I’m normally not an anxious person. But there’s no such thing as normal right now, and suddenly all manner of routine concerns feel like the end of the world.
For example: My husband had a headache yesterday. He said it was just allergies. But as I was ramming a thermometer in his mouth, digging out masks and wondering which room we could seal off for quarantine – I couldn’t help but feel a sense of pandemic-panic set in. (It was allergies. He’s fine.)
I know I’m not alone feeling like life is spinning out of control. What helps most so far? Having a meaningful connection to the outside world for answers, reassurance and help with our most urgent questions. Here are seven tech tools that should be on your radar:
This telehealth site is offering a free virtual “COVID consult” with a U.S. based, board-certified doctor for anyone experiencing flu-like symptoms including cough, runny nose or fever. Sign up and connect with a doctor in less than a minute to get the answers and care you need immediately.
This new site (free for now) teaches seniors fundamental tech-based life skills including filling prescriptions online, setting up online banking and bill pay, and enrolling in Medicare. Retired educators and tech industry experts teach the interactive courses in a way that lets older Americans learn-by-doing, versus just watching a video. As one of my friends explained, “it’s essentially seniors teaching other seniors basic tech stuff.”
If you have a burning question in need of a fast, professional answer without leaving the house – about immigration, custody issues, pet health, taxes, employment, teaching, couples counseling or just about anything else – this is the site to bookmark right away. Rather than spin down the rabbit-hole of mass Googling and confusing community chat forums, this site lets you ask your question, get a solid answer from a proven expert, and move on with your life. Sign up for a 7-day trial for $5, then it’s $30-$55 a month after that.
This new (free) website lets you check product availability and prices in stores near you. Two teens in Texas created the site after returning home from college and saw their own parents struggling to find everything from milk to bread, and yes, toilet paper. As more people sign up for the site, there’s potential for it to become a “Waze” for groceries with real-time updates and crowdsourced results.
The restaurant reservation app recently expanded its software to let you choose between available shopping times slots at supermarkets and retailers near you. Rather than show up and potentially wait in line for hours on end, you can open the (free) app and reserve a time slot or join a waitlist.
This free app (iOS, Android) typically lets you know about concerts and live music happening near you. Now that concerts are off the agenda for who-knows-how-long, the gig notification and discovery app helps you find musician-hosted livestreams via Twitch, Twitter and other ways to tune in. Sign up and it sends you notifications, so you can catch all your faves as they perform online.
A network news producer surprise FaceTimed yesterday and caught me with no makeup on, my hair a hot mess and still wearing pajamas. Sure, it was two in the afternoon, but this is my WFH norm. Download this free camera filter to your desktop device and it instantly adds an AR layer of makeup, or other special effects, to make sure you’re ready for that next video call.