How to Stay in Touch with Friends during Covid-19
Updated: Oct 15, 2020
October marks the eighth month of the Covid-19 lockdown; it’s no secret the limited social interactions from spring, summer, and now fall have caused deep loneliness for many around the world.
The shutdown of gyms, bars, churches, and schools, have made it nearly impossible to make new friends. However, maybe rekindling an old friendship is just what you need right now. Or maybe you’re just looking for ways to make communicating with your friends more consistent and fun, and less like Zoom meetings.
Either way, here are five creative and funky ideas for staying in touch with friends amidst Covid-19.
Book clubs are an excellent way to keep in touch with friends because it provides an anchor in conversation. With few exciting new life updates, conversations these days can be a bit drab. However, there’s some pretty FIRE pieces of literature coming out these days.
But, how would we set it up? I’d recommend carefully considering the cross-section of friends who you’d (1) like to keep in touch with and (2) genuinely believe could read the assigned chapters and ‘show up’ to the book club. Then wrangle them into a group chat, see who’s in, and talk details.
...What details? From personal experience, I’ve found one book a month is totally doable. Perhaps discuss (via Zoom or FaceTime) the book in two installments: Once on the second Saturday of the month and once on the final Saturday.
But, what on God’s green earth would we read? Whatever you’d like! They can be culturally relevant, other-worldly fiction, educational, youthful, really whatevs. If you’re stumped, check out Reese Witherspoon’s book club reading list for ideas—she’s pretty hip.
2. Writing Letters
With all the nice little stamps and cool topics to discuss in life, how could you not at least be minimally tempted to pick a pen-pal and correspond? Letters allow for a long-form, continual, uninterrupted discussion. Long distance friendships are wonderful news for the USPS.
A fragile but pleasant addition to a letter is a nice pressed flower. I just feel like these two Jane Austen era tactics (letter writing & flower pressing) really go hand-in-hand. (And the idea of tiny 2D plants traversing the country in little envelopes is terribly cute.) Here’s how to properly squish foliage. And besides, you can proudly display them on the wall once received.
3. Marco Polo
Downloading and using this app has been one of the most practical ways my friends and I have stayed in touch. We live across four time zones, so the scattered video messaging has been a great way to see everyones’ lives (virtual tours of new apartments, meeting a new puppy, sharing a random memory, etc.) in vlog-style snippets.
Marco Polo and similar apps eliminate all the scheduling and calculations that go into a live video call, which is nice. Also each person can watch and respond on their own time, which further alleviates pressure.
4. FaceTime Cooking Class
For starters, it doesn’t have to be cooking! It can be baking, yoga, calligraphy, zumba, pottery, or tai chi! The point is, you’re together learning and creating. The environment can be high-energy or mellow, the activity can be thought-intensive or mindless, but the point is community :)
Let’s admit it, the better half of the last year has been remarkably boring, so why not pick something that’s random and fun? Here’s some specific suggestions:
Baking strawberry cheesecake macarons (and sending pics of the results)
Making authentic Chinese dumplings
Having a chill little tea party (get the crumpets going!!!)
YouTube yoga with Adriene
Sewing sock monkeys
Watercolor outdoor scenes
Or TBH, whatever you guys come up with...I’m sure it’ll be a blast!
5. Walk & Talk
This one is the chillest but it’s probably my favorite. I don’t know about you guys, but I’ve pounded some serious pavement recently (aka have been taking a mild stroll each day). At the risk of sounding cheesy, it can be really nice looking up at the trees and down at the passing brick.
Anyhow, I really think the rhythm and laid-back nature of walking make it the perfect setting for a chat. The nice thing about a phone call is that it doesn’t necessarily have to be planned, especially if you’re just catching up with a relative. My grandma, Memama, has been a lovely ‘walking’ companion this summer, even though she uses a cane and lives several states away!
That’s that for the list. I hope you found it helpful and can spend some time reconnecting with your crew in a healthy, fun, and consistent way :)