviably knowledgeable film buff.
Take an online tour of a museum or gallery
Does this sound like a boring, nerdy activity you would never do under regular circumstances? Yes, most likely! Are these regular circumstances? No, absolutely not! So buckle up and take a virtual tour of Seoul’s National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art or the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, from the comfort (confinement) of your own home.
Libraries and bookstores may be closed at the moment, but there are many excellent sites offering PDFs of books. Open Library offers everything from Plato to Roald Dahl and has an interface that is reminiscent of how Netflix might look if it was around in the late ’90s. You don’t need to have a tablet, Kindle or any apps to borrow and read books. A laptop or phone does the trick.
If you are able to, just stay home! Take this as an opportunity to rest or binge-watch TV or clean out your closet or do whatever makes you feel okay in this moment – while ALSO potentially saving lives, or at the very least taking some strain off of our already-overburdened healthcare workers. Many folks aren’t able to stay home for numerous reasons, including not having a home to stay in, so do what you can to protect those who are more vulnerable and/or unable to self-isolate and socially distance.
Published in Volume 74, Number 22 of The Uniter (March 19, 2020)