It has been around a month since schools all over the country switched over to remote learning. Being cooped up can be difficult at times for most college students, because not only do they have to deal with the challenge of online learning, but also trying to maintain relationships during the pandemic. Despite being thrown into the woes of self-isolation and social distancing, however, the access to technology allows us to still be able to foster those relationships, keeping in touch with loved ones and even establishing new ones. While we may not physically be with our friends or our other family members, we can still use various forms of communication to keep them updated with all the latest quarantine recipes or gush over the newest Animal Crossing villager.
There are many ways that we can stay in touch with each other during the lockdown. We can use platforms such as FaceTime and Zoom to stay connected, and use that to check up on how our friends and family are feeling and remind each other that, in the big picture, what we’re going through is a shared experience—that we are not alone, but in this together. What’s amazing about these various platforms is that continuous talking isn’t necessary in order to feel connected (although if that’s what you prefer to do, then go for it!). There are those that leave FaceTime or Zoom running in the background while focusing on other activities and projects. Just the presence of a loved one, even via a screen, is sometimes all we need to feel less alone. People have been taking advantage of these different means of telecommunication. There are families that contact their elderly relatives through Skype, couples that schedule regular FaceTime dates, friends that play Dungeons and Dragons through Discord weekly, friends that create and share niche presentations on Zoom, and strangers hosting Netflix watch parties. These examples are but a few of the ways that we stay connected with one other.
We live in a time where being physically present for one another is simply not an option in respect to those who work tireless hours fighting the virus and to those who cannot defend themselves against the virus. The fact that it will take some time before things revert to relatively normal is all too real, but if anything is to be taken away from this—it’s that we’re not truly alone.