Maintaining Social Connections During COVID-19

Authored by University of Guelph student Megan Coghill

Clusters of icons for email, conversations, online connections, and individuals interacting.

Covid-19 has impacted many aspects of daily living, especially how we interact with family and friends. With the added stress the pandemic can bring it is especially important to maintain a strong social network. “Social distancing” is in some ways a misnomer. There are many ways to connect with others while maintaining appropriate physical distance. Now more than ever, there are multiple ways to socialize virtually as services are constantly adapting in response to Covid-19. Below is a list of options to maintain social connections with others for both you and your family, online and in-person. 

Ways to Stay Connected with Loved Ones During Covid-19 

Video call with family and friends: There are several free video calling apps available on desktop or mobile, including Zoom, Skype, and Google Duo. You can even have large groups of people on different devices join a single call (however, Zoom does have a 40-minute limit for larger calls). Plenty of social media apps you may already have also offer free video calling, such as Facebook Messenger, Instagram, and Snapchat. 

Have a virtual game night. You can add some fun to your video call by playing games together online. Houseparty is a free app that can be downloaded and allows you to play built-in games with friends during a video call. The app includes games similar to Head’s Up, Apples to Apples, Pictionary, and trivia style games. The website offers all the classics such as checkers, chess, go fish, cribbage, and more. All you need to do is select a game and send the link provided to your friends and you can play together in real time. Although it does not offer video calling services, you can easily split the screen with another video calling service if you would like. 

Host a Netflix party. Visit and download the extension on desktop. Once you start a “Netflix party” you will be given a link to send to friends that allows you to simultaneously stream movies and shows and talk to each other in a chatroom popup on the side. This is a great way to enjoy a relaxing movie night with others. 

Set your child up with a pen pal. Ask around to see if any of your child’s friends, cousins, or other extended family members would be interested in corresponding through letters. Not only is this a great way for your child to improve their literacy skills, but they can stay in touch with someone that they cannot see as often. 

Have a group picnic. You can safely enjoy a meal and catch up with family or friends while six feet apart in your backyard or a local park. Putting a blanket on the ground to sit on will help your child understand the six-foot boundary. You can also play lawn games such as bocce ball or ring toss. 

Go for a hike with your loved ones. Provincial & recreational parks and most other hiking trails are currently open in Ontario. Covid-19 risk is much lower in open spaces and six feet of distance can be maintained on wide trails or by walking slightly staggered of each other in narrow areas. This is also a great opportunity to get exercise, destress, and connect with nature. 

During this challenging time, find opportunities to reach out to your loved ones and enjoy some safe social interaction. We can all benefit from a strong social network right now! 

We also welcome tips or insights that you feel might be helpful for others! We are a community of lots of different folx from different areas of the world, environments, and localities. We recognize there are many ways to connect and to find connection in these times. From the Redefining Traditional community, we hope that you are well and look forward to connecting more.

0 comments on “Maintaining Social Connections During COVID-19

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *