Calls For Action, Musings


March 27, 2020

Coronavirus is scary and unpredictable and nerve-rattling but staying positive and not falling into the pit is so necessary right now. This forced isolation could be an opportunity for exploration and learning for those not ill.

Take this time for yourself and take a breather. Thinking up disaster scenarios without having any control is not going to serve anyone well. Try and turn a horrible time into a well-deserved retreat. It can be a chance to connect with family and friends and to ultimately look at possibilities for a reboot. We found some ways to beat boredom.

If you ever wanted to learn a craft, study at an Ivy League University, listen to an opera (the MET) or concert, see a play – even Shakespear, write your new book, have more time with your children, learn to cook, see what NASA does, go on art tours, get in shape, spend time with friends; can anyone say ZOOM, write a script, organize your house, paint, and sketch, or go to a virtual zoo, now is the time to do this. 

The amount of streaming content available for free at this time is extraordinary.

Museums have opened their collections, operas are being streamed, Zoom is used for remote work and keeping in touch with friends and family. There are vast educational opportunities and of course, some very creative and amusing videos and posts arrive on my Facebook feed all through the day. I  have to try very hard to be bored. 

This world connectivity gives me a great deal of positive energy. And I ask myself, why can’t we have this all the time?? Why do we wait for disasters and pandemics to stretch ourselves with our creativity and become concerned about others?

Many of the listings below are offered all the time. Can this be an opportunity to level the educational playing field of everyone if they desire to open their minds and grab the brass ring of culture? Education does not have to be only in the classroom. Education can be everywhere. Think out of the box. 

Here is a list to explore and enjoy!!! For some, you must pay a small amount, others are free. And if you have any links to add, please put them in the comments for others to enjoy.


NASA has opened up its library. Find out more here 

Google has opened up an interactive Frida Kahlo exhibit to explore her art and her life. 

For other museums and collections online visit Google Arts and Culture

And why not check out the collection of street art around the world.

Some of these magazines have information on past articles or current issues. At the very least they can perhaps open your mind to different kinds of art.  RawVision  I love Outsider/Raw art from all over the world. Sometimes I think it is the hardest to do, to get down to the rawness of an untaught artist. Click on Back Issues and explore away.  Outsider Art Magazine has Featured Artists listed that you can go on to research.

Into Collage? You could spend an entire day on this site, a list of collage artists.

Everyday Urban Sketching from The Great Courses Plus website can get you started on your way to learning how to make quick sketches in an urban environment. 


Audible has just made hundreds of books completely free during the virus and as long as schools are closed.

Check out Wattpad and Medium for all sorts of essays and stories on a variety of topics.


I believe free online courses from a variety of sources is a brilliant way to discover yourself, your passions and interests. Never stop learning and keeping your mind active. During Coronavirus why not take a bit of time out and join a class. Most are free through the audit option.

Yale has opened up its course on The Science of Well Being (which I have just started). What everyone needs to be concentrating on right now! Make sure you take the Coronavirus as a lesson. Live the best life you can even if it means making changes. Coursera has a class from Indian School of Business called A Life of Happiness and Fulfillment along with other interesting options. 

Perhaps this time is making you reflect on your beliefs or place in the world and is triggering a desire to write. Coursera’s Memoir and Personal Essay: Managing your relationship to the reader can be audited for free. 

For information on 8 platforms to take online courses visit MakeUseOf

And here is a list of free online courses from Ivy League schools. Also, MIT Open Courseware has some excellent free classes.

The Great Courses Plus offers a wide range of classes for $10 a month if buying quarterly.

MasterClass is a bit pricey but has an excellent selection of writing and cooking classes.

Top 100 documentaries for change in the world. Please let’s not go back to normal. We are seeing in real-time how fewer buses, cars, planes, factories, etc. affect the world. Is there hope for the Climate Crisis? A changed vision of our world and its people? Our interconnectivity? We just need to create a movement and raise our voices en masse and demand change around the world, this is a warning. Heed it.


Shakespeare anyone? Ballet? During the Coronavirus you can get a 30 day free trial for Marquee TV. 

Or, go to the Globe Theater where there is a wide range of Shakespeare plays to view for a reasonable price. 

Interconnected wants your stories. So much talent out there!! Show them what you are made of.

The Royal Opera House has a schedule of 4 free streaming operas on YouTube in March and April. See other videos on their playlists.

How about YouTube for Verdi: Aida – San Francisco Opera starring Pavarotti? As a matter of fact, just search opera/s on YouTube and see what comes up. There are hours of free entertainment just waiting to be viewed.

Leave the Light On series from the Theater Cafe in London has reasonably priced tickets for streaming theater productions to help keep actors afloat during this time.

Broadway? Broadway HD has a monthly subscription of $8.99 with a free starter month. See hundreds of Broadway shows on your own time.

Want more? Click here for the Social Distancing Calendar which gives you a calendar of events in one place.

I have two Spotify playlists on my channel. One is for all of us who long to return to our travels or have decided we really need to shake things up and start traveling after this is all over. We Are A Roving Bunch has hours of travel theme music.  And my Life In The Time Of Coronavirus, well, it has hours of tunes about isolation, hard times, illness, changing times and hope. Perhaps you will start a playlist of your own.  If you do add the; link in the comments below.

SoundCloud if free for making a limited playlist and then they have a premium option to have an unlimited one. One of our favorite artists, Lady Zen has some amazing tracks on her station.  And if you have been to San Miguel de Allende or Puerta Vallarta and have heard Lady Zen live consider supporting her Patreon page. And even if you are not in SMA but you want to support a great artist, she would be very appreciative.


Don’t you need a little giraffe or penguin in your life right now? Check out these live streams of zoos to see what is happening in the sane world of animals, where no one asks people to die for the good of the stock market. Perhaps start with the Georgian Aquarium which has several live streams including this penguin one. Then go on to the San Diego Zoo. 

Google Earth is showing you virtual tours of 31 National parks. 


University of Texas San Antonio has placed hundreds of rare Mexican Cookbooks and Manuscripts online. 

On Blueprint, you can access their Mexican cooking classes till April 9th, 2020. Check out their Asian ones too. Just search for your topic.

Just search for free cooking courses and become one with your kitchen!! There are so many we can’t list them all here. But what better way to challenge yourself and come out with a new skill.


Glenn and my Pilates instructor in San Miguel de Allende, Rose Alcantara, is an amazingly energetic woman who’s spirit makes each of her classes a joy to attend. As a nod to the Coronavirus, she has put several videos on her YouTube channel so we and you can do the practice along with her. Check it out, subscribe and ask for more content. We are addicted to her class and hope we can get back to it soon. 

Look at the National Opera and Ballet YouTube site where you can “join” a half-hour Ballet Barre Class. 

The YMCA is stepping up to the plate with 60 free fitness classes from Tai-Chi to Boot Camp and Barre you may want to get your bootie ready for a workout!! 

Do Yoga With Me is also a nice site for free yoga classes. Or you can get a subscription for more content for $10 a month.


For all of us who live in San Miguel de Allende and enjoy the lovely restaurants, and want to help those who are seeing their work hours change or go away completely why not drop a tip in the tip jar. If your favorite restaurant isn’t listed, contact the owner/manager and ask them to list their place on the website. We are all in this together and everyone has value in our wonderful town.

For a list of places to donate check out the SMA COVID-19 Community.

Always with something to say and ponder about UTNE READER is a great magazine to check out.

I hope this small list gets your brain firing with pulses of excitement for pursuing interests and exploring your passions, or even finding out what they are.

Remember, add on any links you have found in the comments below. Or if you have a special artist (musical or otherwise) in San Miguel that you want to do a shout out to please add their information below.

Glenn and I send heartfelt wishes to you and your families. See you all when the tunnel reopens. 

I just had this come across my Facebook steam.

“And the people stayed home. And read books, and listened, and rested, and exercised, and made art, and played games, and learned new ways of being, and were still. And listened more deeply. Some meditated, some prayed, some danced. Some met their shadows. And the people began to think differently.

And the people healed. And, in the absence of people living in ignorant, dangerous, mindless, and heartless ways, the earth began to heal.

And when the danger passed, and the people joined together again, they grieved their losses, and made new choices, and dreamed new images, and created new ways to live and heal the earth fully, as they had been healed.”

Kitty O’meara

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  • Reply victoria April 10, 2020 at 11:03 am

    Thank you for such a wonderful Blog! Very inspiring !! I love reading about all your adventures!! All the best!!

  • Reply Bobbi van March 29, 2020 at 12:08 pm

    What an amazing resource. Thank you. May I also suggest and themasterclass ..92 Nd street y in nyc has amazing interviews ….just watched “chocolate” so Korean series 16 episodes. Family saga. Great cooking and it’s a love. poem!!! Beautiful story and insight into Korean culture. Also on netflick. Unorthodox. True story of young woman who escaped from stringent ultra orthodox family in Williamsburg nyc.

  • Reply Gerry Teldon March 28, 2020 at 9:53 am

    Congratulations for helping make a dull period of time to exciting things at our fingertips.

    • Reply ourprimeoflife March 28, 2020 at 10:40 am

      Hi Garry,
      You are so welcome. My husband and I are having fun with this list too.

  • Reply Marcia Klein March 28, 2020 at 7:55 am

    Dear Ria, Love this blog. Thanks so much. I also love your photo. You are looking very glamorous
    with your new hair color. Stan and I are hunkered down in SM and I will try some of your suggestions.

    • Reply ourprimeoflife March 28, 2020 at 8:37 am

      Gracias, Marcia!! I just started the memoir writing class from Coursera. So excited about finding all of these great sites. We will get together after all of this opens back up. Give each other hugs from us.

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