How To Deal With Coronavirus Cabin Fever: Stuff You Can Still Do! | Texas Public Radio

How To Deal With Coronavirus Cabin Fever: Stuff You Can Still Do!

Apr 13, 2020

Updated Monday, April 13, at 12:35 p.m. This post will be updated regularly. Share your ideas with us at

If you're going stir-crazy hunkered down at home, consider these great ideas. You can refocus morbid thoughts to all kinds of endeavors and arts. Some are classical music performances. Some are Broadway plays. And some are museum virtual tours.

We've compiled links and information provided to us by arts and entertainment organizations. We will continue to add to this so that we can all get through this and come out the other side knowing a little more about our world. 


  • Bob Ross programs

       Dulcet-toned Bob Ross might be good for what ails you in the age of COVID-19. The Bob Ross YouTube channel has all 403 programs he recorded, and that's all 31 years' worth. A definite respite for the weary, and if you paint along with him, you might just learn a new skill.

  • Champion High School orchestra performs Ode To Joy.

The San Antonio Zoo is closed, but do you ever wonder what the animals are up to while everyone is at home? Now you can virtually connect with the zoo’s animals, from anywhere

Audiences can go to the zoo’s new media page on its website to find a collection of videos, including a live webcam of jellyfish, animal chats, Nature Education, “Zoo-It-Yourself” DIY videos and Zen Zoo yoga. Also of note, the zoo’s Facebook page Monday–Fridays at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for live animal chats. Tune in at 10:30 a.m. for Zen Zoo yoga live.

You won't get to see anything on Broadway for the near term, but you can see Broadway productions streaming in the comfort of your own living room. Newsies, Sweeney Todd, Rent — we're talking blockbusters here — Billy Elliot, Sunday in the Park With George. All available on multiple platforms, all with Broadway casts, and all viewable right there at home.

  • SXSW Short Films

If you were among the thousands of film fans who missed going to the annual SXSW Film Festival in March (since it was canceled), you can now watch almost all of the short films that would have screened at the festival online, thanks to a partnership between MailChimp and Oscilloscope Laboratories.

That includes animated, documentary and plenty of Texas-made shorts, including all films in the Texas High School Shorts category. San Antonio-based Saint Mary’s Hall senior Wilson Jones’s film “Alex” was due to screen at the fest, and you can watch it and all of the featured films here.


  • Operas

A day after canceling upcoming performances due to concerns around the coronavirus, the Metropolitan Opera announced that it would stream encore presentations from the award-winning Live in HD series of cinema transmissions on the company website for the duration of the closure. From Wagner To Verdi to Puccini, these change every night. 

Italian opera singer Andrea Bocelli will perform from Milan's emprty Duomo cathedral on Easter Sunday, April 12. The concert will be streamed on YouTube starting at 5:00 p.m. GMT.

NPR has a list of virtual concerts and home performances from artists that they hope will grow as time goes by. And really, while you're at it, NPR has a massive collection of small, bite-size concerts (usually three songs) recorded at a desk in a corner there. The concerts have been named Tiny Desk Concerts, and they really are exceptional. From Sting to Taylor Swift to San Antonio's own Nina Diaz, this is good stuff!

Nina Diaz during her NPR Tiny Desk Concert
Credit NPR

Americana, Jazz, Classical Music — there's a lot here. NPR has curated quite a variety, from Superstar John Legend to to the Indigo Girls to the Vienna State Opera. All there and all for free.  Expand your musical horizons or just relish in your favorite indulgence.

And on April 18, Global Citizen and teh World Health Organization will host a star-studded lineup for their "One World: Together at Home" telecast. Artists include Paul McCartney, Lady Gaga, Lizzo, Billie Eilish and more. The show is set for 8 p.m. ET and will air on ABC, CBS, NBC and digitally on YouTube, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and more.

  • Fresh Air Archive

Now, you can now search the entire Fresh Air archive — over 40 years of interviews, 22,000 segments, all for your listening pleasure.

  • Olmos Ensemble 

San Antonio chamber music group of long standing has a youtube channel with many performances. They just added Dvorak Piano Quintet No. 2, Op. 81 for wind quintet and piano (arr. Jolley) IV. Finale. 

Live Nation's "Live From Home" is a virtual hub of live streams, contents and more, annd it's updated daily. You just have to sign in to your preferred music streaming service.

  • Austin City Limits 

Austin City Limits began its first season about 85 miles up the road on the UT campus at the corner of 26th and Guadalupe. PBS station KLRU's 6th floor studio was big enough to host some of the biggest talents in Texas, starting with Willie Nelson as the first performer. In the 46 years since they have gone through a myriad of changes, but one thing has stayed the same: It's all about the music.

Now ACL has opened up a chunk of its archive — this season's programs, plus selections from years past, so that you can take a deep dive as you shelter in place. Enjoy!   

  • Haydn's "Lord Nelson" Mass

Performed by the San Antonio Choarl Society, Trinity University Choirs and the Trinity Symphony Orchestra, this mass was held on Feb. 29 at Laurel Heights Methodist Church. You can watch the full thing — prelude included! — on YouTube now. Enjoy the sounds of over 225 musicians with a 4K resolution and the ability to rewatch your favorite parts.

  • Gurwitz Piano Competition

This year's Gurwitz International Piano Competition is available to stream on the Musical Bridges Around the World YouTube channel. Twelve competitors perform solo and ensemble works.



While you can't go right now to the British Museum in London or New York's Guggenheim, you can go there virtually with the help of the internet. Washington DC's National Gallery of Art, the Musée d’Orsay  in Paris,  Seoul's National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art can all be accessed through this snazzy little site.  Berlin's Pergamon Museum, LA's Getty, Sao Paolo's MASP, Amsterdam's Van Gogh and the Uffizi Gallery in Florence are all there for you to see. And you won't need to update your passport! 

Or if you want something more local, check out what the San Antonio Museum of Art has to offer virtually:

Stay tuned for an online tour with curators Suzanne Weaver and Lana Meador of the exhibition Texas Women. Explore their collection online. Follow them on InstagramTwitter and Facebook for chats with the curators, trivia, games and a behind-the-scenes peek at the (socially distanced) work that our registrars and exhibition teams are doing. Find downloadable educational art curriculum for teachers on our website.

  • How You Listen To Music

Youth Orchestras of San Antonio's Troy Peters produced this short video for his students, and anyone who is curious. It has to do with how we listen to music. We all get into our ruts for how we listen to music, and in this video he details three ways you can break out of your norm and hear music in new ways. 

The title is a good description: 1150 movies, 265 documentaries, online courses, lectures from Joseph Campbell, Carl Sagan, Leonard Bernstein, Buckminster Fuller. This is a site you're going to wonder why you waited for Coronavirus to visit. 

Looks like you might be spending more time at home 'til we make our way through this thing, so why not finally make some headway in the kitchen? Gucci Osteria's Massimo Bottura is offering free cooking classes on Instagram.  You could pay an arm and a leg for cooking classes from an acclaimed chef or get them for free in the comfort of your own kitchen... Hey, that works!  

If you're anything like me, you really like the idea of TED Talks, but you haven't taken the time to listen to very many. It could be that now you have that time, so why not dive in? If you go to the TED Talks website, they have a really handy and interactive way that they can establish what kind of talks you would like, bringing you directly to topics that interest you. People can be really amazing, and people who give TED Talks have the gift of conveying that amazement.  

Senior Planet, an online social community for people 60 years or older, is now offering courses on Zoom. The sessions allow the social connections, great conversations and fun to keep happening, despite social isolation.

  • Fly Through The Washington National Cathedral

Only in the age of drones is this possible. The lovely stained glass, the amazing architecture, and the beauty are all a nice break from COVID-19.  Don't forget to have your speakers up because the organist for the Washington National Cathedral provides music from Edward Elgar.  

  • Or, tour Texas

KERA in Dallas put together a long list of different sites you can virtually explore, from NASA to Big Bend!


  • SAY Sí Online

SAY Sí is offering online creative projects and resources through its Creative Care Package, which includes visual art tutorials, movie and documentary recommendations and artistic learning resources.

  • SAWS projects

The SAWS education and conservation departments have collaborated on multiple fun projects — all of which can be done at home with things in your home. Need a new tote? Make one with some apples! Have lots of old toys lying around? Upcycle them! There are ideas for Mother's Day gifts and for keeping your yard bug-free for the summertime. They also have more educational options, including their virtual classroom, which provides interactive lessons for different age groups, and all you ever need or want to know about water

  • Gardening

 Now’s as good a time as any to create a backyard garden, be it large or small. A variety of flowers, vegetables, fruits and spices grow well in South Texas, and you can still pick up seeds or bulbs at home improvement stores (which remain open). PBS runs a great program about gardening, and at TPR’s last Think Science event, we heard from Bill Neiman, founder of Native American Seed, based out of Junction, TX. Their site offers tips for gardening, as well as a handy supply of native seed that you can order by mail.


  • Virtual Exercise

Staying inside doesn't mean you have to lounge all day! The YMCA is offering virtual exercise group classes via Youtube. From yoga to boot camp to sessions for older athletes, their channel is filled with exercise options to keep you busy and feeling in-shape.

  • Meditation via the Monterey Bay Aquarium

This Coronavirus thing has really upped the stress levels, so the Monterey Bay Aquarium has made available footage of jellyfish with some new age music and someone to steer you through what they call "Morning Meditocean."  Give this a look-see. Even if you're not into meditation, this is worth a visit.    


  • OnePlus Strength and Conditioning

OnePlus Strength and Conditioning is offering free online workouts to those of you missing breaking out a gym sweat.

  • Yoga With Adriene

Austin Yoga instructor Adriene Mishler has a whole youtube channel with different levels of yoga, including "Yoga After Disaster" and "Yoga For When You're Angry."  This might be just what the stress doctor would prescribe.


A new "at-home hub" offers games, videos, articles and more for anyone looking to cure their boredom.

The San Antonio Zoo is closed, but do you ever wonder what the animals are up to while everyone is at home? Now you can virtually connect with the zoo’s animals, from anywhere!

Audiences can go to the zoo’s new media page on its website to find a collection of videos, including a live webcam of jellyfish, animal chats, Nature Education, “Zoo-It-Yourself” DIY videos and Zen Zoo yoga. Also of note, the zoo’s Facebook page Monday – Fridays at 9 a.m. and 2 p.m. for live animal chats.  Tune in at 10:30 a.m. for Zen Zoo yoga live.

  • Daily Doodles

Kids’ author Mo Willems is here to make your weekdays a little better for a while: Starting today, he’ll release a new “Lunch Doodle” video each weekday at 1 p.m.

Willems — he of the beloved Don’t Let the Pigeon Drive the Bus, Knuffle Bunny, and The Elephant and Piggy series, though you already knew that — is the current Education Artist in Residence at the Kennedy Center. He says his livestream will virtually invite “learners of all ages” into his studio and encourage them to draw and write with him. New videos will be posted to the Mo Willems page on the Kennedy Center’s website.

Willems is encouraging students to send him questions at, and he’ll try to answer some of the questions in his videos. “I know a lot of you guys are not in school. You’re at home right now, because of all the things that are going on. Well guess what? I’m at home, too,” he said in a video press release. “We’re gonna hang out together. Matter of fact, I’m really looking forward to it.”

  • Musical Bridges Around The World 

Make Musical Sprouts curricula are fully available online for parents and children from any school district. Broadcast live, the Musical Evenings at San Fernando Cathedral concerts play on their originally-planned dates, allowing audiences to enjoy performances from the comfort and safety of their own homes. Expect something very unique. 

You can't go to the Magik for any performances right now, but they do have some interesting streaming content for the young. If you've got restless children, this might be good for you and them both.

  • Disney Imagineering

If the coronavirus is crimping your plans for a family vacation to a Disney park this summer, you can still experience some of the magic at home and learn a little about design and engineering at the same time! Disney and Pixar’s Imagineers have teamed up with Khan Academy to create a multi-part course for kids (and curious adults) called “Imagineering in a Box,” which uses videos and at-home activities to illustrate how they make the magic work at Disney parks around the world.

  • The Witte Museum

Witte Where You Are offers engaging, interactive virtual experiences for the whole family, including gallery tours, the opportunity to explore Witter artifacts and more. Find their videos here.

  • Captain Underpants

The Library of Congress is collaborating with Captain Underpants author and illustrator Dav Pilkey to create weekly videos for kids (and adults!) who might want to try their hand at drawing while we’re social distancing at home.

Starting Wednesday, April 1, the Library will release videos and other downloadable activities on its website and social media feeds. The content is free and accessible to the public.

On Friday mornings at 7 a.m. CT, Pilkey will release new videos with drawing demonstrations, reading aloud and more.


Jack Morgan can be reached at and on Twitter at @JackMorgan

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