The Matador guide to Social Distancing


With the onset of the coronavirus and an endless parade of dreary headlines, one new term has taken root in our vernacular: social distancing. Social distancing is a fancy way of saying, “stay away from all of your friends, family, favorite restaurants, activities, and pretty much everything else you enjoy, for a seemingly interminable period of time.” It’s not something we ever imagined we’d have to do, but for a few weeks, social distancing and self-isolation will be our new reality. That means it’s time to get creative. 

In the coming weeks, you might find yourself with more free time than you’ve ever had before. But that doesn’t mean you should be staring out the window, refreshing the news every 10 seconds, and waiting impatiently for your favorite restaurant to reopen. Whether it’s indulging in escapism with some great travel books, experimenting with a new hobby, or continuing your regular social engagements via video chat, there’s plenty you can do to stay engaged -- both by yourself and with friends.

To help you tackle the new realities of social distancing, Matador has you covered. We’ve compiled reading lists of our favorite travel books, as well as the best shows to binge-watch. For those whose gyms are closed, we’re telling you how to bring your workout to a living room or green space near you. We’re offering expert tips on working from home (did you know the entire Matador team has been WFH for 14 years?). And, most importantly, we’re showcasing the humans who are finding creative ways to forge connections digitally -- from the LGBTQ artists streaming live performances to the Italian grandma teaching virtual pasta-making lessons

Now more than ever, it’s important to stay connected, entertained, and optimistic. Let’s get through this together. 

Coping in a Time of Crisis

This Italian grandma is holding virtual pasta-making classes to keep us connected

One of the most popular Airbnb Experiences in Italy goes virtual.

Pro tips for working from home, from the Matador staff who do it year-round

10 simple ways to help your local community combat coronavirus

Millions of people opt to go without toilet paper. Maybe you should too.

Local craft distilleries are the new, unexpected heroes in the fight against COVID-19

How you can help hospitality workers affected by COVID-19

Faced with no guests, these wellness hotels are taking care of their staff

How cannabis dispensaries are finding ways to provide an essential service during the pandemic

What travel bans mean for the Australians who needed tourism after summer bushfires

Stay fit and get outside

Your questions about exercising outside while social distancing, answered

Run, walk, hike, bike. But do it responsibly.

How to find remote green spaces near you to get out of the house

Night hiking might just become your new favorite outdoor activity

How to stay in shape at home when the gym is closed

Why wild camping is the ultimate de-stressor

9 workouts you can do on literally any vacation

How to stay hydrated in 2020, according to someone who hates water

These constellations are in full force this spring. Here’s when to watch them.

Seriously, now is not the time to thru-hike

Fill up your free time

9 boardless, cardless games to play anywhere

Free and easy entertainment.

Online classes that will keep you busy and inspired during isolation

Virtual ways to connect socially that don’t involve drinking

5 iconic knitting patterns from around the world you need to master

The time to sing from our balconies is upon us. These are the songs to sing.

5 ways the world tackles spring cleaning

The 9 plants you can keep alive even if you travel a lot

5 expert tips for tracing your family lineage

The best language-learning apps and websites to try

Dive into a book

Cheerful books that will bring you joy during this isolating, scary time

Ward off the doom and gloom.

12 books that will take you armchair traveling in 2020

5 LGBTQ books to celebrate pride all year long

8 books that will take your taste buds on a global journey

5 travel memoirs by women that will inspire you to hit the road

The best travel memoirs to read while you’re stuck inside

12 books by black authors that will feed your desire to travel

When women adventure, they change the world. This children’s book proves it.

5 underrated books that’ll convince you travel is good for the soul

Breathe Deep and Unwind

A therapist’s guide to boosting your mental health when you’re socially isolated

Banish negative thoughts from taking up space in your head.

A stay-at-home vacation is actually the best way to sort out your life

Tips for moving your yoga practice from the studio to your home

5 breathing exercises you can do to ease anxiety

Everything you need to know about having sex while social distancing

How feng shui can make you feel cozier at home, according to experts

5 cool types of meditation and how to experience them

Everything you need to know before eating edibles for the first time

These astronauts gave their pro tips for surviving social isolation

Get in the Kitchen (or just drink)

The Matador team’s favorite comfort foods from around the world

From cheesy to warming to cheesy again.

How to preserve, pickle, and dry foods in your new free time

Now’s the time to get really good at baking bread

It’s time to embrace the Finnish tradition of drinking in your underwear

How the rise of virtual drinking will change the way we socialize

7 unique ways people drink tea around the world

You should be shopping at Asian groceries during the coronavirus crisis — and long after

21 drinking games you can play in any bar

The 7 healthiest cuisines in the world you should learn to cook

Connect with Family

How people are coping with being far from family when borders are closed

International students are going through a particularly hard time.

How to reduce family stress at a time of crisis

What to do when your active kids are stuck inside

Across the US, students confront college life without a campus

How to use the unschooling approach to ease the stress of homeschooling

Pro tips for working from home with kids in the house

6 free or inexpensive apps and websites that make home-learning a breeze

How to create structure for your kids when you’re all at home

7 reasons now is the perfect time to try cloth diapering

Stream it


The best museums to visit virtually from your sofa, and what to look at

12 LGBTQ films and TV shows to help you explore the world from your home

This calendar shows the live music streaming shows you can watch at home

Netflix Party extension allows you watch and chat with friends while you’re stuck at home

10 films that show the beauty of Europe

7 films you can stream on Disney+ that will inspire you to travel

These virtual field trips will keep you busy during quarantine

The best LGBTQ events you can attend without leaving home

Uplifting News

This Jersey City chef wants to feed ‘literally anybody that comes our way’

“If you know someone in need we will feed them, no questions asked.”

Check out spring’s spectacular flower blooms live from the safety of your home

Atlanta medical workers fly to NYC to aid in the fight against coronavirus

Amazon will partner with SXSW for a virtual film festival

Drone footage captures ‘isolation disco’ party in Newcastle

This best-selling illustrator is hosting daily online drawing classes for kids

With ‘suspended shopping’ Italians are paying it forward during the coronavirus crisis

The New England Patriots team plane is carrying 1.2 million surgical masks from China

Mountain goats are taking over this Welsh town during lockdown

The International Center of Photography wants to see your pandemic photos

10 LGBTQ headlines from around the world that prove there’s a lot of good happening

Outdoor influencer launches a contest to create indoor adventure scenes

Livestream the northern lights to stay connected with the outdoors during self-isolation

Oakland and other cities are converting hotels into housing for the homeless

Social distancing measures are slowly paying off in Italy, San Francisco, and elsewhere around the world

Two puppies ran free in a closed aquarium, and the video is adorable

Airbnb is offering free housing to 100,000 COVID-19 responders

The Smithsonian Channel released 68 free ‘Aerial America’ episodes for a hefty dose of isolation escapism

Make cocktails, cook, and salsa dance with Puerto Rico’s weekend of free virtual classes

Memphis is holding a three-day virtual music festival this weekend

This cowboy museum’s security guard is now in charge of social media, and his posts will have you laughing

Rugby commentator hilariously narrates everyday life as virus cancels all sporting events

Four Seasons Hotel in NYC is offering free rooms to medical workers

Ryan Reynolds’ liquor brand is donating part of its proceeds to out-of-work bartenders

Support your favorite restaurants on Tuesday during the Great American Takeout

Tinder is making its Passport feature free to help you cope with social distancing

Hundreds of libraries and museums have released downloadable coloring books

During lockdown, people get creative with workouts, bingo, and dance sessions

Mallorca police put on an uplifting concert for citizens in lockdown

TV medical dramas are donating their supplies to hospitals

The New York Public Library lets you download more than 300,000 books for free

Independent bookshops in England are offering home delivery during the coronavirus crisis

Customer leaves $9,400 tip to help Houston restaurant through the coronavirus closure

NYC bars and restaurants are getting creative with cocktails to go

Two children put on a cello concert for their elderly neighbor in self-isolation

José Andrés is converting closed restaurants into community kitchens

Wanderful is giving away 600 memberships for women in travel to connect while social distancing

Customer leaves $2,500 tip at this Ohio bar before its closure due to the coronavirus

Chicago aquarium lets penguins meet other animals during coronavirus closure

French luxury brand LVMH is using its factories to make hand sanitizer

John Oliver urges people to take 30 seconds to selfishly complain about the coronavirus

Italians in lockdown in Siena come together in song

Save Bookmark
We use cookies to understand how you use our site and to improve your experience. This includes personalizing content and advertising. For more information on how we use cookies consult our revised Privacy Policy and Terms of Service.
Disable Cookies I accept