Social Distance Winter November 18, 2020 by Nick Witkowski
Ways to see your friends during the winter during COVID-19.
Brrrr. It’s getting rather cold and fast as we quickly approach the winter months that usually have the frostbite nipping at your nose! Staying indoors in the winter is usually a given, but with the happiest of holidays rolling around, many hosts or attend indoor gatherings with friends and family to celebrate together. Unfortunately, COVID-19 has been putting a real burden on these holiday hopes. Although cases are creeping up again and indoor celebrations become more dangerous, you can still spread this annual holiday cheer with everyone! Here are some ways we can still see the people we care most about while maintaining social distancing, and keeping these uncertain times fresh and fun for all! As many know; FaceTime is one of the best ways to stay connected with your friends. While FaceTime does offer the luxury of being face to face with someone and talking about whatever you want to, you may think to yourself… what else can we do? ugh, sometimes this gets so repetitive. Well, it’s your lucky day! If you want to do more or have friends that own Androids and can’t use FaceTime, use Houseparty! Houseparty is one of the best ways to connect with friends. Within the app, you can have up to eight people in a room, while also allowing you to stay connected face to face with your group. My favorite feature about this app is that it also allows you to play LIVE games with your friends; With games like Heads Up!, Quick Draw, UNO, Trivia, and even more, you and your group can spend endless hours laughing, talking, and screaming at the fun that Houseparty offers! But wait, what about movies? Movies and TV shows are some of the most popular ways that people connect. Lucky for us, that doesn’t have to stop either especially with the situations surrounding our world right now, and that’s all thanks to Teleparty! Teleparty is a chrome extension that you can get from the Chrome Web Store, and best of all, it’s free! Just make sure you have your own Netflix, Hulu, HBO Max, or Disney Plus account. once you’re signed in, click the extension, grab your popcorn and begin to share your show or movie with the entirety of your group! As the cold months move inevitably forward, like every year, many people turn to their game systems. whether it is Nintendo, Xbox, or PlayStation, there’s always something to play when going outside doesn’t seem like the best idea. Luckily, all these systems allow you to play online with friends using your memberships!! For sixty dollars, you can get a 12-month membership for PlayStation and Xbox, and for twenty dollars you can get a year-long membership on the Nintendo Switch. These memberships offer voice chat and online features, and who doesn’t love a little bit of competition, solo, or with your friends? Video games offer one of the best ways to connect with friends virtually, especially as the warmth outside winds down, and unfortunately, our cases rise again. But what if you like to read? No problem! There are plenty of ways you can get involved with virtual book clubs and start reading online. Tons of libraries across the nation have gone “all-virtual,” allowing you to read thousands of titles, anytime, anywhere! One library to do this is the New York Public Library, which has an e-reader app. In this app, there are over 300,000 free titles for you to download and enjoy right from the comfort of your home; and if you’re a person that loves book clubs, that’s also just as accessible! Using any software that lets you use your camera or voice is a perfect way to start your book club, whether it is on Zoom, FaceTime, or even Houseparty, grab your friends or find a group, choose your book, and get to reading! With cases rising, it’s sad to see our winter festivities becoming more unlikely by the day. But hopefully, all that I have shared with you today will help keep your holidays full of joy, and your winter fantastic! Even if it’s virtual. From video games to group chats and book clubs, there are practically unlimited options thanks to the Internet, and many ways for us all to appreciate and share togetherness even with the unfortunate circumstances surrounding our world right now. So what are you waiting for? Grab your friends, get online, and have some fun!
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