You're reading this so you're probably already safely huddled up in your house or apartment, watching as the entire planet grapples with the unfolding coronavirus health crisis. But unlike some others, you're lucky enough to already have a couple of weeks of supplies and now it's just about what you can do to entertain yourself and your family as you weather the current situation.
Well, we've got you covered! If something doesn't fit your particular situation, keep looking, there's something here for everyone.
Right now, many movie theaters in the US have either been closed, or are about to. In response to some of the logistical complications around the health crisis, major films like James Bond: No Time To Die, Marvel's Black Widow, and Mulan will have had their releases postponed.
But NBCUniversal isn't content to simply allow its best new releases wither on the vine while most of us are stuck at home. Starting on March 20, Universal Pictures is making its theatrical movie releases available for viewing at home, a move that has been experimented with in the past but has never seen such a broad rollout.
Some of the currently-in-theaters movie fans will have access to include The Hunt, The Invisible Man, and Emma. In April, you'll also able to rent DreamWorks Animation's Trolls World Tour movie on April 10. The films will be available on various on-demand video services for 48-hour rental periods, with a price of $19.99 per rental. More details here...
You've probably already heard a ton of suggestions as to why you should use VR (or AR) for remote meetings, but did you know that you can also go to the movies using VR? No, we're not talking watching a simple screen in a headset, we're talking about walking into a fully furnished virtual theater and watching movies alongside other movies fans (represented by avatars) watching the same movie with you in real-time.
The highest-end VR headsets generally require a gaming computer and a bunch of cords, but for simplicity we're suggesting you use the Oculus Quest, which is a lightweight all-in-one VR headset that lets you quickly dive in the world of VR. And while this popular device has been sold out for months, Oculus just announced that it's once again available, just in time for your long stay at home.
So far the options we're mentioning all require internet, but if you mostly access the internet via mobile phone, or simply can't afford a normal broadband connection, this month you're in luck, especially if you have kids at home in the US.
Charter is now offering free Spectrum broadband (with free installation) and Wi-Fi access to customers with children from kindergarten to the 12th grade, as well as college students. But keep in mind that the access will be limited to 60 days. For more information call: (844)488-8395.
Similarly, Comcast is offering 60 days of free access to its Internet Essentials service, which is normally $9.95 per month, to new customers. Additionally, Xfinity WiFi hotspots throughout the US, will be free to all users, including non-subscribers. You can sign up for the offer online or by calling: (855) 846-8376.
If you're already equipped with broadband internet access and have already ponied up the cash for a Netflix subscription, there's an awesome Chrome browser extension you might like called Netflix Party. As you might guess, the extension allows you to watch Netflix movies and TV shows with your friends in remote locations.
The extension also gives you the ability to chat with other users as the movie plays, as well as pause the movie for all if you need to take a break. Whether it's for cozying up with a far away family member or friend, or perhaps you just want to take someone new out on a movie date while observing "social distancing," the Netflix Party Chrome extension was made for this moment in history.
And because not all of use are dedicated couch potatoes, there's also a new at-home option for working out with a trainer. Starting this week, Planet Fitness has begun offering live free workouts with a trainer via Facebook Live.
The 20-minute workouts can be accessed either live every day at 7 p.m. ET, for that truly in-the-gym feel, or via YouTube as recorded workouts. While you're exercising during the live workout, there are moderators actively looking in to answer any questions you might have about the workout.
Exercise is one of the most underrated ways to pick up your mood and get you thinking about the future instead of focusing on what may be going on in the news, so get up out of bed and give this one a try.
Oh... and if you're working from home these days, be sure to check out Gadget Hacks' Working-From-Home Essentials.