As COVID-19 quickly spread throughout U.S. communities in the beginning of 2020, social distancing orders forced family and friends to get creative and tech savvy in order to stay connected with one another. Now, for at least another four weeks in the state of New Jersey, residents have been ordered by Governor Murphy to stay at home and schools will continue remote learning until at least May 15, 2020. So, with an even longer extended period at home now, you might be looking for new and fun ways to keep connected while physically apart from friends and family outside your immediate quarantine crew.
At a Distance
One of the new buzzwords of this pandemic will no doubt be “zoom.” Zoom is an communications technology company headquartered in California, which provides video, phone, and chat services through a cloud-based peer-to-peer software platform. As workers and schools across the country turn to remote work, Zoom is a very effective way of staying in touch at a distance with coworkers or classmates. There are many free options.
Virtual Game Nights
It's important to keep connected while physically apart. And if you can make it fun, all the better! If you have the Zoom platform or even the Microsoft Teams teleconferencing app, there are many different games you can play with others, including Zoom Bingo, Quiplash and Yahtzee! Kahoot! is another game-based learning platform where the user generates multiple-choice quizzes that can be accessed via a web browser or the Kahoot app. Try playing this one over Zoom for a fun way of connecting while apart.
The FaceTime option on the iPhone is a popular choice for students who want to do their homework together and it’s even an easy tool for a grandparent to use to read their grandchild a bedtime story or sing Happy Birthday to a friend.
Online Fitness Class
Be sure to check with your local gym’s online social media profiles. Stay-at-home orders have closed many non-essential businesses, therefore most gyms have since closed to curb the COVID-19 spread. However, to attract and still engage their members, many are offering free, streaming online workouts every day.
Go to the Movies!
Since theaters have closed, people are now at home and watching a lot of movies. There are now services that let you watch your favorite shows from Netflix, Disney +, YouTube and others with friends and family far away. Netflix Party, a browser extension for Google Chrome, also allows users to sync movies or shows that can be watched on multiple screens or computers.
Families and children of all ages who are quarantining at home together also can benefit by finding meaningful ways to connect with one another, some of which include:
Keeping social distance and face coverings in mind should you pass others, head outside for quick bike ride or walk around your cul de sac. Luckily, the spring season is bringing warmer weather our way making getting outside much more appealing.
Start a Tournament
For families with children — a volleyball, soccer, Wiffle ball or basketball tournament will give everyone something to look forward to each day when school and work is complete all while soaking in vitamin D.
Family Game and Movie Nights
Make some popcorn and dive into a longer movie series that you may have not had time to watch until now.
Take this time to teach each other and work together following a new recipe while you’re all at home together.
Whichever way you choose to stay in touch with family or friends at a distance or the ones you’re quarantining with at home, connecting with each other is the best way to help your mental state of mind during this unprecedented time.