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Social distancing is helping us prevent the rise of COVID-19 right now. Yet with so many of us away from families, how do we deal with the feeling isolated?
A number of students and working professionals are now experiencing changes in their daily routines and work life thanks to the lockdown. Several companies and universities have resorted to work from home and. distance learning. Of course, this is a rather first world sentiment since most of us don’t have either a choice or the ability to do so.
Though it appears to be business as usual for many of us, or at least some semblance of it, we are trying our best to power through this self-isolation. Despite it being a good idea, self-isolation is causing a number of mental health issues among people, especially the ones on their own.
With a majority of the world’s population staying at home and avoiding social contact, some people are with their families. However, there are some others who are away from their homes, family and friends. This may have been due all the travel restrictions and border closures.
With all of this happening around us, now becomes the time to look at social media and the internet to keep in touch with loved ones as much as one can.
At the same time, it is a rather big task to expect employees and students to continue their work as normal and sustain high productivity levels every day. Companies should ease the stress and pressure on their employees during this trying period by setting daily achievable targets. They need this time to take care of their own physical and mental health.
And universities should take this time to provide online tools and tips to help students power through the challenges of distance learning. Italian universities have been offering and using a wide array of online tools since the country went into lockdown.
I was also quite grateful for some of the tips that my university gave me to better equip myself for distance learning. This included instructions for Zoom as well as the validation of my semester.
Similarly, many Indian universities are working to better schedule and implement virtual learning to ensure their students continue studying without hinderances. Coursera is now offering Indian universities free access to its catalogue. This will help students access nearly 4000 courses from some of the top education and learning institutions in the world.
In the wake of the cancellation of sporting and social events, BookMyShow is organising virtual entertainment events during the lockdown. The platform, ‘Live from HQ’ will feature artists like Prateek Kuhad, Indian Ocean, Kamakshi Khanna, and comedian Vir Das, among others.
Further, the three largest dating sites Bumble, Tinder and Hinge are ensuring social distancing through virtual dates. Their social media pages are a proof of how they are helping their users sustain their dating lives.
Meanwhile, the users are relying on creative ways to get in touch with their dates. This includes video dates too. People set up FaceTime/Zoom/Skype or any video call and chat, play games and even cook and eat dinner together. All of this to help them create a virtual ‘dinner date.’
Facebook groups are also playing an active role in fostering more community and solidarity between students from across the world. They are helping students and youngsters coping with similar anxiety struggles, the university pressures and quarantine.
The group, ‘Zoom Memes for Self Quaranteens’ is a group with nearly 400,000 members. They post memes, videos, photos, videos and even articles and heartfelt messages. A lot of the content is aimed at helping young adults, working professionals and university students destress and look after their mental health.
The group organises many virtual meet-ups and other events to help members interact with one another and build a strong support system as an online community.
At the same time, there are many university associations, clubs and societies trying to organise some of their events online. The University of British Columbia is even having a ‘virtual’ graduation to continue to keep the up morale for the graduating class this year. In addition, some university clubs are even Coronavirus online university parties and socials.
As the days become longer and the nights darker and longer still, now is the time to take on every day as it comes. This is the time to use the opportunities we have at our disposal to try our best to work, rest and recuperate in the wake of all this uncertainty, paranoia and fear.
Picture credits: Pexels
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Shivani is currently an undergraduate political science student who is passionate about human rights and
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