Staying positive during the coronavirus pandemic can be challenging, especially if you are separated from friends and family.
With Australia currently experiencing snap lockdowns, maintaining your social life from your own home will help you feel supported and connected during these uncertain times. Let’s run you through some of the fun ways you can hang out with friends when you can’t leave the house.
Catching up on the latest film and TV show releases is one of the most popular ways to stay entertained in lockdowns. Now, multiple streaming platforms have come up with a way you can binge content with your friends and family, even if you can’t be with each other in-person – watch parties!
Teleparty (formerly Netflix Party) is a browser extension that allows users to create groups and simultaneously stream content with their friends, including pausing, rewinding, and fast-forwarding. A chat bar is also included, so you and your friends can talk as if you are watching in the same room. To use Teleparty, every participant must have an account with the streaming service they will be using. Teleparty can be used with Netflix and Disney+ (and Hulu and HBO Max, although these aren’t available in Australia). The browser extension is free and groups can have up to 1000 members.
Amazon’s Prime Video also now provides a Watch Party function. Every participant must have a Prime Video account or must buy/rent the same content in order to watch it together, and groups are limited to 100. You don’t have to download any browser extensions to use this function. Disney+ offers the same with its GroupWatch function.
Room 2 Radio
If you’re a keen party-goer struggling with the monotony of isolation, Room 2 Radio has you covered. Created by two Sydneysiders, this virtual nightclub experience is bringing the hottest musical lineups to your screen, letting you keep the party going even in isolation. Organisers encourage Room 2 Radio attendees to limit the number of people viewing together. The organisers are also taking safe social distancing measures while running the online club. Room 2 Radio also features a chatroom for anyone wanting to socialise with other virtual party goers.
In the digital age, being in isolation doesn’t mean you can’t see your friends and family face-to-face. With increasingly reliable apps for video group calls, being able to see your loved ones will help you to maintain your social life and connection to the outside world. You can also use live stream apps to arrange a dinner date with friends or do a group work-out to stay active while you isolate.
Some of the most popular and easy-to-use apps include:
Are you a regular trivia-goer but can’t attend your local quiz night? Luckily, there are plenty of virtual options across Australia. Various pubs and trivia companies are getting creative by hosting online trivia nights that let you go head-to-head from the comfort of your living room.
Check out Isolation Trivia (which is hosting multiple trivia nights every week, including themed quizzes) and keep an eye on your local trivia night organiser’s social media to see if they will offer online options during lockdowns. If you’re looking for some more constant trivia content, make sure to follow social media accounts such as Quiz Meisters to keep your trivia skills sharp.
Online multiplayer gaming
The “party game for horrible people”, as described by its creators, Cards Against Humanity is guaranteed to entertain. The game involves responding to black question cards with your funniest white answer card, each card containing random and ridiculous phrases. The humour and simple design of the game have made it a hit amongst students, and its availability online through simulators such as Pretend You’re Xyzzy means you can join in on the fun while isolated. Combine a game of Cards Against Humanity with a Room 2 Radio stream for a virtual party experience with your friends, all whilst staying safe and healthy.
For board game lovers, Tabletopia is the perfect online destination. The site gives you and your friends access to over 800 games from chess to Secret Hitler, and lets you join games in progress with other users. The site also features an editor which allows users to build their own board games without any prior programming knowledge or experience. Tabletopia can be accessed from browsers on Mac and Windows, or you can download the app from Steam, Apple’s App Store, or Google Play.
If you want more of a traditional video game experience, and have some extra money, games like Fortnite and Call of Duty are available online and on apps, so you can battle for survival with your friends from the comfort of your couch or desk.
For more options, a quick Google search should provide you with a number of online (and hopefully free) multi-player games to choose from.