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.

Give Back and get inspired

Stay fit and get outside

Fill up your free time

Dive into a book

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.

Get in the Kitchen (or just drink)

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.

Stream it

Have some Pride

Global Pride 2020 Going Virtual Is a Lesson in Making Pride Accessible for Everyone

This event will be accessible regardless of disability, location, or socioeconomic status.

Looking forward

In Wuhan, Hot Dry Noodle Vendors Reopening Is a Welcome Sign of Normalcy

This beloved breakfast tradition isn’t going anywhere.

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.”

Austrian Design Studio Plans Stunning Maze-Like Park for Social Distancing

Lions in South Africa’s Kruger National Park Are Taking Over Empty Roads and Golf Courses

A Colorado Bookstore Delivers ‘Mystery Bags’ of Books Via Bicycle To Customers on Lockdown

Dogs May Be Trained To Sniff Out Coronavirus To Help Stop the Spread

Princess Sofia of Sweden Will Assist Medical Workers During the Pandemic

Tonight, the American Flag Is Being Projected Onto the Matterhorn in a Display of Solidarity

New Yorkers Will Belt Out ‘New York, New York’ From Their Windows and Balconies Tonight

Celebrity Chef José Andrés Promises Doctors and Nurses Will Eat for Free at His Restaurants for the Rest of 2020

Emirates Rolls Out Rapid Pre-Flight COVID-19 Tests for Passengers

99-Year-Old British Army Veteran Raised Over $17 Million for Health Services

In Indonesia, Patrols Dressed Up as Ghosts Scare People Into Staying Indoors

Attention Amateur Bakers: This Sourdough Library Offers Virtual Tours

UK Travel Industry Unites To Give Healthcare Workers Free Vacations

A 93-Year-Old Woman Ran Out of Beer, and Coors Came To the Rescue

Lego Is Making 13,000 Face Visors a Day for Hospital Workers in Denmark

Austria Is the First European Country To Ease Coronavirus Lockdown Measures

United Airlines Flew a Team of Health Workers From San Francisco To NYC To Help Battle Coronavirus

Georgia Bar Donated All the Dollar Bills Stapled To Its Walls To Staff

Masked Man Hands Out Free Weed and Toilet Paper To Locked-Down Residents

Unfazed by Coronavirus Fears, Cruise Bookings Are Up for 2021

Pet Shelters ‘Sold Out’ of Adoptable Animals Due To COVID-19

Iconic San Francisco Bookstore Facing Closure Raises Over $451,000 in Just Three Days

In These Locked-Down Cities, Animals Are Taking Over the Vacant Streets

Amid Worldwide Lockdowns, Seismic Noise Has Gone Way Down

75-Year-Old Ugandan Leader Releases Home Workout Video

All-Girl Afghan Robotics Team Builds Ventilator Out of Car Parts

Neighborhood in Ireland Enjoys Outdoor Movie Screenings During Lockdown

Himalayas Visible From Northern India as COVID-19 Lockdown Dramatically Reduces Pollution

Delta’s New Cancellation Policy Allows Passengers To Rebook for Two Years

Soda Pup, the Winery Dog, Does Curbside Wine Deliveries During the Coronavirus Crisis

For the First Time in 13 Years, This Panda Couple Mated in Hong Kong Shuttered Zoo

Andrea Bocelli Will Give an Easter Performance From Milan’s Iconic Duomo Cathedral

The World’s Best Restaurant Prepares Thousands of Meals for Front-Line Workers

New Zealand’s Strong Response To the Coronavirus Crisis Is Already Paying Off

Spain To Establish Basic Income To Help Citizens Through the Coronavirus Pandemic

Several European Countries Eyeing Tentative Return To Normalcy

These Charts Show the Dramatic Decline of Traffic in Cities Around the World

Rehabilitated Koalas To Be Released From Australian Hospital

At This Belgian Zoo, Orangutans and Otters Make Unlikely Friends

Video Shows Yosemite National Park Full of Animals in the Absence of Humans

Donate Your Ski Goggles To Medical Workers on the Front Lines

This Facebook Group Is Helping Medical Workers Self-Isolate by Matching Them With Unused RVs

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

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

Faced With No Guests, These Wellness Hotels Are Taking Care of Their Staff

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

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

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