An ageplayers guide to self-isolation.

Posted by Kevin Pepper on 2020 Apr 15th

Good morning, good afternoon, good evening or good night, depending on when you’re reading this entry.

With the current Coronavirus, COVID-19, the announcement that the Canadian government will be closing all our borders, and with many businesses closing for the next few weeks, there are a lot of people at home in isolation. Things can get pretty boring and dull.

As some of you know me personally, you know that I suffer from chronic pain do to an injury at my former job which makes it very hard for me to do a lot of things including my old job. This meant that I had to go on disability, which as many of you know means I was stuck at home most of my time for the past 15 years. Thus, I feel like I’ve been in training for this isolation for those 15 years. I thought I would take this time to let you know of some of the programs currently being offered.

The first thing is the obvious one – Streaming

With the outbreak, now is the best time to catch up on all your favorite shows or find a new one to sit and enjoy. Disney Plus added Frozen 2 early because of this and Onward the new Pixar movie will also be on Disney Plus early. With the movie theaters being closed down I’m sure you can expect more new shows and movies to be added to all the streaming services.

Don’t have Disney Plus, Netflix, Prime or Crave? Don’t worry! Here’s a little trick I’ll now share with you. They all have “free trials!” However, please keep in mind that many of these services require you to cancel after the trial is over, unless you want to keep it, or you will be charged.

Just to name a few. Remember, unless you want to keep them, you need to cancel the service before they charge you for it.

TVO and TFO are offering online resources and will be providing more educational programming on TV for younger kids during the shutdown.

Scholastic has created Scholastic’s Learn at Home website located at This is a free resource that is providing 20+ days of exciting articles, stories, videos and fun learning challenges. It is available on any device and will provide you with up to 3 hours’ worth of exciting learning experiences per day including virtual field trips, meet bestselling authors, or dig deep into a topic.

Breakout EDU has created FUN@HOME a free collection of digital learning games to play while at home. From kindergarten to grade 12, you can click on any game and start playing by going to

Audible has free stories that you can stream on your desktop, laptop, phone or tablet. This will be available for as long as schools are closed. They can instantly stream an incredible collection of stories, including titles across six different languages. Check out for their list of free stories.

Don’t forget, I also have a story time YouTube channel that is free for everyone with an internet connection which you can find here

Ripley's Aquarium Of Canada has a shark cam! Like many businesses in Toronto, the popular Ripley's Aquarium of Canada has temporarily closed as a safety precaution due to COVID-19. You may not be able to wander past the tanks, but you can still get up close to the aquatic life. Toronto Ripley's Aquarium shark cam lets you swim alongside these massive fish without getting wet. The aquarium is famous for its underwater tunnels, which take you past a variety of sea creatures including sharks. This camera will bring you even closer to the animals than the tunnel, taking you right into the tank with them, take a look

The Royal Ontario Museum (ROM) has virtual tours that allow you to walk through the halls themselves. Using Google Street View ittakes you directly inside the museum itself, allowing you to wander through several exhibits as if you were physically there.

The Vancouver Art Gallery also has virtual tours and like the ROM it also uses Google Streetview

The Canadian Museum of History has a virtual exhibit that gives you the chance to see a standout ceiling mural even closer than you can in person. The circular painting, “Morning Star,” by Alex Janvier decorates the ceiling of the dome of the Haida Gwaii Salon within the museum, towering above a bright white staircase. Online, you can zoom in on the mural and spin it to see the four quadrants in high detail. A click of the plus sign in the corner causes a series of links to pop up over the mural itself, with photos and videos attached that explain the significance of each part of the artwork. Other exhibits listed in the museum’s “Online Exhibitions” section include a dedicated website explaining Inuit prints from Cape Dorset in Nunavut (with videos, interviews, pictures and interactive puzzle games to recreate prints yourself), and a clickable playhouse that has different “rooms” that lead viewers to different children’s toys from Canada’s past.

Canadian War Museum has a list of “Online Exhibitions” as well, one of which is a website that can take you through the War of 1812 from four different perspectives, showing how Americans, Brits, Canadians and Indigenous peoples experienced the war.

The Art Gallery of Ontario (AGO) collection is searchable on their website, but some exhibits stand out more than others. One gem on the website right now is The Boxwood Project which contains countless photos of exquisitely tiny gothic carvings, accompanied by not just one scientific analysis showing how researchers figured out how the beads were made. Another feature is an interactive website compiling around 3,000 photographs taken by Henryk Rozencwaijg-Ross of the Jewish ghetto in a Polish city during the Holocaust. Visitors to the webpage are encouraged to use the “Build My Collection” function to curate their own exhibit out of the photographs and share it with others.

Through a partnership with Google Arts & Culture, an online exhibit shows the history of The Nutcracker ballet in numerous slides and photos, including a video explaining how a dancing horse costume is brought to life onstage.

Many other Canadian museums and galleries that lack interactive online exhibits still have photos from their collections available online for hours of perusing, such as the National Gallery of Canada and Gardiner Museum

Google Arts & Culture also has partnered with hundreds of museums across the world to allow extra exhibits and gallery walkthrough online Their top 10 list of museums that can be explored digitally includes numerous cultural wonders that -- due to travel concerns -- are largely off-limits to Canadians right now, such as the Uffizi Gallery in Florence Musee d’Orsay in Paris, the National Museum of Modern and Contemporary Art in Seoul, and the Pergamon Museum in Berlin.

For fans of Harry Potter there is an all new Bringing Hogwarts to Home experience that can be viewed at:

Please don’t forget that even though we’re in isolation you can still go outside for fresh air. Maybe even take a walk. Just do not go to a park or any place with a lot of people. Going for a walk around the block is good for you, gets you out of the house and you get sunlight and fresh air. At the very least you can stand out on your deck, porch or balcony.

Please don’t forget to drink water, eat proper foods and don’t forget to take any meds you need to take. I know first hand what can happen when you're stuck inside most of the time and I know that some days will run into each other until the point that it is always Thursday. (This happens to me a lot.)

I know that this is a dull and boring time for many of you. Hopefully, with the help of some of these fun activities you can kill time and get through this isolation period.

Now more than ever be excellent to yourself and to each other.