Dr. Levister

For starters, we can help our communities stay strong, and even prosper, by working together and taking care of each other – All of us have had our normal routines disrupted. Social distancing and being confined to home is challenging for many, especially for older people,     and those with mental and physical health conditions.

Many community members are expressing unease or anxiety about spending more time alone at home and away from others. It’s important that we do our best to take care of ourselves and check in on loved ones who might face mental health challenges during this time.

To help you remain connected to your social network, here are some ideas:

Schedule regular calls with friends like you would schedule a work meeting. If you can, make them video calls, using FaceTime or Skype, Zoom, or other video-calling options.

Start a text or email chain with friends about good articles to read, videos to watch, podcasts to listen to, and songs to listen to, etc.

Catch up with old friends by email, phone, or on social media platforms.

Take a family centered online course in cooking, playing an instrument, gardening, or sewing.

Play online games with friends using apps, such as Words with Friends. Start up an impromptu virtual book club with a friend or group of friends, by starting to read the same book together, then check in to discuss it.

Start watching TV shows or movies at the same time with friends, then check in to discuss them.

Call or video-chat with friends while taking virtual tours together of museums, national parks, and more from Google Arts & Culture.

Start a recipe exchange with family friends by email, a shared drive or Google docs.

Tune in to live-streamed concerts and other events together.

Have neighbors you know? Plan to meet up outside at a safe distance for daily or regular check-ins.

The COVID-19 coronavirus has presented our communities with unprecedented challenges. With our creativity and innovation, we can keep the lines of communication open—for patients, clinicians, and families—we can be a part of the solution by creating ways to get us all through these strange times.