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Maintaining Social Connections in a Time of Physical Distance

Updated: Mar 25, 2020

My family has been practicing physical distancing for the past 7 days. A walk here and there with a friend or a trip to Nesters has been the extent of our activities outside the house.

It has been a hard week. A new normal is setting in as we get used to these precautions to reduce the spread of Covid 19. Social distancing can make us all lonely.

Within our house we are trying to find things to do together like puzzles, playing a game, cooking together, and organizing/cleaning our space to make it nice. Working on our personal relationships is something we don't as much time for when we have to go out to school and work.

While we need to physically distance ourselves, we can still practice social solidarity with our friends, family, and neighbours. Here are a couple of things that are happening in our community or ways to stay connected:

Every night at 7:00pm we can show appreciation for our healthcare and frontline workers, while letting each other know that we are in this together.

Take a moment tonight (and every night!) at 7:00pm to step out on your doorstep and patio (or out the window!) to cheer and clap for those who are taking care of us.

Community groups are coordinating more "window walks" for kids stuck at home during the COVID-19 pandemic. With schools closed and large gatherings prohibited, a "shamrock hunt" was organized for St. Patrick's Day. Participants would put shamrocks in their windows and parents and kids would walk around their neighbourhoods, looking for as many shamrocks as they could find. It proved popular, so online community groups have been sharing an image with other ideas from silly faces, to encouraging words, to jokes on April 1.

Open contest for all families on the mountain. Build a creative birdhouse or hummingbird feeder from recycled materials from your home. Take a picture during the process and one at the end - showing the final project. All residents - members in this group, of course- will vote and choose their favorite ones according to the following criteria: creative, imaginative, unique, effective, and joy-bringing. On the 29th of March the poll will open. You can upload the images there. If you have any questions or suggestions, please don't hesitate to contact us. No Age-limit. The prize will be decided by our community - ideas welcome.

I have been using this platform a lot. The free version is pretty good, it is $15-20 per month for a paid account (I just signed up!). You can do group video calls with up to 100 people for 40 minutes at a time for free. If you go over the 40 minutes, you just need to end the meeting and start again.

Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends and family online. More details here.

Support Each Other Online

Show people you see them. Like and comment on their posts. Say Happy Birthday. Check in with people you don't talk to very much and see how they are doing. Play a game: I have been seeing tons of conversations where people are doing quizzes, sharing photos, etc.

Balcony/Patio/Walk Chats

Do you have someone who lives close by and you can chat over a fence or across a patio? It is a little harder than in more densely populated cities, but worth a shot for some. Going for walks is still okay (unless you have allergies like me!) as long as you observe a two-meter distance between you.

What else have you been doing to stay connected? Share your ideas with us in the comments.

Take care everyone,


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Paula F.
Paula F.
Mar 24, 2020

These are great ideas Theresa. My hummingbird feeder (year 'round) is not home made but much loved by my visiting hummingbirds. Today, I saw a very rare bird in my garden! A golden winged warbler ( a rare visitor from the east of Canada!) I sit outside on my patio, well wrapped up and have birds visiting me as close as 1-2 metres away. Beautiful! I am getting lots done around my little condo, but really miss taking my tennis lessons 3 times a week :(. Those are social activities as well as great exercise for me.

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