When COVID-19 closed schools and shuttered theaters and concert venues, response was swift.
Coldplay’s frontman, Chris Martin, separated from his bandmates by international borders, played a mini gig at home, as did country star Keith Urban, with his wife, Nicole Kidman, lurking in the background.
Choreographer Debbie Allen got people off the couch with free dance classes on Instagram.
Audible pledged to provide free audiobooks for little kids and teens for the duration.
An embarrassment of riches for those whose experience of COVID-19 is somewhere between extended snow day and staycation...
But what about caregivers who suddenly find themselves providing 24-7 care for elders with dementia, or neuro-atypical adult children whose upended routine is wreaking havoc on their emotions?
“I know people are happy that the schools have closed but I just lost critical workday hours and if/when day hab closes I will have to take low-paid medical leave AND we will not have any breaks from caregiving someone with 24-7 needs and aggressive, loud behaviors. I feel completely defeated,” one friend writes.
24 hours later:
We just lost day hab, effective tomorrow. My messages for in-home services haven't been returned yet. Full on panic mode.
What can we do to help lighten those loads when we’re barred from physical interaction, or entering each other’s homes?
We combed through our archive, with an eye toward the most soothing, uplifting content, appropriate for all ages, starting with pianist Paul Barton's classical concerts for elephants in Kanchanaburi, Thailand, above.
Hours of soothing nature footage from the BBC.
Guided Imagery Meditation from Johns Hopkins All Children’s Hospital
Multiple seasons of Bob Ross!
Homemade American Music, a 1980 documentary on rural southeastern traditional music and musicians
Winsor McKay’s Gertie the Dinosaur
Calming Music and Audio:
We’ve also got a trove of free coloring books and pages, though caregivers should vet the content before sharing it with someone who’s likely to be disturbed by medical illustration and images of medieval demons…
Readers, if you know a resource that might buy caregivers and their agitated, housebound charges a bit of peace, please add it in the comments below.