Getting Out of the House for a Bit… Virtually
Vol.6 Issue 4
Family enjoying a virtual tour together.

Since mid-March 2020, many of us embarked upon a new form of work, in a comfortable, yet confined arrangement. While some enjoy the solitude and safety of earning a paycheck from home, (near kids and pets), others genuinely prefer being in the physical work environment going about their daily business and conveniently discussing work matters face to face, across a conference room table.

Until a time that social distancing ends, society is faced with complying with directives from local, state and federal governments, working toward "flattening the rate of infections curve." Until a time that that we are given the ’all clear’ sign, it is best that we keep a safe distance from each other.

Though it is difficult to deal with the absence of social interaction, there are things you can do to take your mind off of being confined at home. After your normal work hours, you can: clear out your wardrobe, read a book… an actual paper one with physical pages, or if you are not much into reading, tap into an app that will read a book to you, aloud (i.e. Audible app), write a letter, do a crossword puzzle, back up your photos and make a photo album, bake something, knit, do yardwork, clean the garage, exercise, learn a language, get your DIY on (Do It Yourself) and make some repairs that have been needing attention for too long, play board games, learn to play an instrument; the list could go on and on. But one thing that can take you out of your home while you’re still in it, is a virtual tour.

Artifacts from Amelia Earhart are on display at the Museum of Women Pilots.
Explore Seattle’s Museum of Flight.

There are several museums out there offering virtual tours of their "stuff." If you’ve driven home from the Will Rogers World Airport, there’s a museum located on the north side of the property that is unique and full of rich history; the Museum of Women Pilots, also known as the 99’s Museum. A glimpse of the museum will pique your interest, and will hopefully get you in the door, once the pesky pandemic fades.

Another museum that offers glimpses into their collections is the Museum of Flight in Seattle, Washington. You can see what it’s like as you virtually "step inside" of a Concorde jet, an old Boeing VC-137B "Air Force One," also known as SAM-970, which shuttled presidents Eisenhower, Kennedy, Johnson and Nixon, in addition to VIPs like Nikita Kruschev and Henry Kissinger, and a NASA Space Shuttle Trainer to name a few.

While you’re touring the Museum of Flight, you can also see photos of the famous Lear Fan 2100. Only three of them were ever made. Two are in Seattle’s museum, and the other is on static display at the Aeronautical Center, in front of the CAMI building.

Tulsa’s Air and Space Museum and Planetarium.
General Thomas P. Stafford Air and Space Museum in Weatherford.

If you’re interested in visiting a museum on a tankful, Tulsa’s Air and Space Museum and Planetarium holds a great deal of interesting artifacts and aircraft. However, since it is currently closed, you can see many things that they have online. You can watch a live (recorded) interview between some Oklahoma school children and astronauts aboard the International Space Station. Further, when you go to the museum, you can learn more about an Oklahoman astronaut, William "Bill" Pogue. Bill was pilot of the third manned Skylab Mission in 1973.

Another interesting, Oklahoma museum is located in Weatherford; the Thomas P. Stafford Air and Space Museum. Here is a sixty-second video that briefly shows what kinds of things you will see when you arrive.

In addition to General Stafford’s space artifacts, there are several air and spacecraft on static display, including an F-4 Phantom, an F-104 an A-10 Warthog, and even a Titan II rocket. Coming soon to the Stafford Air and Space Museum, a Lockheed 117A Stealth Fighter also known as the "Nighthawk" will be on display in early 2021.

Oklahoma History Center.
Forbes virtual tours of remote locations around the globe.

You can also visit the Oklahoma History Center (OHC) by taking a virtual tour or an audio tour. The OHC sits on an eighteen-acres, with 215,000 square feet of learning space unique to Oklahoma’s history, reflecting geology, transportation, commerce, culture, aviation, heritage, and more. The OHC is a Smithsonian Affiliate and is accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.

If you’re really feeling like getting away, you might venture into a virtual tours of remote locations like: Antarctica, (have you ever seen the actual South Pole before?) the Galapagos Islands, (several vantage points in different islands) the Grand Canyon, (many locations) or the Great Pyramids in Egypt, to name a few. Escape life in lockdown with eight virtual tours of the world’s greatest destinations.

Regardless of where you’d like to go, or what you’d like to see, the world is out there for you. Try to make the best of the situation and enjoy the safety of your home until the pandemic wanes.

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