How to use Alexa’s new coronavirus quarantine tools

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The most fun games to play with Alexa on your Amazon Echo.

Amazon’s digital assistant, Alexa, is packed with features. From keeping your day organized to entertaining you with games, there isn’t much Alexa can’t do. Believe it or not, the digital assistant even has some helpful tools to get you through quarantine.

As the coronavirus pandemic rages on, social distancing can get pretty lonely. Although interacting with a digital assistant can’t replace human connections, Alexa can help you organize your day and answer questions about the virus. The digital assistant can even help determine what to do if you think you have the coronavirus using information provided from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

Organizing at Home

Without the daily routine of commuting to work many people aren’t sure how to organize their day. Although it might be fun to lay in bed and binge-watch Netflix for eight hours, that isn’t sustainable. Eventually, doing nothing gets boring.

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Some people genuinely have nothing to do since the coronavirus has shut down most of the world’s economy. For those that have to work from home (or do schoolwork), staying organized can be a challenge.

Alexa now has two quarantine routines that will help you stay on track despite having an unusual schedule. To enable them, you’ll need to navigate to the hamburger menu (three horizontal lines) inside the Alexa app on your phone. Tap “Featured” and then scroll down. The routines “Work from Home” and “Stay at Home” are listed near the bottom.

The first one helps get your day started by telling you it’s time for work and gives you a fun fact to stimulate your mind. It then sets off an eight-hour workday and reminds you when it’s time for lunch and time to take a break.

“Stay at Home” works similarly. Telling Alexa to start the routine will give you a fun fact. It then lets you hang out doing whatever you please but reminds you to eat lunch and to stretch and go for a walk.

Although you could schedule your own day, having Alexa remind you is far more convenient.

Staying Up-to-Date

News about the coronavirus pandemic seems to change by the hour. As such, keeping up can be hard—not to mention overwhelming. With reliable information from the CDC, Alexa can now answer some of your pressing coronavirus questions.

For instance, ask the digital assistant “Alexa, what do I do if I think I have COVID-19?” Alexa will ask about your travel history, what symptom’s you’re having, and if you may have been exposed to anyone with the virus. From there, the digital assistant will provide more information about the virus or suggest that you seek out care.

Keeping Those Hands Clean

Practicing good hand hygiene is one of the most essential things you can do to stop the spread of the coronavirus. By now, everyone should know that you need to wash your hands for 20 seconds, or while singing “Happy Birthday” twice.

On a good day, the birthday song can get annoying. When you’re washing your hands countless times each day, it can drive you insane. Instead, try asking Alexa to sing for 20 seconds. The digital assistant will belt out an upbeat song about handwashing and gives you a desperately needed break from “Happy Birthday.”

By using Alexa’s new coronavirus quarantine tools, you can stay organized, informed, and sane. Just don’t forget about your human friends in the process. Reaching out via text or a video call can be a great way to boost your mood while staying at home.

For the most up-to-date news and information about the coronavirus pandemic, visit the World Health Organization website.

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