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How To Socialise At Home

Amid the COVID-19 pandemic, here's how to stay connected with friends and family

As Australia prepares to head into a state of lockdown, with an “essentials only” policy to leaving the home – there’s never been a greater time to explore the ways to socialise from home. As social distancing and self-isolation become the norm for our everyday lives to ‘flatten the curve’ of the COVID-19 virus, virtually staying in touch with friends and family can help in limiting feelings of loneliness and anxiety. 

From remote binge-watching sessions to group video house parties, these are the get-togethers available online right now. 

Netflix Party

Thanks to a clever Google Chrome extension named Netflix Party, there’s no need to miss out on binge-watching sessions with friends while self-isolating during the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak. Once downloaded and installed to your Google Chrome internet browser, Netflix Party allows you to either create or join a friend’s existing Netflix party where you can then synchronise your video playback so that you can watch the latest ep of Riverdale at the same time as all your mates. There’s also a group function so that you can chat while you watch.

Head here to learn how to install


This group video app, launched in 2016, was popular among teens due to its ties to Snapchat and game Fortnite. Now, globally it’s becoming known for keeping people connected during the COVID-19 pandemic. Houseparty is for hosting parties with up to eight friends and is a super-easy way to video chat with a big group. The app also offers games such as Head’s Up, Trivia and Cards Against Humanity.  You can share your screen and leave ‘Facemail’ for your friends and family in different time zones.

Live At-Home Workouts

While it’s all good and well to plan a workout from the comfort of home, during these times the need to connect has never been greater. That’s why many fitness apps are offering free, live workouts so that big groups can workout together. Keep It Cleaner is offering classes on Wednesday and Fridays at 7 am with no equipment required, via Instagram and Facebook Live. They’re also being saved to the app’s public Facebook group, so don’t stress if you miss a class. 

Head To A Livestreamed Concert

Sofa King Fest is an emergency response online music and arts directory aimed to minimise COVID-19 quarantine boredom while providing a platform to raise money for artists, crew, and music industry professionals affected by this pandemic. There have already been concerts from Diplo, Willie Nelson and Melissa Etheridge. 

Brush Up On Your Cocktail Making 

Grant Collins, the founder of Gin Lane and Blossom Bar, will be hosting virtual cocktail making classes via Instagram Live and Facebook Live from March 20. The free classes will kick off at 3:30pm (Friday arvo drinks?) and will be filmed from Gin Lane or Blossom Bar with the aim of inspiring people to enjoy their time at home, during periods of social distancing.    

Learn A New Skill

New York Times bestselling illustrator and graphic journalist Wendy MacNaughton is offering free, daily drawing classes on Instagram Live for the week of March 16. “The class is for kids of all ages, parents of kids, parents of parents, aunties/uncles, friends, and pets,” the artist shared on her Instagram (@wendymac) in an announcement post.

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