The CDC defines social distancing as “remaining out of congregate settings, avoiding mass gatherings, and maintaining distance (approximately 6 feet or 2 meters) from others when possible.”
Socialization benefits both the well-being of mental and physical health, so how do people navigate their social lives in a time of social distancing? There are many avenues available for maintaining a social life while remaining 6 feet apart.
Zoom or Skype meetings
Many schools have switched to online classes for the remainder of the semester, including WKU. Face-to-face classes are a way for students to fit socializing into their busy schedules, so without class meetings, students are left navigating socializing on their own. As a substitute for in-person classes, professors and students can join in a Zoom or Skype meeting to communicate with peers everyday while remaining 6 feet apart.
Without being in the same room together, Netflix Party is an opportunity for friends to binge-watch shows or have a movie night together. The software even allows for a group chat to be established in the Netflix app so the movie-talkers aren’t missing out.
Instead of meeting for coffee or going out for dinner, friends can still get together over FaceTime in parties up to 32 people. While trying each others’ espresso drinks and sharing an appetizer might not be possible, learning how to cook a new meal or indulging in dessert together is still very possible.
Write a letter
Old-fashioned, yes. Out of fashion, no. Writing letters is an ages-old way to communicate with people, so pass time by writing a letter to a friend and waiting for a response. After all, school isn’t back in session until August.
Socialize with roommates
Whether “roommates” means family or friends, everyone is stuck inside until further notice, so it’s worth warming up to each other and settling in for the ride.
While authorities are strongly encouraging everyone to stay at home, going outdoors has not yet been forbidden. Go for a walk, communicate with neighbors (from 6 feet away) or have a picnic at a park. Just seeing new or friendly faces will help with that lonely feeling.
Features reporter Julianna Lowe can be reached at 270-745-6291 and [email protected] Follow Julianna on social media at @juliannalowe.