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The apps for the quarantine to try

From the motivational app for training to the ones that ensure a safe grocery shopping

The apps for the quarantine to try  From the motivational app for training to the ones that ensure a safe grocery shopping

The idea behind QuarantineChat is simple yet brilliant. As often happens, it made me think that I’d have loved to come up with that myself. I found out about it while reading an article in The New Yorker and I said to myself "Why not? Let’s give it a try". Talking on the phone to strangers from all over the world, that are experiencing the same as us (and half of the world is going through) seemed just the right thing to do. Disclaimer: I don't like to talk on the phone with strangers, I even avoid calling to book a table at a restaurant (good old times, now I'm looking forward to it).

And that’s the story of why on one of these lookalike days, I went to the App Store and downloaded the app, created by American artists Danielle Baskin and Max Hawkins. Redesigning Dialup, their first creation, they wanted to offer a completely free solution to allow people to talk to a total stranger, someone outside our usual relationships, being the family, friends or colleagues. Not to mention that there is also an important surprise effect because the call can happen at any time of the day. If you decide to answer, you are immediately connected with another anonymous caller, whose name is the only thing you can see, nothing else. 

Initially the mechanism might resemble a bit the one of Chatroulette, a meteor that exploded (and I would say disappeared already) years ago, but in reality, it's completely different. You don't get in touch with each other through a screen or passively, but by putting yourself out there and taking the opportunity to tell something about ourselves to someone we will very likely never see in real life. No more FaceTime, Zoom, Houseparty and Instagram live. You don’t have to look to others, the important thing is to listen to each other. The app also allows you to subscribe to thematic groups and talk about well-defined topics: from books, to travel, tarot cards, to the American presidential elections, which surely some people in the States are missing. 

While I was looking around, I got my first and so far only call. Ironically, from an Italian guy: Gabriele from Rome. Like me, he got tempted and decided to experiment QuarantineChat in order to write a piece about it. It seems that media and informative platforms are looking for every possible story angle to narrate the Coronavirus emergency, but maybe we are starting to run out of ideas. 

This made me wonder what else all the internet geniuses out there could have possibly created so far. Typing "Quarantine" on the App Store opened up a new world for me. There's the MyQuarantine app that gives you instant hints to kill time at home, you just have to push a button.

There is then Quarantine Dice Training, the app that encourages you to train in a gamification perspective: roll the dice and do the exercise you're asked to do. Maybe the best is the Toilet Paper Calculator to calculate exactly how much toilet paper you will need from now till... who knows.

There are also apps to start a countdown to freedom and the useful Social Distancer, to see who doesn't respect our living space at the supermarket. Also related to grocery shopping is Filaindiana, the app that tells how long is the queue at the closest supermarkets to your place. 

Last, there is also a role-playing game named Planetary Quarantine that asks us to decide who will be able to leave the Earth and bring civilization to a new planet. Hopefully, we don’t have to come that far.