“Dot.calm” by Jane Silverman
If you are not on social media then you are missing out on a world of compassion as millions connect and share how they are coping with lockdowns, shortages, and loneliness with optimism and laughter. With more than 100 million Americans under orders to stay home, the internet is playing a larger-than-life role in all of our lives as are sites including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Pinterest, and TikTok.
The internet is filled with lock down hashtags like the #stayathomechallenge to see how sports stars and fans keep busy at home or #MuseumsfromHome and #MuseumMomentOfZen providing an art interlude from some of the world’s top museums; #TogetherAtHome is a concert series on YouTube with Coldplay, Ziggy Marley and others, while #StarsintheHouse features Broadway stars; Golf.com’s #playingthrough features celebrity sports stars like @StephCurry or @RafaelNadal playing golf in their homes; actor Sir Patrick Stewart @sirpatstew is reading a calming sonnet each day on Twitter to soothe all of our nerves and on Facebook, foodies like me joined the Kitchen Quarantine group to share recipes and stories of coping.
See Me Hear Me
Sunday was the first of presumably many weekly video chats with my family; from New York to Colorado to Massachusetts to Florida, we are all doing our part to help stop the spread by hunkering down and self-quarantining. We logged in to the free Zoom app simultaneously to see each other, our homes, and home life and share how we are doing during this stressful time. It wasn’t a long call, but it was long-reaching, filled with hope (and fear), love and a longing to connect. It was a good thing. Download Zoom from the App Store (and invite your friends and family to download it too) and bring the world into your home. Click on New Meeting and invite up to 100 people to join you through their email or text. It’s that easy.
Out for a walk? Try the Song Sleuth: Auto Bird Song ID app to identify birdsongs in the neighborhood. Created by world-renowned birder and illustrator David Sibley, you can record bird songs and the app will suggest the bird’s identity. Wondering what that flower or bug is? Download the Google app on your phone and click on the small square with a circle in the middle next to the microphone to access Google Lens. Take a photo of the flora or fauna or animal or bird or insect (or whatever) and upload it to see suggested photo matches and connecting websites.
While the banks may be closed and workplaces moved to homeplaces, the Notarize app notarize.com is indispensable. It legally notarizes a document online: take a picture of a document or upload a digital file and add it to the app (show your Identification which the app scans), connect with Notarize’s licensed notary public (based in Virginia), sign before the agent on a live video call, and presto. In lieu of a physical stamp, an electronic seal and digital certificate will be attached to the document along with a video recording of the transaction (legal in every US state and the District of Columbia). The service is available 24/7 and costs $25 per document. Stay safe!
“Hope is being able to see that there is light despite all of the darkness.”
– Desmond Tutu