As COVID-19 positive cases continue to grow in India, several cities are now going under lockdown to prevent further spread. Bangalore, Kolkata, Delhi, Mumbai, and many other cities will remain under lockdown till March 31 due to the coronavirus pandemic, which means that workplaces, industries, movie theatres, malls, and recreational areas will remain shut. The general message of social distancing is advocated, and citizens are directed to stay at home. During this period of quarantine, it’s easy to feel lonely, jaded, and just plain crappy for the lack of any social interactivity.
Thankfully, there are several apps to help people connect with others socially in these trying times of self-isolation. If this quarantine situation is getting you anxious, try these apps to help you survive this temporary lockdown.
QuarantineChat is a newly launched app that essentially connects people in quarantine with each other. The app is available on Android and iOS, and it simulates the magic of having a surprise conversation with a complete stranger, who is stuck at home as well due to this viral epidemic. The app will get you connected with a random person to have a serendipitous conversation with – about anything and everything under the sun. The app setup is quite easy, and it asks for basic information like your year of birth and phone number. To get the ball rolling, a topic of discussion will be given to the randomly connected users, or they can even choose to talk about something completely different. The calls are made over Wi-Fi or cellular data, and no additional charges are levied. This app is best for people stuck at home alone with no one to talk to.
Google’s Neighbourly app is littered with local questions like ‘Is there a milk shop nearby that is open?’, What time does the Janata curfew end?’, and even the vague ‘What should I do today? I’m bored!’. With the lockdown in place and public transport shut, disgruntled users are also asking questions on how to commute.
Neighbourly, for all those who don’t know, is a hyper local app that lets you connects with your local nearby community and ask questions about the area you live in. These questions are answered by people living in your area, giving you to most up-to-date, relevant, and credible insight about what’s happening nearby. It’s essentially social networking for neighbours. Unfortunately, this app is only available for Android users.
Viewing parties – Netflix Party, ShareTube, Airtime
At the moment, there’s no way you can go out for a movie or even a cup of coffee for that matter. You can, however, have viewing parties wherein a group of people can watch a Netflix movie together and chat about it alongside – in the comfort of their own individual homes. Download the Netflix Party extension on your Chrome browser, and head over to Netflix to start watching a movie. You can generate a link to share with your friends, and the invited people can then watch the movie together and chat on the side window as well.
ShareTube allows users to have a YouTube videos viewing party with their friends. Users can create a room, and invite friends to join and watch videos together. They can also create a playlist of videos, chat in the text function, and keep the party going for as long as they like. Airtime also allows you to do the same thing, but its open to more content like Soundcloud songs, select TV series, movies, and even memes.
Chat apps – WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, Facebook Messenger, and many more
To beat the blues, people in quarantine can make use of all the social media apps out there to keep themselves entertained. There’s WhatsApp, FaceTime, Skype, and even Facebook Messenger to text and even video chat with friends and family away from you. The Houseparty app is also available for video chatting with up to eight friends from all over the world. While using social media, it is recommended to share things with caution to prevent the spread of fake news amidst the coronavirus pandemic. Ensure that you share information released by major news outlets, WHO, and other official sources only.