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Despite social distancing and self-isolation, people around the world are finding more than one way to connect to each other

Here are five creative ways to stay connected to your loved ones in trying times like these:

 

When countries started ordering nation-wide lockdowns, people started going out to their balconies to sing with their neighbors and host balcony-parties for the whole block to enjoy. Some offered to go grocery shopping for the elderly and disabled. More than 62M people downloaded video conferencing apps to connect with co-workers, teachers, colleagues, friends, and even distant family members. Every night at 8 pm, streets erupt with the sound of applause, as people come to their balconies to pay tribute to the health workers fighting the COVID-19 on the frontlines. 

Life as we know it has shifted to a more virtually connected version that makes this global crisis a little less scary. The rise of the Coronavirus helped a lot of people realize that they shared common humanity that unites them in times like these. Ironically, our social “distancing” is, paradoxically, a kind of unity – an altruistic form of collective action aimed at stopping the spread. 

While to some people this social isolation is a dream come true, extroverts are finding this mandatory distance quite a challenge. Here are five creative ways to stay connected to your loved ones in trying times like these:

  1. Create a Netflix Party. The world’s leading internet entertainment service, Netflix, created a free extension for the Google Chrome browser called Netflix Party. This extension lets you start, stop and pause a Netflix movie or series so you can watch it at the same time as a group of friends and family -- remotely. Another cool feature includes a side chat bar that allows you to have side talks as if you were really watching the show/movie with your friends on the couch.

  2. Host a virtual event and invite everyone. We’re alive, what better reason to celebrate? With video conferencing apps like Zoom and Houseparty, you can gather all your friends and have an interesting chat or a good laugh every night. Some people hosted birthdays, happy hours, and even live cooking sessions all virtually just to stay connected with their loved ones.

  3. Join someone’s Live party. A lot of famous DJs and entertainers are now hosting live parties of them playing their record-breaking tunes or live sets. From Coldplay to Snow Patrol to Martin Garrix and Andrea Bocelli, everyone is coming together to lighten the mood and you get to watch it all live. 

  4. Pick up the phone. Tired of social media? Do things the old way. Go through your contacts and ring up someone you haven’t spoken to in a while. Whether it’s an old friend or a distant family member, showing support and connecting with loved ones is essential in crises like these.

  5. Disconnect to reconnect. Take some time off social media every day to reconnect with your family members at home. Enjoy a tea break together or bond over breakfast each morning. Simple chores like cleaning the house or organizing the pantry can help you and your family members bond over the tiniest things. Just make sure to practice good hygiene and maintain a safe distance between each other and enjoy the gift of time you’ve been given with your family and loved ones.

     

This is probably the first time, in a very long time, that almost one-third of the world has been negatively affected by a disease. Our lives shifted overnight and life as we know it did a full 180. The most important thing, though, is for you to know that you are not alone. We are all in this together and only together, will we be able to survive this.