10 Things That Are Suddenly Free

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Here are a few things, from at-home education to entertainment, that won’t cost you a dime.

We are all stuck in our homes. And if you are not in your house, get inside and stay there. Knock it off, Yasiel!

OK, let’s start again. We are all stuck in our homes.

Some of us can work from home, some of us are royally screwed — and a bunch of us are in line for that bittersweet furlough money.

Whichever group you belong to, we are all inconvenienced and not making the cash we could be earning. And that sucks. It all sucks. But if you can read this, you’re above ground, so be grateful.

Here’s a list of things that are suddenly free — temporarily — that we should all be grateful for.

The self-proclaimed No. 1 show in late-night television, “Desus & Mero,” returns to Showtime with new episodes. Charter and Spectrum subscribers will have access to the Bodega Boys’ interviews and takes on popular culture. Photo courtesy of Showtime.

1. Charter/Spectrum is giving its cable customers free Showtime and Epix through April 19. “We hope that by expanding these programming options it will provide even more hours of entertainment for our customers in these challenging times,” says Charter’s Executive Vice President of Programming Acquisition Tom Montemagno. This is a godsend to “Desus & Mero” fans, and those of us who want to finally escape into “Billions.”

2. If books are more your jam, Amazon is giving away a two-month trial of Kindle Unlimited for new and returning readers. Kindle Unlimited grants you access to over 1 million books, audiobooks and current magazines on any device that has the Kindle app.

Shudder. When real life isn’t freaky enough.

3. Is an out-of-control global pandemic not scary enough to get your heart racing? Touted as “The only premium streaming service for both casual and super fans of thrillers, suspense and horror,” Shudder typically gives new customers a week-long trial of its service. With offer code SHUTIN, the AMC-owned streamer will deliver a full 30 days of terror. This will give you plenty of time to take in the Japanese zombie phenom “One Cut of the Dead” recommended last week by Nathaniel Thompson.

4. Let’s face it, there are a few things NYC is really good at. The subway, the bagels, Broadway and opera. Because the Metropolitan Opera is dark right now, they are streaming a different performance from their Live in HD series every day, gratis.

5. Adobe, the makers of Photoshop, Premiere Pro, and InDesign, recently announced free access to the Creative Cloud for students through May 31. But if you’ve already graduated and are currently paying for the package, PetaPixel recommends cancelling. When you do, Adobe will offer you two months for free.

KFC in North Hollywood. Photo by Tony Pierce.

6. You’re trapped in your closet, er, home. National chains can’t have diners eat in their restaurants. Life is a mess. So many of the biggest names in fast food are now offering free delivery depending on location. We’re talking Chipotle, Denny’s, IHOP, KFC, 7-11, Subway, and if you treat your sweetie good, Red Lobster. Here’s a list Good Housekeeping put together featuring the deals and offer codes (if necessary).

7. Do you know someone who is working on the front lines of this pandemic? Might you be such a saint? If so thank you!

Airbnb is offering free or subsidized housing for health care professionals and emergency workers.

“Medical workers and first responders are providing lifesaving support during the coronavirus outbreak and we want to help,” Airbnb co-founder Joe Gebbia said in a statement. “We’ve heard from countless hosts around the world who want to provide a comforting home to heroic first responders. We are connecting our nonprofit partners, government agencies and others with our incredible host community to work together in these extraordinary times.”

8. Lana Del Rey may scoff at those who play video games, but if there ever was a time to play Bio Menace, Hello Neighbor or Ultima, now is that time. GOG.com is serving up 27 DRM-free classics and indie games right now.

Udacity is going to stoke 100K U.S. workers with free online tech training. Image courtesy of Udacity.

9. Interested in something a bit more practical? Udacity is giving away free tech training to recently laid-off workers. Starting today, the California company is offering its 4-6 month online courses for nothing. Udacity classes typically cover topics like artificial intelligence, machine learning, digital marketing, product management, data analysis, cloud computing and autonomous vehicles — and typically they go for $400 a month.

Comcast’s Xfinity WiFi hotspot coverage area is mighty impressive. And for now it’s free.

10. You should not be outside. You should stay at home. This is a contagious disease that spreads best by being outside and being in contact with people and surfaces. But if you are outside and you need some sweet, delicious, free WiFi, Comcast/Xfinity has opened up all of its hotspots to everyone.

Are there other services and products out there that were made available for free due to the COVID-19 pandemic that you want to recommend? Tells us in the comments below!

Los Angeleno