F#$* You Coronavirus! You have taken away so much – a family holiday to Thailand, my daughter’s party, my sanity, all our sports activities, waxing, going out for dinner, hugging and so so so much more.
Thank you Coronavirus! You have also given us so much! So many things we would never have had if you hadn’t whirlwinded into our lives and created chaos across the land.
My relationship with the Coronavirus pandemic is bittersweet. Every day there is something new to cry about but also something new to celebrate. It’s a weird, emotional rollercoaster affair. I hope it’s over soon but while it’s here, let’s rejoice about the things we never had before.
So here’s my list of Coronavirus gratitude:
1) Getting intimate with celebrities
This is probably one of my favourite aspects of this whole pandemic. There are millions of people all stuck in their homes and many of them are famous or simply oozing with talent. So what do they do when they’re bored. They get onto Facebook Live, Youtube and Zoom and share their amazing gifts.
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You can see billionaire celebs, shlumping about in their pj’s, eating toast and peanut butter for breakfast as they share a slice of their lives in isolation. While we’re all stuck in homes, we all share the same universal experience. This has become the most incredible global common denominator. We all get it!
I was in tears of delight seeing my favourite children’s author – Julia Donaldson – of Gruffalo fame – on Facebook Live. She acted out her charming book “A Squash and a Squeeze” in song, accompanied by her husband playing the banjo. It was absolutely delicious and I just wanted to bottle that feeling and save it forever. The author then cut over to the illustrator of the book – Axel Scheffler – and he drew a scene from the book in a few minutes. Wow, so talented.
Julia Donaldson and Friends is a weekly broadcast on her Gruffalo facebook page every Thursday afternoon (GMT) so we usually watch it on Friday morning here in Australia.
Andrew Lloyd Webber
Andrew Lloyd Webber, the musical maestro, has invited us into his living room for intimate sessions with his piano. Every few days, Lord Lloyd Webber, tinkles about on his piano, answering fan questions and playing excerpts from his famous musicals.
A few days ago, he spontaneously hosted a competition inviting wannabee stars to submit videos singing “Any Dream Will Do” from the Joseph musical. It was such fun watching the entrants. Take a look at the highlight video below.
My favourite Lloyd Webber Isolation video was the zoom session of the orchestra coming together to play Phantom Of The Opera’s “All I Ask Of You”. This was absolutely magical and one of my favourite things that have come out of this whole disastrous situation.
2) Exercising at home
There is absolutely no excuse to keep fit during home isolation. While the fridge is so much more accessible than it ever was, evert fitness bunny and their dog are getting online to share workouts that will beat that extra slice of chocolate cake away.
I’ve always been a Daily Burn fan, even before Coronavirus hit. But now it’s even more relavant, having virtual professional instruction in your living room. The Daily Burn team are offering 30 day free as well as an upgrade to their premium offering for subscribers.
Bop Till You Drop
If you have children like mine, you need some full-on sensory entertainment to get the kids up from the couch. Our favourite party entertainer experts Bop Till You Drop are bringing their fabulously fun Live Dance Parties into your loungeroom. We have had a number of Bop Till You Drop disco parties (in those good old days when you could have birthday parties) and they were always massive hits. My kids were so excited to join in the Bop Till You Drop Facebook Live disco with Cathy and Siena last week. There were disco lights, big tunes, games, boogying and so much fun. The next party is coming up on Thursday 9 April at 3:30pm. Oh, and if you’re looking for a way to make a missed birthday party special, Bop Till You Drop will do a virtual disco party to keep all your guests from far and wide entertained.
Then there’s the exuberant Joe Wicks – aka The Body Coach – who has taken it upon himself to be the PE Teacher for the world. And my goodness, has he taken the globe by storm! He does a 30 minute family-friendly workout every week day on his Youtube and Facebook Live channels. Each of his #PEWithJoe workout gets in excess of 2.5-million views and he mixes it up with Fancy Dress and other fun gimmicks. Joe has donated thousands of his earnings from this initiative to the NHS in the UK.
Locally, there’s the fabulous former bachelor Sam Wood, who also does a weekday workout at 9am on his Facebook Live Channel, along with his glam wife Snezana. His Tuesday and Thursday sessions are specifically kid-friendly but kids can join in any workout really. I love that these workouts are casual and fun and you often see his 8-month old bub, Charlie, scooting around in his wheelie walker. Two year old Willow also joins in the exercising between playing with her toys.
If your kids are missing their gymnastic classes, make sure you tune into Max Whitlock’s youtube channel. Max is an olympic gold medalist gymnast who is doing #gymnasticswithMax sessions on his youtube channel.
The Coronavirus isolation has opened up so many avenues of free entertainment that we would never have had access to.
The Show Must Go On is a youtube channel which will be hosting a full-length, smash-hit musical once a week for you to watch for free! It will be available for 48 hours, so you can tune in whenever you like over the weekend!
The first one was Joseph and his Technicolored Dreamcoat and the next one coming up is Jesus Christ Superstar on 11 April.
The Australian Ballet has launched At Home With Ballet TV – which is broadcasting free cinema-quality full-length ballet performances.
Each of these beloved and inspiring ballets will have a limited two-week season on the streaming platform. Sleeping Beauty (Sun 5 – Fri 17 April) starts the season off, followed by Cinderella (Fri 17 Apri – Fri 1 May) and Romeo & Juliet (Fri 1 – Fri 15 May).
The Royal New Zealand Ballet are streaming full-length productions on their Facebook Page at certain times on the weekend. The next upcomong show is Midsummer Nights’ Dream.
The Royal NZ Ballet are also doing short ‘learn-to-dance’ clips on their Facebook page, which are really fun and easy to join in.
Check out the gingerbread dance below.
Foxtel is unlocking its library to subscribers for free as people stay home during the coronavirus pandemic.
Foxtel subscribers will be given free access to Foxtel’s full range of drama, entertainment, lifestyle, documentaries, reality and kids where they do not have them.
Free Audio Books
Audible has just announced that they are now offering free audiobooks on their stories service.
Offering over 300 free audiobooks in six languages, Audible has stated that “For as long as schools are closed, we’re open” – giving isolated parents a huge array of books to read their children and to use as educational material – all free of charge for the foreseeable future.
Categories that are currently free include littlest listeners, elementary, tween, teen, and literary classics – and include such titles as Winnie-the-Pooh, Beatrix Potter, and Alice in Wonderland.
4) Food Delivered To Your Door
Takeout delivered to your door has always been part of our world but now that restaurants are closed for dining, there are so many more amazing options available for delivery.
This week, I am getting warm scones and jam delivered to our door from the Tea Cosy (can’t wait). In any other situation, I would never get a doorstep scone drop off.
High-end and casual restaurants are also offering full-meal deliveries to your home and many bakeries are also doing deliveries. Yum!
There are so many other amazing services and discoveries I have made over the last few weeks at home. Free art classes, craft, dance classes, singing classes, Zumba and so much more. Many have overwhelmed me with people’s generosity, talent and ability to adapt.
I’m sure there will be many more to add to this list over the next coming weeks.
So thank you Coronavirus. You have given us so much!
Is there anything that you are thankful for during home isolation and Coronavirus craziness? Tell us in the comments below.