This is a very challenging time, but we MUST distance ourselves from others!
Viruses thrive in groups of people and move to new places. An effective way to decrease the spread of viruses is to distant ourselves from others. Right now, we are a globe filled with susceptible hosts and the virus can be carried by individuals that are asymptomatic.
Beyond school closures and working from home, this means behavioral changes like avoiding shopping in crowded places, not going to the movies, not having a group of friends over, and not leaving your house unless necessary is important. Life as we know it has to change momentarily. It’s hard, but it’s REALLY, REALLY IMPORTANT.
Luckily, some individuals are getting the message. However, we ALL have to be on the same page and avoid being physically present with other individuals in order to “flatten the curve”. That just means slow down, delay, or postpone as many cases of the virus as possible so that our health care system isn’t overtaxed.
Isolation and loneliness can become a reality. So, reach out to friends and family through social media, phone, and technology. We can all benefit from meaningful human connections especially now. So whether you are quarantined, working remotely or just being cautions, now is the perfect time to use technology in socially healthy ways. Here are a few suggestions:
1. Face to face from afar: Use video chat to have face to face interactions and communicate with friends and family. For those who live alone, a digital dinner with someone, virtual happy hour with friends, or remote book club are helpful to keep connected.
2. Express gratitude: Send a direct message or email with a genuine compliment or expression of gratitude. Maybe you have been meaning to reach out to an old friend. This might be a good time to give them a call.
3. Connect to an online community:There are a lot of digital support groups or niche interest groups that meet online through various social networks.
4. Apps: Technology is our friend right now. There are so many apps and social platforms designed to make connections including Ikaria, Cocoon, Monaru, and Squad.
Lastly, COVID19 pandemic affects society and individuals in various ways. It impacts each person differently. Help is available if you need support coping with the current events. Consider contacting your provider regarding telehealth or telepsychiatry sessions. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has a webpage for those who are in need of support for coping with these events: https://www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/prepare/managing-stress-anxiety.html?CDC_AA_refVal=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.cdc.gov%2Fcoronavirus%2F2019-ncov%2Fabout%2Fcoping.html