Combating Social Isolation in COVID-19
We’ve been in this pandemic for what feels like an eternity. The lack of social contact that goes hand in hand with a pandemic has been a big adjustment for us after being around peers at school every day before COVID-19 hit. As the number of cases and deaths continue to rise, there is potential for a new lock down to happen soon, which would leave us socially isolated again with only the people in our household.
Quarantine can be very depressing. It can feel like no one is around. However, living in the twenty-first century there are some great ways to combat loneliness.
Setting up a weekly or twice a week video chat is a great way to keep entertained and socialize if you are in quarantine. Having special theme nights for the video chat is a great way to spice up a normal Zoom call. Some of my favorite Zoom nights are dressing up as a character. My friends and I choose a character from our favorite movie or show, or a real person. If you want to go the extra mile you can challenge the group to stay in character for the whole call.
PowerPoint night always seems to be a fan favorite. Each person on the call presents to the group a PowerPoint on anything. The options on themes are endless. We’ve done everything from rating our childhood movies, who in the call is most likely to, or something we are an expert on. Sharing your TikTok likes can be very funny, and maybe even expose some people along the way. You can see who in the friend group truly has the best FYP and humor.
Having a movie night is perfect for those who miss going to the movie theater. Grab some snacks and enjoy a movie with friends virtually. Plus, unlike a real theater, you can talk (or text) during movies at home.
Spend Time Outside Alone
We are spending the majority of our time cooped up in our homes trying to stay isolated. Getting outside to have a literal breath of fresh air is a great destresser if you are feeling overwhelmed. Go for a walk around the neighborhood or even sit outside and sip your coffee. Leaving your house for at least a few minutes a day is a simple way to get your daily dose of vitamin D and change your scenery while staying safe.
Technology in 2021 allows us to talk to our friends 24/7, however it doesn't always substitute talking face to face. Now that it’s winter it has become harder for many of us to stay outside to meet up with friends while staying socially distant. Some ways that you can stay warm and keep social distance protocol are with bonfires, ice skating, and exploring a park during the daytime. When meeting with friends and others outside your household remember to wear a mask and practice the CDC guidelines and protocol.
Being in a pandemic can be isolating, especially for teens as we are accustomed to being surrounded by people at school and friends after school. This change can be taxing on our mental health. If you are feeling the signs of depression or anxiety like others during this time know that there are always people to talk to.
Chloe Bautista is a senior at Walt Whitman High School in Maryland. She is a member of the field hockey team and a part of the Girl Up club. She plans to study public policy and digital analytics in college and is interning at Power to Decide to spread the awareness of the non-profit.