Last week, health organizations including the CDC encouraged families around the country to stay home and avoid crowds to help stymie the spread of the coronavirus. I, along with countless others, have been asked to work from home as a part of what is being described as social distancing.


While it may be difficult for some to stay cooped up at home, many groups are offering activities online that can help alleviate some of the stresses that come with social distancing.


Here is a list of five activities that you can your family can do while staying at home:


1. Continue education


Late last week, Sherman and Denison Independent School Districts, along with other districts, announced classesd would be suspended for the next week. However, this doesn’t mean that students can’t learn classroom lessons during this break.


Book publisher Scholastic announced last week that it will be releasing free daily educational activities for children through its website throughout the epidemic. These lessons are broken up by age group and include articles and videos, among other activities.


2. Check out a book


Even if you are at home, you are able to visit the public library and check out a book, virtually of course. Both the Sherman and Denison Public Libraries use an app called Libby that allows readers to check out e-books and audiobooks that are in the library’s collection.


Sherman Library Director MeLissa Eason said the library is a part of a consortium of about 30 libraries across North Texas that have pooled their collections of e-books and other electronic resources together. Much like a traditional library, users are able to check out a copy of a e-book and read it from their computer or mobile device.


The application does require an active library card. For Apple and Android users, the Libby app is recommended. Kindle devices should instead use the Overdrive app, which is owned by the same company.


3. Visit a museum


In response to the ongoing pandemic, many museums across the world have closed their doors to the public. However, their virtual doors remain open.


Many museums are opening their electronic resources, including online exhibits and tours to the public even after closing their physical locations. Museums that offer virtual tours include The Louvre Museum, The British Museum, Van Gogh Museum and Guggenheim Museum.


Outside of museums, several zoos and aquariums, including the Aquarium of the Pacific have live streams ongoing of their various exhibits available on their websites.


4. Go to the opera


Last week, the Metropolitan Opera House in New York announced that it will be suspending shows through the end of March due to the Coronavirus outbreak. This included the cancellation of showings of its Live in HD series at theaters across the country.


However, the Met announced this weekend that it will be streaming an opera each night at 6:30 p.m. during the closure. The operas will each be a part of the Live in HD collection and will be available on the opera’s website for 20 hours following the presentation.


5. See a concert


For the first time in 24 years, the Dropkick Murphys did not perform during the St. Patrick’s Day weekend. However, this isn’t going to keep the Boston-based Celtic punk band from celebrating the holiday.


In its announcement cancelling weekend shows, the band told fans that it will be streaming a free live concert online Tuesday night as a part of St. Patrick’s Day festivities. The concert is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday and will be streamed on the band’s YouTube, Instagram and Facebook pages.