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Mr. G’s Guide to Relieving Cabin Fever

by Keith Gatling | 4 years ago

How are you handling what we're calling in our house The Big Time Out?

Are you tired of looking at each other yet? I know that in our house, our 17-year-old is slowly going crazy not being able to see her friends or get out of the house except to take walks around the neighborhood...while staying on the other side of the street from any other humans. And
she's driving us adults, who have a little better handle on being by ourselves for a while, crazy.

And then there's being married to a nurse...and having a daughter who's also a nurse. That's a whole 'nother level of making yourself crazy on top of being stuck at home with each other.

But still, I understand that a lot of you are sitting there at home wondering what else there is to do besides watching the news reports that overwhelm you with information that you can't really process, and that have you even more frightened than you may have already been.

Well, we're here to help you with that.

Now I know that the first thought a lot of people have is that this would be an excellent time to "binge watch" some of their favorite shows. Sounds nice, but if all of us do that at the same HD...that could prevent people who really need the internet access from getting it. Video is a huge bandwidth hog, and HD even moreso. So I'm going to suggest a number of low-bandwidth ways to keep yourself entertained.

First of all, we, at the Liverpool Public Library have a number of online resources you can use. You can download ebooks and audiobooks using OverDrive, Libby or Hoopla. 

You can also download selected movies using Hoopla, but remember what I said before about video being a huge bandwidth hog.

And, while I’m talking about OverDrive and Libby, there are also magazines and a small collection of videos there too.

The RBDigital app gives you access to many magazines that we subscribe to. Hmm...I'm thinking this might be a good time for me to catch up on my magazine reading!

So what else is there outside of what you can get through us? is providing selected free audiobooks to anyone who wants them until schools open up again.

If you have any kind of Apple device, they're giving away free audiobooks and ebooks to anyone who has the iBooks app on their device. I also hear that they've got a great collection of Batman
comics. is advertising 800 free audiobooks and 700 free ebooks. They're also advertising 1300 free online courses, which might be another great, low-bandwidth way to spend the lockdown.

I also found a site called, which promises you five free ebooks a month. That may not be enough to get you through the Big Time Out, but it's a start.

And of course there are podcasts! Oh my goodness, are there podcasts! You can listen to these either in the dedicated podcast app on your device, or by going to the show's website and downloading it directly to your computer. Some of the ones my family has enjoyed are Lexicon Valley and That’s What The6 Say (about the English language) 99% Invisible
(about the things you don't notice in everyday life), NPR's Hidden Brainand Planet Money (you really have to listen to the Planet Money episode about the misunderstood "garbage barge.")

Our 27-year-old daughter introduced us to The Thrilling Adventure Hour, which is done before a live audience as a radio drama.

There are enough back episodes of just these podcasts to keep you entertained for a long time.

But you really want to watch some movies or TV shows? Well, OK, as long as you promise not to overdo it, here's what I've got for you: has quite the selection of shows and movies you can watch for free.

And this reminds me, if you want to actually learn something while you're sitting at home, there are tons of TED Talks you can watch. You can find them through their website at YouTube,
or through their app on your mobile device.

Finally, let me talk about the ultimate low-bandwidth way of entertaining yourself during this thing...books! If you're anything like some of the people in my house, there are a ton of unread books lying around. Now is the perfect time to pick up one of those.

That's all for now!