Ways to Beat COVID-19 Cabin Fever

While many communities around the globe deal with very difficult and troubling times due to the coronavirus outbreak, it’s vital to observe the Stay-at-Home order to protect the health and well-being of all Californians and slow the spread of COVID-19. Yet there’s no doubt that cabin fever has set in for many people during this period. Until we can get out to enjoy these attractions and events again, here are some ways to explore a virtual Rancho Mirage. 

Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory

The Rancho Mirage Library & Observatory is currently closed, but there are many services still available to residents. Click on to the YouTube channel to take in full programs and more than 300 videos. Find lectures, author talks, concerts and observatory programs. Many Smart TVs and streaming devices like Roku, Apple TV and Amazon Fire feature YouTube apps that make it possible to watch these videos on your television.

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens

The Living Desert Zoo & Gardens is temporarily closed to guests, but the YouTube channel includes videos such as the birth of African wild dog puppies, well-baby exams and “pup-dates” on their progress. Need something to cheer you up? Watch the meerkat playing with a ball or goats running wild. Follow along as Mr. Prickles, a North American porcupine, takes a tour of the zoo. Even though the animals don’t have visitors, they are continually cared for by a team of animal care specialists and veterinarians. See what’s going on with a behind-the-scenes nutrition tour. Contributions to help feed the more than 450 animals are tax deductible.


While Sunnylands is closed indefinitely, learn about this famed retreat with this historical video. The YouTube channel hosts a number of other videos that provide information on artists and artwork, including a lecture on the most recent exhibit, Reach for the Sky.

Revisit the 2013 C-SPAN video that showcases the “Camp David of the West,” The Annenberg Retreat at Sunnylands. The NOWNESS video channel presents “Great Gardens: Sunnylands,” to showcase the landscape designed by artist James Burnett. Additionally, Joy Us Garden explored the grounds in this 2013 video.

Indian Canyons

Closed until at least April 12, Indian Canyons is a wonderful spot to explore nature and take in one of the most beautiful and culturally sensitive areas of the Agua Caliente Band of Cahuilla Indians Reservation. On his YouTube channel, videographer Jim Sheaffer has four minutes of footage shot in these tranquil settings with nothing but ambient sound. Another YouTuber, agonzalez8924, provides a nice 25-minute tour and includes footage through the trails.

Coachella Valley hot spots

Even long-time residents don’t always take in all that can be found  in Coachella Valley, perhaps because the list can get so long. From your home, it’s now possible to take time to look back at the history of the Palm Springs Aerial Tramway with this 1963 British Pathé film about its opening. The attraction hopes to open again in May 2020. 

We’re well-known for Modernism Week, the annual celebration of mid-century modern design, architecture, art, fashion and culture. Plans are still in place for the Fall Preview (October 15-18, 2020) and tickets go on sale August 1. Until the time comes when it’s possible to discontinue social distancing efforts, explore homes online via the YouTube channel, including Frank Sinatra’s Twin Palms Estate.

COVID-19 may have canceled or postponed the popular events that put us on the map, including the BNP Paribas Open, 2020 ANA Inspiration, Coachella and Stagecoach Festival, but these videos allow the opportunity to take a look back and also preview what’s to come. 

We’ll get through this together

The days and weeks to come will continue to bring change as we move through this crisis. The City of Rancho Mirage provides continual updates. The YouTube channel has past city council meetings, allowing residents to watch and stay up-to-date. It’s also the place to find a full hour of the 2019 Big Band Christmas because sometimes we just need a little Christmas.

Remember, numerous neighborhood restaurants are open for take-out or delivery as we all shelter-in-place and stay home to keep healthy.