Welcome back to another edition of The Weekly Download. We know you’ve been inundated with lots of news about the COVID-19 pandemic this week, and while we want to share important updates related to the issue, we also want to draw attention to content that can help you make the most of your time spent socially distancing.
Today we’re sharing tips and tricks for working from home, how you can learn from experts during this period of social distancing, an update to one of our favourite remote work platforms, and some Friday Fun to remind you that there’s still a lot of good in the world.
Zoom Makes it Easy to Hide Your Messy Space
If you’ve been working from home the last little while, chances are you’ve had a video conference or two to stay in the loop with your coworkers.
Zoom makes it easy to connect online via video conference — without having to tidy up before every call. The application’s Virtual Background feature allows you to use a still image or video in the background to hide your surroundings.
Just check Zoom’s support site before you give Virtual Background a try to ensure your operating system is compatible, then follow the steps outlined here.
Peleton Offers Free 90-Day Subscription Trial for At-Home Workouts
To keep people moving while they’re stuck at home, Peleton is offering a free 90-day subscription trial of its fitness app — no bike required!
The app includes access to all kinds of indoor-friendly workouts, including yoga, HIIT, stretching, strength training, and more.
Peleton announced this week that their live classes will continue without public attendees in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Have you tried the app? How are you taking care of your physical health during this stressful time? Share your tips with our team using the comments below.
Arkells Offer “Flatten the Curve” Music Classes via Instagram Live
If you’ve always wanted to learn how to play a musical instrument, now is a great time to start, and, you can learn from some of the industry’s best thanks to Instagram live.
Hamilton’s Arkells have been running “flatten the curve” music classes online so fans can learn, jam, and practice social distancing all at the same time. The band posts chords to their songs across social media ahead of class time, and then goes live with a tutorial so students can follow along and ask questions.
According to lead singer, Max Kerman, the interactive tutorials are a way to help people stay positive and spread a little joy through music during this difficult time.
Massimo Bottura Offers Free Cooking Classes on Instagram
And if music isn’t your thing, you can even learn to cook via Instagram!
Learn from celebrated Michelin-starred chef Massimo Bottura how to make delicious dishes from the comfort of your own home thanks to a nightly, free cooking series on his Instagram page.
Aptly titled “Kitchen Quarantine”, the lessons are always taught in English and take place in Bottura’s own home. Delizioso!
Watch Concerts from Home Thanks to Your Favourite Musicians and Performers
A number of musicians and performers are staying connected with fans by hosting streaming concerts amid the COVID-19 pandemic.
Stars like John Legend, Pink, Chris Martin, Keith Urban, Rob Thomas and more have been performing live streams on apps like Instagram and Facebook to help lift spirits and hope using the hashtag #TogetherAtHome.
Netflix Party Lets Friends Have Movie Nights While They Practice Social Distancing
Netflix’s newest Chrome extension is allowing people to stay socially connected while they’re apart as they practice social distancing.
Thanks to the Netflix Party extension, groups of friends can get together virtually and watch Netflix titles on their computers at the same time, with a handy sidebar chat. All you need to participate is a Google Chrome browser, the Netflix Party extension, and a Netflix subscription.
Users can send each other messages, screenshots, emojis and GIFs to round out the viewing experience.
Have you tried Netflix Party?
Slack Releases its Biggest Redesign Yet
Slack has always been a part of our daily workflow, but now more than ever, we use it to keep our team connected and check in on each other during these uncertain times.
This week, the Slack app got a big redesign, including a better sidebar customization, new compose button, a top navigation bar, and many other tweaks and changes. The goal of redesign is to make features much more apparent in the right way and simple to use.
According to Slack, the redesign was made possible thanks to “Slack champions” who provided ongoing feedback and recommendations as part of an iterative process.
Have you tried out the new Slack app? Let us know your thoughts on the redesign below!
Need a reminder that there is still a whole lot of good in the world? Look no further:
Penguins Explore the Zoo During Coronavirus Shutdown
The penguins of Chicago’s Shedd Aquarium have taken the COVID-19 shutdown and turned it into an opportunity for adventure. Watch them explore and meet new friends — so cute!
Penguins in the Amazon?! 🐧🌴
Some of the penguins went on a field trip to meet other animals at Shedd. Wellington seemed most interested in the fishes in Amazon Rising! The black-barred silver dollars also seemed interested in their unusual visitor. pic.twitter.com/KgYWsp5VQD
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 15, 2020
The adventure continues! 🐧🐧
This morning, Edward and Annie explored Shedd’s rotunda. They are a bonded pair of rockhopper penguins, which means they are together for nesting season. Springtime is nesting season for penguins at Shedd, and this year is no different! (1/3) 👇 pic.twitter.com/VdxN3oQAfe
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 16, 2020
It’s a #StPatricksDay penguin party! 💚🐧 While we can’t go out & party, the animals can! Our caretakers are committed to providing enriching activities (like edible shamrocks) for the animals with or without guests here to see it. Check in throughout the day to see more! pic.twitter.com/Xz1bXd2zk0
— Shedd Aquarium (@shedd_aquarium) March 17, 2020
Italy Stands Together In Song
Italy, one of the hardest-hit nations currently battling the COVID-19 outbreak, has shown the world that they’re continuing to stand together during this tough time.
Check out this amazing video of a balcony duet that united a small community: