Stay home, stay safe

That’s what we all need to do in the midst of COVID-19.

Seniors watching TV

That’s what we all need to do in the midst of COVID-19.

Here are a few ideas to help you pass the time as you wait it out at home.

Visit virtually: Social distancing doesn’t have to mean loneliness. Take full advantage of video-chat technology to communicate often with friends and family. Don’t worry if your hair isn’t pretty. Connecting is more important than being impressive right now. At the very least, keep in touch by increasing phone calls, texts and emails to family and friends, who are also hungry for interaction!

Seek help: If you feel overwhelmed by what’s happening or if you’re suffering from anxiety, isolation or depression, call the national Disaster Distress Helpline 800-985-5990 (open 24 hours a day).

Catch up on the classics: Instead of idly flipping through TV, make your couch time a cultural event. Scan through a list of history’s greatest American movies — according to the American Film Institute. Take note of the ones you haven’t seen and look for streaming versions on Netflix, Amazon Prime or even YouTube.

Go international: If you’re interested in world cinema, check out the list from the British Film Institute. To see many of these you’ll have to stray beyond streaming services: True cinephiles will find a subscription to well worth it.

Turn on local radio: Jazz88 (88.5FM) and The Current (89.3FM) feature live broad- casters, sending comforting messages of hope, plus uplifting music (versus the latest COVID-19 analysis). Whether you stream these stations online or turn on an actual radio, it’s lovely to have a live local voice filling the house.

Listening care package: The On Being Project — a Minneapolis-based, nation- ally renowned podcast and radio show — has compiled A Listening Care Package for Uncertain Times, including podcasts and poetry to help folks process the pandemic. We promise you’ll enjoy the soothing voice (and gentle soul) of host/ founder Krista Tippett.

Catch some Baseball: Disappointed about the delay to the baseball season? You can at least watch six ballgames’ worth (that’s 18 hours) of Ken Burns’ Baseball documentary for free. It’s avail- able on and on many streaming services.

Check out ebooks: You may not be able to visit your library, but you can check out some of the thousands of ebooks ready for download. In Hennepin County and St. Paul you can gain access through an app called Libby; the Ramsey and Dakota County systems use cloudLibrary; Anoka County Library offers its own app.

Until next month: Hang in there!