6 Ways family and friends are keeping in touch during COVID-19

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One way to stay in touch with loved ones is to write letters. (Green Chameleon via Unsplash)

In these unprecedented times, it has never been more important to stay in touch with family and friends. You never know when you’ll see them in person again, and you don’t want to lose those close connections that you’ve had for years. 

But in this time of banned gatherings and mandated social distancing, it has become increasingly challenging to stay in touch with loved ones. Parties and get-togethers have been canceled, vacations have been put on hold, and holidays pass by as if they’re just another day. How can you stay close with your loved ones without putting them or yourself in danger?

Fortunately, individuals have figured out several ways to stay in touch with their loved ones during these strange, unforeseen times. Here are just a few ways that people are making the best out of a challenging situation.

1. Letter Writing

The lost art of letter writing is back in style. If you miss those long conversations you had with your friends, you can recapture that feeling by writing them a letter. Unlike texting or social media posts, a letter is a long-form method of communication that requires a lot of thought and care. When you get a letter, you’re essentially getting a piece of someone’s life that you can read again and again. Many individuals have taken to writing letters to their friends and family members to recapture that lost art of meaningful conversation.

2. Virtual Gender Reveal Parties

Pregnancy is one of the few things you can’t put on hold, even in the middle of a pandemic. That baby’s still coming, whether there’s a pandemic or not. At first, it seemed like pregnant women would have to miss out on all the fun celebrations that come with having a baby–mainly baby showers and gender reveal parties. But after browsing gender reveal ideas on Pinterest, it became clear that you could still have your parties–from a safe distance, of course! Expecting mothers to be have been holding gender reveal parties over Skype and Zoom so their friends and family members can join in on the fun without the risk of contracting COVID-19.

3. Socially Distanced Outdoor Events

While most outdoor events have been canceled, occasionally you can find an outdoor concert or a small venue event on your Facebook calendar. Concert goers have been attending these events with their friends and family members–while wearing masks, of course! They’re having some fun in the sun while keeping a safe distance.

4. Virtual Family Get-Togethers

With programs like Zoom and Skype, it has never been easier to keep in touch with your family members from the safety of your own homes. Many tight-knit families have taken to scheduling “family get-together” nights where everyone cooks dinner and interacts in front of their webcams. Some families even figure out unique crafts and projects to do together, so the family feels like they’re working together–just like before the pandemic struck. Chatting over Skype makes it easy for people to talk face-to-face without the limitation of texting and phone calls.

5. Phone Calls

Of course, that doesn’t mean that phone calls have gone entirely by the wayside. When’s the last time you had a long conversation with someone over the phone? In recent years, phone conversations have been reduced to quick calls and a few texts. But some have decided to revisit their childhood by having long phone conversations with friends and loved ones. It’s the perfect way to stay in touch and enjoy a relaxing evening at home with the people who are most important to you. Plus, unlike group webcam chats, you’re not tied to your laptop all night–you can walk around and do other things while you’re talking.

6. Virtual Birthday Parties
Just because there’s a pandemic going on doesn’t mean you can’t celebrate your birthday! You might not be able to have a big celebration at your house, but you can still invite your guests to visit you over Zoom or Skype. Family members can chime in and send you their well-wishes. People have been celebrating their birthdays–and the birthdays of friends and relatives–through live webcam chats. It’s not the same as getting together in person, but they can say they celebrated their birthday instead of writing it off as a lost cause.

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