The best way to fight the spread of COVID-19? According to public health experts, the answer is “social distancing”.You might've heard the term "flatten the curve" trending online: it refers to slowing a hike in infection rates (the "curve") and social distancing — healthy individuals reducing social, work and school contact — has proven to be crucial to this. But as more people social distance to cut off the spread, cabin fever is inevitable. Thanks to technology, there's more ways than one to feel connected, but keeping the balance is important too.
CHECKING IN ON VIDEO CHAT
Missing your friends and texting not doing it for you? Video chatting is the easiest way to see others without the face-to-face risk, and we've all had to do it at least once before. In such a tumultuous time, we're all in the same anxiety boat; let's reach out to our mates and ask if they're doing alright. You'll be surprised how much a 30 minute FaceTime session with your friend, mucking around with filters and having an honest chat, can perk up your week.
HOST A WATCH PARTY
We all love a good binge-watch, but ragging on a show with your friends can be even more entertaining. Luckily, there's heaps of apps and extensions to accommodate that, with Kast, Scener, and Netflix Party being the most popular. You can rest easy that you're making the right decision by staying indoors AND take bets with your friends on who's going to be the Influencer on this week's episode of The Circle.
PLAY GAMES WITH OTHERS
Online multiplayer games have existed for ages (and for a while they were all that was... we're looking at you, Fortnite) but they're the perfect stress and boredom reliever during social isolation. Other than the obvious contenders (Overwatch, Minecraft, GTA Online, etc), there are mobile games providing simple pleasures for those who don't have access to a console: Words With Friends, Mario Kart Tour, and my personal favourite... Gwent. Plus, you could make a new friend!
INDULGE IN CREATIVE HOBBIES
While it can be easy to rely on technological solaces, staying away from it is just as important. Take this time to indulge in that creative outlet you've been meaning to investigate, whether it's painting, knitting, or maybe even baking your own bread. Not only can these exercises be super therapeutic, but it's always fun to learn a new skill and the greatest connection you should be prioritising is yourself.
SET BOUNDARIES WITH THE NEWS
There's a lot out there right now: newsfeeds updated by the second, everyone dishing out their hot take, and fear-mongering headlines just around the corner. It's important to keep track of public health advice and the ever-changing situation, but you know what isn't? Alarmist content. Set boundaries for yourself and dedicate your time to lifting up yourself and your community, and you'll find that it's nice to take a deep, easy breath now and again.