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Streaming videos or watching hours of network television gets tiresome. Staring at a screen for hours on end is hard on the eyes and all that lounging about bad for your body. You can fold laundry and work with your hands while watching, but you're still kind of glued to a screen in a room. Use your ears and your imagination instead.

Now is the perfect time to pick a podcast and start listening. Using headphones or ear pods, you can take a podcast anywhere you want to go. Even if you are stuck at home, you can still go into your own yard when weather allows. You can walk around the neighborhood (if you are not ill and isolated), cook dinner, exercise or even stretch out and listen to a podcast. Just don't touch, kiss or hug folks other than your family.

Maybe you've never listened to a podcast before? You have time to learn now. There are simple videos available on YouTube.com; just search the phrase "how to listen to a podcast" and click on one of the helpful videos. If you are an Arkansas Democrat-Gazette subscriber you may already have an iPad, which has the Podcast app installed. Click on it and hit the icon at the bottom of the screen that says "Browse" and start scrolling to pick from different genres. If you know what you are looking for, simply click on the "Search" icon and type in a keyword.

Want to know more about covid-19, aka coronavirus? Type that in and a slew of choices will appear. Once you have found one, hit "Subscribe" and the podcast will automatically make new episodes available.

[CORONAVIRUS: Click here for our complete coverage » arkansasonline.com/coronavirus]

For starters, as a sign of the times, here are some coronavirus episodes and full podcasts to consider, as curated from a host of recommendations.

I subscribe to an email newsletter called "Hurt Your Brain," put together by Erik Jones (@erikthejones on Twitter), a writer for Medium.com and The Bello Collective (bellocollective.com). This week Jones offered the following suggestions:

Short Wave, an excellent podcast with short and sweet educational episodes offers one for the virus-obsessed: "Coronavirus Latest: Testing Challenges and Protecting At-Risk Elderly."

The Daily, another popular podcast for everyday consumption that covers daily news, offers "Why The U.S. Wasn't Ready for the Coronavirus." In case you don't already know, you can find out.

Planet Money has an episode titled "Where's the Vaccine," described by the newsletter like this: "The weird market for emergency vaccines and why new vaccines take so long."

Apart from Jones' recommendations, there are other sources. The people at podcast recommendation site findthatpod.com had five coronavirus suggestions in its recent newsletter.

Coronavirus: Fact vs. Fiction features the respected Dr. Sanjay Gupta.

Coronavirus 411 is described in the "Find That Pod" newsletter: "I'm not entirely sure what the source of this podcast is but it seems like a well-intentioned 'just the facts' type podcast where you'll get a daily update on the major news developments ..."

Coronavirus Daily Briefing comes from Ride Home Media and features host Brian McCullough in a 15-minute daily pandemic update. There are also "harrowing accounts of what's happening in other countries," according to the newsletter.

Making Sense with Sam Harris features the controversial author and neuroscientist. The last two episodes of Harris' popular podcast have concentrated on the virus.

Covid-19: What You Need To Know is an ABC News podcast with its chief medical correspondent Dr. Jennifer Ashton and other experts answering submitted questions.

Don't tarry long on the depressing stuff; find something entertaining and escape the madness of reality. Podcasts are perfect for escaping.

• For example, Filter Stories was one of Jones' suggestions for a nonvirus podcast, so I checked out its website (filterstories.org). If you like coffee, this one is for you.

"James Harper is a coffee professional and storyteller who travels the world to reveal the truth behind our morning coffees. Each episode takes over 100 hours to make and sheds a light on the stories of people hidden in the shadows of the coffee industry. Stories range from a stateless barista stuck on a faraway island, to an award-winning coffee grower earning just $2 profit from 250 espressos, to a coffee producer who is almost murdered three times during a civil war. See the behind-the-scenes stories on Instagram -- @filterstoriespodcast." Check it out on Apple Podcasts or Castbox.

Reply All is a top-rated podcast suggested for your consumption by an article on cnet.com ("The 10 Best Podcasts to Listen To During Holiday Travel"). "Even though the show is technically about the internet, it's about so much more. Think stories about life, culture and people. Each story just so happens to involve the web, like a strange incident involving Snapchat or YouTube."

Hidden Brain, also recommended by cnet.com, "explores the things that drive human behavior and how they unconsciously shape the way we live."

• Finally, here's one for fans of a certain TV show. Queer Eye star Johnathan Van Ness' podcast Getting Curious was chosen by the cnet.com article writer because "I hate flying and found that Van Ness' podcast is one of the only things that can take my mind off of turbulence or an uncomfortable flight." Expect to laugh, cry and learn things ranging from politics to history. And learn how to look good doing it.

Are you listening to a good podcast? Share it with us or submit podcast questions to:

[email protected]

Weekend on 03/19/2020

Print Headline: New world, podcasts, to enjoy as we isolate

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