Eiffel Tower
I’ll see you in person another time ❤

Visit Paris from your couch (and other social distancing ideas)

Vera Mucaj
4 min readMar 17, 2020


As of March 17, 2020, San Francisco and many other US cities will observe “shelter in place” and folks might feel disconnected from their favorite activities and from friends and family. However, in the interest of public health, we should all do our part and stay home.

To help with that, here’s a list of potential things to do while social distancing. Feel free to suggest any other items in the comments below! Hope everyone stays well and takes care of each other and their communities.

Visual arts

Virtual hangouts/community events

  • Do a virtual happy hour or trivia night with your friends on Google Hangouts! To help with that, here’s some Cocktail recipes (few ingredients). You can also find many non-alcoholic drink recipes: here, here, and here
  • For those religious, take advantage of religious service streaming events! Some of my friends partook in virtual services at Washington National Cathedral, Central Synagogue, United Parish in Brookline and the Vatican livestream. I’d love to hear of more links from other religious services! Happy to update this as requested!
  • Join or run a Twitch livestream! Twitch is home to many gaming livestreams, but also other types of events! A friend highly recommended The Hunger Service — her favorite cooking livestream


There’s a ton of free material on the internet that can be proposed to keep folks fit at home! Especially important since all other things are pretty sedentary. Some that I like or have been recommended:

  • These ladies have a ton of stuff that can be done at home.
  • Beginner kids and adults workout
  • Download the Seven App — 7 minute workouts!
  • Yoga with Adriene — I miss my yoga community at Yoga Tree Stanyan in SF, but this is a close virtual second!
  • Safely learning how to do the splits
  • Practice push-up progressions (I’m super weak, but one of these days, I’ll prevail and do a proper push-up! Sidenote, I LOVE this lady Tara Laferrara. She’s one of my favorite instagrammers (along with Arla who is in the miscellaneous section :))
  • DIY Peloton bike. You can get the Peloton App (or equivalent) on a tablet and use an indoor trainer on your outdoor bike! I haven’t done this, but it was inspired by an email conversation I had with a work colleague

Virtual Concerts/ Music

My home cleaning routine for years has involved “watching” concerts in the background, so I can confidently say I’m a pro at this ;). One of my favorite things to do is see old concerts that I could have never experienced in person. Some of my favorites, in no particular order, are below. I realize this list is HIGHLY subjective (and a tad quirky), so feel free to youtube your own


  • In my circle of friends, I’m the one raving about Libby the app. I encourage everyone to download Libby and use your library card to get all the e-books and audiobooks your heart desires :). Works with Kindle too
  • I’m always happy to receive book recommendations. To get folks started, here’s the Penguin list of top 100 classics and the current NYT best seller list to get folks started!


  • Coursera has many popular free courses
  • If that’s not enough, AskReddit comes to the rescue with “What is the most useful course I can take online for free?”
  • Duolingo — time to [re]learn a language!

Miscellaneous on Self Care

  • Start getting texts from the Nudge, if they have one for your city. They have daily tips for things to do (usually outdoors but I think this week they’ll have a stay at home-special)
  • Follow interesting Instagrams! My favorite recent discovery is Arlaeats’ Instagram. I never thought I’d find another Albanian person in San Francisco, let alone find one while looking for recipes on the internet :) She’s funny, thoughtful, and even keeled when it comes to nutrition and science
  • Make use of Supercook: Recipe search based on things you already have at home. Now it’s time to get rid of that year-old pasta in your cupboard (who, me?)
  • Practice meditation: I love following the loving kindness meditation script
  • Podcasts: “The best podcasts of 2020” (highly subjective, again, because folks have different tastes)
  • Learn to knit socks (don’t judge): Part 1 Part 2 Part 3 Part 4 & Part 5
  • Learn how to solve a Rubik’s cube. A friend also recommended this useful site
  • Do the Daily crosswords from the Washington Post

This list is long, but not exhaustive. I’m thankful we live in a time and place where entertainment and options for connectivity abound. Hope everyone stays safe, healthy, and connected — despite being apart ❤



Vera Mucaj

Passionate about R&D and healthcare data. Thoughts here are my own.