Social Distancing- A Tool to Fight COVID-19
Social distancing is about curbing your face-to-face interaction with your friends, colleagues, and people in general. It is the easiest way to check the spread of novel coronavirus COVID-19 currently raging through the world. Social distancing as the world is slowly realizing needs behavioral and lifestyle changes.
Whether you are quarantined, asked to stay at home as a precautionary measure, or working remotely, keeping the communication channels open is the key. Thankfully, we live in a time when technology is matured enough to help us through this phase of minimal physical interactions.
Here’s how you can use technology to connect with your friends, family, and colleagues without physical contact.
Since the outbreak of COVID-19, one of the most important technology that the world is relying on is video chats. Tools such as Zoom, GoToMeeting, Slack, Skype/MSFT, or HubSpot calls have reduced social distancing to just physical distancing. Some of them work well for both official and personal meetings while some are collaboration tools for remote teams.
Facebook Live is another option for official and personal meetings. Using these tools, you have a dinner date, a happy hour with friends and family, and even hobby club meetings. Netflix and chill has a whole new meaning now where you can connect with your friends using Netflix Party and watch your favorite show or movie together. Houseparty is another very popular face to face social networking app where you can hold video chats and play in-built games with friends who are online.
You can also nurture your existing relationships or form new ones with Google Hangouts or WhatsApp calls.
Online tools such as Ikaria, Cocoon, Monaru, and Squad have been designed to optimize online interactions with loved ones and friends. These tools are helpful for those who do well with structure. You can also consider using conversation prompts, such as TableTopics or The And, to start thought-provoking interactions during a video call.
Gamers would attest how video games work well to keep you busy and distracted during these trying times. Ravenhill, #selfcare, Hearthstone, Florence, Mystic Messenger are some gaming apps that come highly recommended for social distancing during COVID-19. There is even a game called Pandemic which is very popular. However, if you are not cut out for fast paced video games, do not worry. Technology has also brought traditional board games and tabletop options for users looking for conventional games. The only limitation here would be that rolling a digital dice is not that exciting.
Another equally exciting social activity becoming popular during COVID-19 pandemic is a virtual potluck or dinner party. The tools here remain the same – Facetime, Hangouts, Zoom and the likes. Invitees can all have the same menu or have a budget and see who produces the most imaginative meal in the budget. You can have an extended party by starting the video call while you all are preparing for the virtual party night. If you’re not up for cooking, then you can go for scheduled video calls with cocktail parties; create happy hours as though you are meeting up at a bar.
When a pandemic such as the novel coronavirus is underway, the role of community support cannot be undermined. Social distancing means community support also needs to be online. If you start looking, you can find many online communities that have people who share your passion and are happy to add more to their group. Use Reddit to connect with people who share your interests and hobbies or people in your community. There are also digital support groups for new parents, patients with a rare disease, and caregivers. Join the group that suit you most and use the network to enhance your creativity and engage with issues that matter the most to you.
Staying healthy during this period of COVID-19 scare is very important. There are fitness lovers who vouch for physical activity even during lockdowns. For many, sport is a teamwork and not only working out alone. If you do better with company, there is not dearth of fitness/Zumba clubs and Yoga groups that workout together. At the end of such sessions, you can share a selfie on the platform and boost energy. Use Daily Yoga app that offers classes for increasing the flexibility to strengthening the core, or Peloton that offers at-home yoga, HIIT, stretching workouts.
If there is no lockdown enforced, use the Strava Running and Cycling app to track your most recent runs and rides. The Nike Training Club app comes with customizable fitness programs and a feature of sharing capabilities to compare your progress with others.
Social isolation can be stressful and can cause anxiety and depression, especially if you are also fighting COVID-19. Here is where meditation/wellbeing apps play a role in maintaining your mindfulness regime. Meditation apps can be a stress buster and an added benefit to your daily wellness routine. Experience calmness and balance with Headspace app’s guided meditation and mindfulness. Calm is another such app that provides guided meditations to assist people in relaxing. Mindfulness app Sattva draws from Vedic principles of meditation and features meditations, chants, and mantras delivered by Sanskrit scholars. Similarly, the meditations on Simple Habit focus on daily stress relief for busy souls.
World Health Organization is updating minute-by-minute details about the Covid-19 pandemic on its website. It has also launched a dedicated Whatsapp number to provide the latest news and information on coronavirus including details on symptoms, how people can protect themselves, and the rising number of casualties.
Additionally, numerous online communities have sprung up to help people in quarantine and provide support and assistance. Some of these communities are in the form of Facebook groups; others have set up on Reddit boards or taken over parenting forums.
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