Working remotely, and the temporary work suspension for some of us, leave us with many more hours of free time to occupy.
In a moment of self-isolation like this one, an escapism opportunity is provided to us by the web, a parallel world that we can access everytime we look at the screens of our tablets, mobiles, and computers. The content of this parallel world is never ending and constantly changing, but it is during this pandemic that we assist to the phenomenon of digital solidarity. This initiative has been promoted by the Italian Ministry of Technological Innovation and Digitalization with the aim to offer free online services to citizens in order to mitigate the impact of the pandemic on the economy and society. Let’s have a look at a few examples of digital solidarity initiatives that are keeping us company during our self-isolation at home:
1. Multimedia content – the online world has an array of multimedia content to offer. There are paying platforms such as Netflix, Amazon Prime Video, Apple TV, Disney +, but also platforms that are free of charge such as Rai Play and Mediaset Play. Nevertheless, this current pandemic has seen a rise in digital solidarity initiatives also in the entertainment industry. Here is how some smaller entertainment brands gained visibility during this time of stagnation. Dplay Plus offers not fourteen trial days, but a whole free month; Minerva Pictures gifts 100 free movies on the streaming website The film Club. What is more, many museums in major European cities have put on their websites high resolution virtual free tours where people can admire major art masterpieces from the comfort of their homes. So is a virtual tour comparable to the in person experience? Certainly not, but it’s nonetheless a pleasant one. Another very successful project, this time from the area of Verona, is that of the platform Co-Vida launched by Paola Vinci and Francesco Ambrosini. The platform gathers all kinds of digital solidarity initiatives from culture and self-development to health.
2. Self-development – If italian students are now entirely learning from home why not take them as an example? There are a variety of e-learning websites that offer widely recognised and free classes. Besides the well-know platform Coursera here are some others that might interest you: edX offers courses that are taught in prestigious universities like Harvard, Khan Academy helps you develop your math skills, Alison allows to you gain expertise in a lot of areas through a practical and hands-on approach, Codecademy offers computer programming and coding courses, on Lynda you will access creative classes on web & design, photography, 3D animation, while on Duolinguo you can lean a new foreign language simply by playing.
3. Physical exercise – We want to emphasize once again the importance of regular physical exercise on our overall well-being. We suggest you to perform some very simple exercises that have been uploaded on the web by personal trainers of many gyms that have been forced to close. In this respect, the gym Salus has had the fantastic idea to hold its gym classes through regular online meetings via Zoom. The result? Their brand-awareness has skyrocketed with followers from all over Italy subscribing to the initiative. What is certain is that this gym will be remembered also after the pandemic will be over.
And if our eyes get tired from all that screen- staring, we suggest you to let them rest on the pages of a good book.