By: Ava Frigo
During this global pandemic it can be hard to feel connected to family and friends. Social distancing has made some of our normal activities a challenge. Social distancing is physically putting space between people, in order to help prevent the spread of disease.
Social distancing includes:
-Not going out unless necessary (doctors, medical reasons, groceries)
-Closing places that people gather (schools, restaurants, movie theaters)
-Working from home
-Not taking public transportation (Bus, train, plane, taxis, uber)
-Not getting together in person with friends and family
- No physical contact (hugging, holding hands, high fives)
The absence of physical contact can make many people feel lonely and sad. It is important to know the safety behind social distancing and the ways in which people can still fell connected during these tough times. Although we call it social distancing,it describes more the physical distancing that is important in preventing the spread of COVID. People are still allowed to be social, but it may just look different than ways people were social before the pandemic started.
First, it is vital to know the importance behind social distancing. Socially distancing is not only to protect yourself, but also to protect everyone else around you. Whether these are people that you have never met, your own grandparents, parents, siblings, or friends. There are many people who are asymptomatic and may not even know that they are a carrier of COVID.
Second, look at your emotions and how quarantine makes you feel. It is valid to feel sad or mad during this time, because many of the normal activities that people are used to doing have changed in a great way. Many people lost the chance at memories that they will never get to have again, for example proms, graduations, study abroad opportunities, birthday parties, having to move weddings and so much more. Although these memories may have been stopped by this global pandemic there are other ways to stay connected with the ones you love. Try gathering friends for a virtual hangout. Even though it is hard to do many of the in-person activities online, it is beneficial to still feel connected to those around you. Apps such as Zoom, FaceTime, WhatsApp, Caribu and Marco Polo make it easy to connect with others online. If you enjoy playing board games such as monopoly or scrabble, you can play these games online with friends on the game site Pogo. Other ways to connect through game playing include Xbox live and Nintendo online. If you and your friends are movie fanatics then grab your favorite snack and jump on Netflix party to watch movies with your friends. Netflix party allows you to watch movies at the same time as your friends and still chat during the film. Even when you are with others in a public space it can be hard to keep distance, but remember you can always give an air high five or even create a new handshake where you do not make contact.
One of my favorite ways to stay connected is to take it old school and write letters to your friends and family. You can send pictures, play games, write stories, share memories that may help to brighten someone’s day. There are even programs where you can find pen pals online or programs through retirement homes where you can write to others and help make someone else feel less lonely during this time.
As hard as it is to not be able to hug and be close to the ones that are important to us, it is essential to know that you are showing how much you love them by keeping your distance. Remember that social distancing may be hard, but there are ways to still feel connected to family and friends. While some of these alternatives may not fulfill that feeling of sadness, just know that hopefully sometime soon we will be able to hug the people that are special to us.