Maintaining connections in an age of physical distancing
As psychologists who intellectually and emotionally know the power of groups, physical distancing can come at a high cost. Yet, we also know that not practicing physical distancing will come at a much higher societal cost than we want to pay (and likely are already paying by the time you read this).
Thus, this column, written March 19, 2020, as things are changing so quickly now, is geared around all the ways to maintain connections, in spite of the need to enact significant physical distancing protocols. The age of technology that we all live in enables FaceTime, Google Hangout calls and many other forms of remote connection. Try a video call instead of a text. We are familiar with those means.
But what about some more creative forms of maintaining or even expanding your connections? Think you might want to play a board game with a friend across town? Check out the tabletop stimulator available on the Steam platform. If you have a dog that you walk regularly, you might be surprised how many of your neighbors you are now seeing. While you are talking with them (from an appropriate six feet away), maybe check in about how some of your more vulnerable neighbors are doing. Does anyone need any toilet paper dropped off (and kept in isolation for 72 hours)? Perhaps your children can record videos to elderly living in rest homes and send them to a central contact person at your local elderly care home. Maybe a virtual penpal will come of that.
- APA resources
- World Health Organization
- U.S. Center for Disease Control
- 10 steps to coping with isolation
- Office and Technology website
- Netflix Party, a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online
Let us know what other creative means for connection you are discovering in this unprecedented time of COVID-19. Feedback, along with articles or brief reports and news items for the division's newsletter, can be emailed directly to Tom, as can Letters to the Editor.