The COVID-19 pandemic has been the worst of times, but one that’s brought out the best in human ingenuity. Isolated due to social distancing rules, seniors have invented or adopted ever more creative ways to bond, interact and share precious experiences with friends and family.
Looking for new things to do during coronavirus? Here are seven ideas for COVID-safe activities.
- Defend your Monopoly crown
What’s a rainy Sunday afternoon without a board game or a few hands of gin rummy? Thanks to the internet, this is one family activity you can safely continue during COVID. Countless user-friendly apps and websites offer the chance to play everything from Cluedo to Carcassonne in a virtual setting. Added bonus? That sneaky son-in-law who insists “Qa” is a legal Scrabble word will get short shrift from the computer dictionary.
- Give your grandkids an art challenge
You may not be able to hug your grandchildren, but you can still connect with them in powerful ways. Set the kids a weekly art challenge and ask them to bring you their finished masterpieces, which they can press against your window. A picture is worth a thousand words, but the three that count are, “I love you.”
- Organize a bake-off
Who says COVID-safe activities have to be healthy? Assuming your diet allows it, bake yourself a treat and dare family and friends to take on the same recipe. Share photos of your triumphs and disasters, and swap tips and techniques with your co-bakers.
- Set up a singalong
If you like to sing, you’ve probably winced a few times this year during fun-filled but tune-empty renditions of “Happy Birthday” on family Zoom calls. So why not dial it up a notch? Bringing folks together with music can be as simple as setting up a video call with friends and belting out a familiar classic or a rousing hymn. (Tip: you can find the lyrics to any song with a quick Google search.) If you’re feeling more adventurous, you can download a karaoke app for your smartphone or tablet and jam together or take turns sharing center stage.
- Throw a movie watch party
Online streaming services let us watch what we like, when we like. That’s great, but there’s also something special about watching a movie in a group, knowing that you’re laughing, crying and jumping out of your skin at the same time as everyone else. Providers like Netflix have turned this into a COVID-safe activity, with options to stream movies simultaneously and chat during the screening. Another perk: the popcorn is all yours.
- Spread out at a picnic
Too much screen time can give you eye strain and headaches, so take any chance you can to meet your family outdoors in a socially distanced setting. You should not only follow CDC guidelines for outdoor activities but local ones too — if the transmission rate is particularly high in your area, don’t hesitate to postpone your plans.
- Do what’s best for you
Above all, be kind to yourself. Too little interaction can cause loneliness; too much may wear you out. If you’re being bombarded with invites to Zoom this or FaceTime that, feel free to opt out, unplug and curl up with a good book instead.