Aussies Are Trying 'Virtually Everything' To Stay Sane Indoors
Australians are getting cabin fever and it appears they're doing everything they 'virtually' can to keep occupied as the coronavirus continues to grip the nation and force people inside.
According to Google Trends, the number of Aussies searching for virtual experiences spiked sharply during the last two weeks to its highest peak in more than five years.
The top related search is for 'virtual zoo tour Australia', followed by 'virtual Disney ride', 'virtual house party', 'virtual board game' and 'virtual dinner party app'.
And now, bored Australians are about to get exactly what they searched for.
The Australian Reptile Park is delivering on the zoo front by bringing its animals -- like a 4.5-metre salt water crocodile, for instance -- to your lounge room. Well, sort of.
The wildlife sanctuary will be producing educational videos for school kids in a bid to assist parents who are now homeschooling their children.
Titled 'Animal Tales With Tim Faulkner', the educational videos will be hosted by the conservationist, who also has his own television series and appeared on Bondi Vet.
Despite being closed to the public, the park will also be live-streaming zookeepers daily who will be showcasing their favourite animals while answering viewer questions.
These include a feeding session with Elvis the Saltwater crocodile and playtime with the dingoes.
If you promised the kids a trip to Disneyland but now you're stuck at home for the indefinite future, you're in luck.
After Disney was forced to close its parks and hotels, the company started to post ride-through videos on YouTube which provide viewers with the visual experience of being on one of the Disney rides.
There are now hundreds of videos available that let viewers experience rides such as Space Mountain, or Pirates of the Caribbean.
The days where we could go to casual dinner parties or have friends over are gone -- for now -- but there's an app which might lift your spirits and make you feel connected.
In the last week alone, Houseparty, which was born out of Silicon Valley, was downloaded more than two million times. That's up from 130,000 during the same week last month.
Houseparty's meteoric rise has clearly been spiked by the ongoing pandemic but it is nevertheless entertaining people across the world.
The app taps into the user’s contact book and allows them to connect to other friends online.
Up to eight people can enter a video chat at one time and when the 'door' to a party is left unlocked, friends of friends can wander in (virtually) and join the conversation.
It also features a number of in-app games and trivia.
The spike in searches for virtual board games is interesting because unless you live alone, the majority of homes will at least have one or two physical games lying around -- but Monopoly and Uno can become monotonous pretty quickly.
For those looking to engage with friends, there is a variety of online games from Galaxy Trucker to Chess. And there are hundreds to choose from via a website called Tabletopia.
And while there aren't really any specific dinner party apps, you can still show off that slow-roasted lamb you've been slaving away at via the likes of FaceTime or Skype.
Even meeting tools like Zoom are handy platforms to use for hosting video conversations with multiple parties and would work fine for a virtual dinner party setting.
Keeping busy and in touch with everyone should help inject some happiness into your day while providing a much-needed laugh and distraction from the constant stress of this uncertain time.