Posts Tagged ‘YouTube’

In my wildest dreams, I never thought I’d be blogging about a pandemic. Yet here we are…smack in the middle of Covid-19 and it is testing humankind in a way we haven’t been tested for 100 years. To fight the novel coronavirus in our counties, cities, states, countries, we have to act as one and shelter-in-place. In other words, in order to stem the number of deaths we may face, we have to social distance.

We have to hole up with our family, with roommates, or as singletons for the greater good of our species. And, as easy as that is to say/write, it’s not something we humans are particularly good at. We are, most of us anyway, social beings.

So, what can we do to protect the collective and stay well? That is the question that I, as a mom, have been pondering for the past few weeks. As connection is so important not just to my family, but yours too, here are 35 tips I have found on how to come together while staying apart.

  1. At home, get creative about staying positive: call, email, write a letter or send a card. Leave a note in someone’s door or mail box or on their doorstep.
  2. Use Skype, Zoom, Whatsapp, Houseparty, Hangouts, and FaceTime to see one another
  3. If it’s safe to do so, set up a “gate” chat or “driveway” chat with neighbours.
  4. Set up a gratitude message board either in the kitchen or by mobile phone {texting, WhatsApp, iPhone, Facebook, Instagram} where every one can post a message or send a message to share something they are grateful for.
  5. Set a group daily challenge. It could be a healthy habit, a mindful practice, a creative pursuit, a new recipe. Check in daily to stay motivated.
  6. Set dates and times to watch the same TV shows/movies with others and message one other your thoughts along the way… I’m enjoying Derry Girls and Ozark, both on Netflix, right now. Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with friends online. You need Chrome to access this service but it sounds like a great way to host and watch movies with friends everywhere.
  7. Join a local social media group. This will keep you up to date with what’s going on directly around you. It may also include ways you can perhaps reach out and connect with someone less fortunate than you and ways to assist them.
  8. Younger children might enjoy learning how to draw with Lunch Doodles with Mo Willems. Mo is a best-selling author and illustrator and he is teaching drawing every weekday on YouTube.
  9. Help younger children, teens and college-age young adults cope by giving them extra attention and reassurance.  Watch news together and talk about what you’re viewing. If someone feels overwhelmed by what’s they’re seeing, allow them to step away and then circle back and talk about what’s not sitting well with them.
  10. Check-in and share feelings so everyone knows it’s ok to be anxious, nervous, scared.
  11. Involve everyone in home management chores. It’s easier to stay positive when you have a job that’s important to everyone.
  12. Seek professional help if you are concerned.
  13. Watch a live concert, take a virtual tour of a museum or join or start an online dance party. Yo-Yo Ma, via Instagram, the Seattle Symphony and others are finding news ways to share their services during these challenging times. Enjoy free live broadcasts of the symphony from the comfort of your own home. You can learn more about upcoming concerts and how to watch these live broadcasts here.
  14. Many museums around the world are now offering digital access to their collections. The Louvre, Guggenheim, the National Gallery of Ireland, the British Museum of London, the Musée d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Korea, and the MASP in São Paulo are all available to tour online thanks to their own efforts or through Google Arts & Culture.
  15. The Metropolitan Opera in New York City is offering free nightly live opera performances.
  16. The DJ of Boogie Down productions fame, DJ D-Nice is hosting house parties on Instagram. He calls it Club Quarantine! Tag your friends. Tell me about your experience at the party.
  17. Coldplay front man, Chris Martin, is the curator of the annual Global Citizen festival. He launched the “At Home Together” series with an Instagram live video, during which he played several of the band’s hits and spoke to viewers who are in isolation during the coronavirus outbreak.
  18. Billboard Magazine has compiled an enormous list of quarantine music events online to watch on their website.
  19. The Kennedy-Center offers a wide variety of free videos of live and on demand performances and educational activities online.
  20. Join an online game, bookclub or discussion group. Discussions groups, found on sites like SeniorChatters, offer a way for older adults to engage in different topics online. Use these tools to meet other seniors from all over the world and discuss your favorite hobbies.
  21. If you’re a reader, Celadon Books shares their five favorite book clubs that you can join online.
  22. Play games online. Whether you prefer cards or board games, it’s easy to now play a favourite games online. Websites like Arkadium.com offer a variety of card and board games that you can play with others or on your own. You can also download apps on your phone to play games with others, like Words with Friends.
  23. Little ones might enjoy watching Storyline Online, on Youtube, a children’s literacy website created by the SAG-AFTRA Foundation, which provides free storytelling videos and resources for parents and teachers to foster a love of reading in children. The website features an expansive library of videos of new and classic picture books read by well-known actors and actresses like Viola Davis, Chris Pine, Lily Tomlin, Betty White, and James Earl Jones. In a style akin to Reading Rainbow, stories come to life with dynamic voice performances and animated versions of original illustrations, encouraging children to see reading as a transformative imaginative experience. Arnie the Doughnut is read by Ireland’s one and only Chris O’Dowd.
  24. Save with Stories, started by Jennifer Garner and Amy Adams in partnership with Save the Children and No Kid Hungry, is offering stories on Instagram and Facebook to provide fun and education to kids and parents stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak.
  25. Audible has launched a free collection of audiobooks for children. Amazon’s Kindle is offering two free months to its unlimited ebook service for new users.
  26. Broaden the mind and take a class. Ivy League schools have made nearly 500 online courses free to keep individuals occupied while stuck indoors. The online courses can be found on Class Central and include subjects in mathematics, programming, personal development, education and more.
  27. Coursera, an American online learning platform, started by two Stanford professors, offers classes for free that are taught by top instructors from world-class universities and companies.
  28. Move your body and quiet your mind. Joining the Fitness Blender community, and others like it, will give you the chance to take free classes and stay healthy. Fitness Blender, in particular, offers 600+ workout videos and an online network of fitness-friendly instructors.
  29. Meditate with Headspace, is a guided meditation service, being offered for free through the Headspace app. The programs include meditations, sleep and movement exercises which you can listen to any time.
  30.  Core Power Yoga, a popular yoga studio chain in America, is currently offering free online classes through its Core Power Yoga On Demand platform. The classes are pre-recorded and range from 30 minutes to up to an hour long. The studio is also offering online guided breathing practices and meditations.
  31. 305 Fitness, one of NYC’s most popular dance-cardio workout classes is now offering free cardio dance live streams twice a day on YouTube at noon and 6PM EST.
  32. No Peloton bike? No problem. In response to Covid-19, the Peloton App is opening up to new users for a full 90 days. The app, which includes at-home bootcamp, outdoor, and running workouts. After 90 days, there is a fee, so be sure to mark your calendars.
  33. Food feeds the soul…and the empty stomach. Learn the basics, and not so basics, of cooking in all forms from online experts. Massimo Bottura, for example, is teaching from his new Kitchen Quarantine classes on Instagram. Also, Chef Thomas Keller takes us inside his own kitchen while teaching technique and recipes on Instagram. Chef Jose Andres does the same with his #recipesforthepeople. Irish chef, Donal Skehan has his own YouTube channel, if you want to get caught up on cooking Irish style. And while Rachel Allen doesn’t have her own channel, you can find many of her Irish cooking recipes Rachel Allen.
  34. Learn a new language…Spanish, French, Mandarin or even Irish perhaps?! There are online learning platforms offering free language skills including Babbel, Duolingo, Busuu, Learn a Language.
  35. Teach a class. I love to cook and have started using social media as a way of connecting to others who like to cook too. I’m teaching my first bread making class this Thursday to a group of ladies via Zoom. Think about a skill you have and reach out to your family, friends, and social media followers to see if anyone would like to meet up weekly to share or teach a class.

Remember – we are all in this terrible time of Covid-19 together. If we can find creative ways to stay together but stay apart…we have a fighting chance to see a better tomorrow. And, as An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar said yesterday, “We cannot lose focus. What we’re doing is difficult but it is making a difference.”

Stay healthy. Stay safe. And, message me if you have any more ideas.

~ XK


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Have you seen those YouTube videos that poke fun of how people talk to each other? “S*** People Say” has become a genre unto itself on YouTube in the past year and most recently “S*** White Girls Say to Black Girls” went viral, achieving more than 5 million hits in its first week.

Franchesca Leigh Ramsey, star of the two-minute videoblog “S*** White Girls Say to Black Girls”, dons a white wig and poses as a white girl talking to her black friend.  The opening line, “Not to sound racist, but…” kicks things off in a way that has some people shocked and other people laughing. For me, “S*** White Girls Say to Black Girls” is hilarious and reminds me of “Irish-humour”. What I mean to say is that Ramsey’s spoof is the kind of humour that lets us see the good, the bad and the ugly in ourselves without feeling completely offended. Something the Irish are very good at.

For those of you who haven’t seen it yet, here it is:

Franchesca’s videoblog has not gone over well with everyone. For those easily offended, she has added this disclaimer, “Now, before you get all upset and call me a racist, This is a parody of th(e) video ‘S*** Girls Say’.”. Fair enough. Sometimes people are not good at seeing themselves as they really are – they only see themselves as how they hope they are. Myself included. I’m pretty sure I’ve said one or two things Franchesca says as the white girlfriend to my black friends (mea culpa)!

So, what does all this have to do with Irish and American people? Well, Franchesca’s blog immediately made me think of the stuff I’ve heard Irish people say about Americans and, similarly, the stuff I’ve heard Americans say about the Irish over the past twenty-one years. What follows is not for the faint of heart so if you’re easily offended…here’s my disclaimer “This is not meant to stereotype all Irish or American people. It’s about SOME Irish and SOME American people. If you’re offended, then maybe you need to think about things you’ve said.”. Enough said.

“Stuff Irish People Say”:

“You can’t be American, you’re not fat!” – The assumption is that all Americans are fat because our portion sizes are about the size of Texas (sad but true). For the record, not all Americans are fat.

“Of course you’d get married here, Americans don’t believe in marriage.” Yes, the high divorce rate makes it seem like Americans don’t believe in marriage but you can’t paint everyone in an entire country with the same brush. I didn’t get married in Ireland because Americans don’t believe in marriage. I got married in Ireland because that’s where we were living.

“We don’t have gay people in Ireland.” – Really? How about Anna Nolan, Colm O’Gorman, Sinead O’Connor (for a while, that is), Oscar Wilde, Boy George (Irish/English),and Nell McCafferty to name a famous few.

“Why would a black person want to live in Ireland? Sure, just look at the weather.” – This was a shocker of a statement and, in fairness, it came from someone I met way back in my early days of living in Dublin, when there literally were very few blacks living there. Today it’s quite the melting pot.

“Look what Americans did to the Indians (native American).” – Emmm, I believe those were Europeans coming to America who did that.

“Recession? Not us. We’ll have a soft landing.” – Ouch, that one hurts.

“How come your toilet doors don’t go all the way down to the floor?” – You know, I haven’t a clue.

“Why do you Americans always say, “have a nice day”?  – Because we mean it.

“We’re better educated than Americans are.” – Perhaps, but it doesn’t get Irish people any further in life than us less well-educated “Yanks”.

Stuff Americans Say:

“Do you have running water in your house”? – Hello!? Do I look like someone who lives in a house without running water!?

“Have you seen any leprechaun?” – Really? That’s just totally ignorant.

“I just love the I.R.A. Can you get me one of their flags?” – Right…you do know the IRA flag is the Irish tricolour!

“How long does it take you to drive to England?” – Well, I have to drive to Dun Laoghaire, put my car on the ferry, and then we sail over the Irish Sea.

“Where exactly is Ireland?” – Just west of England!!!

“Sure, I know Ireland. It’s part of the United Kingdom, right?” – Uhhh, no. Once and for all…the United Kingdom is made up of England, Scotland, and the six counties that make up Northern Ireland (shown in yellow in the photo to the right). The Republic of Ireland, also just known as Ireland, is not part of England, the United Kingdom or Great Britain (or whatever part of the U.K. you want to use).

“Do you have electricity in your house?” – Again I reply, “Do I really look like someone who’d live in a house without electricity?” See above picture for the obvious answer.

“Do you guys drink green beer?” – Yea, sure, all the time! Seriously?!

“Is there really a pipe going from the Guinness factory to all the pubs?” – It’s an urban legend.

So there you have it! Hope this made you laugh and shake your head and maybe, just maybe, it’s reminded you to think twice before you ask something that might be considered racist.

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