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Serving the GW Community since 1904

The GW Hatchet

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Wine bar on 2200 Penn opens doors
By Ella Mitchell, Contributing News Editor • June 14, 2024

How to virtually hang out with friends and family during self-isolation

Sarah Urtz | Assistant Photo Editor
Compete in a virtual bake-off with friends while you follow social distancing guidelines.

You might be able to develop some sense of normalcy while you self-isolate, but it can be difficult to keep in touch with friends and family.

Your typical game night or drinking party with friends might be called off, but there are still some ways to hang out with people from afar. From online live shows to joint TV viewing, here are some ways you can have fun with friends while maintaining social distance guidelines.

Host a ‘Netflix Party’

Google Chrome built an extension called Netflix Party, which allows users to watch their favorite shows with others remotely.

The “host” sets up the watch party by creating their own unique link to share with friends. Those who click the link are synced up to the same episode and can pause, rewind and chat while the show airs on everyone’s TV or computers. Although you can’t see each other while watching the movie, you can see your friends’ thoughts and reactions to moments in the show in the chat bar. Pop some popcorn, call up your friends and give them your link for a self-quarantine movie night.

Joint video games

Many gaming consoles allow for users to play with each other over a WiFi connection. You can visit your friend’s island in the Nintendo Switch version of Animal Crossing or create a squad with friends in Fortnite on Playstation, Xbox or on a computer.

For those looking for some fun nostalgia, you can now access Webkinz for free. If you can’t remember your old account credentials, make a new one and play classic games from childhood with friends online.

Video chat

There are some alternate ways to keep in touch with friends and family who can’t FaceTime on an iPhone. Besides a classic classroom Zoom hang out, you can download the old app Houseparty or Skype. If your friends have Google accounts, use Google Hangout to chat.

Live online shows

While you might be used to attending live concerts in-person with friends, tell all your concert buddies to hop on the same live stream and watch with you. The music news website Bandsintown has a running list on its website that is updated with upcoming live shows from artists. Users can tune in remotely with friends and listen to artists like Charlie XCX, Diplo and Miley Cyrus who are holding performances on Instagram, YouTube and Twitch during quarantine.

FaceTime cooking competition

For those who are interested in cooking, now could be the time to discover new and creative ways to make recipes. FaceTime a friend and see who can come up with the best-plated dish, or create your own version of cooking shows like Chopped or Master Chef. For inspiration, websites like FridgetoTable come up with recipes based on the ingredients you want to use.

Virtual workouts

It might be hard to find motivation to exercise without your workout buddy, but many organizations and platforms are providing free at-home exercises to do from home. Chris Hemsworth recently announced that he will give people free access to his home fitness app, Centr, for users to try out. Video chat with a friend and prop up your phone next to you so you can do the workouts simultaneously. You can also find other YouTube workouts from accounts like MadFit or 305 Fitness.

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