Sophie Monk’s bizarre online dinner party
With Australia having controlled the pandemics spread, for now, people are leaving their homes and welcoming the revival of our economy.
However, much of the country is putting in place a plan to restore normalcy. Under the new quarantine guidelines, most Australians are now allowed to host up to five visitors in their homes and meet outdoors in groups of 10.
Other events including weddings will now be able to have 10 guests, while up to 20 people can attend funerals indoors. Restaurants and cafes will reopen for small groups and school has resumed at least a few days a week.
But virtual dinner parties and distanced neighbourhood gatherings are still necessary to curb the spread of the virus.
The crisis is showing people that the internet is still capable of pulling everyone together while they isolate at home.
"The current restrictions have made many people realise how much they depend on other people's company," said social media expert Ryan Shelley. "You only need to open your social media feeds to see people sharing these interactions."
Mr Shelley said social media platforms such as Facebook has reported its voice and video calling platforms like Messenger and WhatsApp have more than doubled during this time. There has also been an exponential increase in the number of downloads and use of meeting apps such as Zoom and Houseparty, as many parties move to social media.
Some clubs are hosting live music sets on Instagram and Facebook. DJs are hosting dance parties and playing sets for friends and family over TikTok, Zoom and Facebook Live as they react in real time on their phones.
There is no charge at the door, no security, no drink minimum. You can even attend in your pyjamas from the comfort of your own home.
The number of people turning to social media apps to feel that connectedness is increasing.
The Nielsen company predicts that increased online interaction and cooking at home are two key shifts in behaviour that will become a part of the 'new normal', as people continue to opt for virtual experiences brought into their own homes.
Homebound adults are posting mini-manifestos on Facebook, while kids flock to multiplayer online games like Fortnite and Minecraft.
Families are also experimenting with new kinds of socially distanced gatherings - virtual yoga classes, virtual church services and virtual dinner parties.
TV personality Sophie Monk is getting on-board the virtual party trend. Streaming live from her home, Monk has teamed up with HelloFresh to host a virtual social dinner series as she entertains international celebrities every fortnight on her Instagram and Facebook page.
"I think for everyone's sanity it's important to embrace this new way of living," she said. "People are using technology more than ever to connect and nothing brings joy like food. It's a great way to stay connected with friends and family when you physically cannot."
Monks' first dinner series will stream live Wednesday at 6pm with her first dinner guest - music star Kelly Osbourne.
The dynamic duo will compete in the latest TikTok challenges, games and unscripted, unpredictable entertainment, all taking place over a friendly dinner. Viewers who tune in can engage in the conversation via chat and have the chance to win prizes.
"Kelly and I met on the set of Australia's Got Talent when we were fellow judges and we just clicked," Monk said. "We love to laugh at each other and ourselves and we used to have a post-drink after filming (where the bar even named a cocktail after both of us).
"I want everyone to sit down with a delicious dinner and join in. And if I come off as a dork and it's entertaining at my expense then I'm down for it. Nothing is off the table!"
Originally published as Watch Sophie Monk's bizarre online dinner party