Amidst all the calls in nearly every country for social distancing, the most powerful tool we have to slow the spread of the coronavirus, one important fact gets lost: We are fundamentally social beings, and social distancing can carry a heavy psychological price tag.
I’ve been online in more Zoom, Google, Skype, Facetime, and Facebook Live meetings in the last seven days than in my entire life. And it’s been a contagious experience.
Last Thursday I hosted a class on Zoom for 38 Bible college students, and on Friday a prayer meeting with 12 people from Bethel Church in Barrhead.
Somebody send a high five to Bob for learning new technology.
11 Creative Ideas For Connection In A Pandemic
1. Meet as an extended family in the parking lot of an eatery. Maintain physical distancing. Look at the three generations of the Harrisons from St Albert getting connected.
2. Video calls or Facetime are wonderful. If you have elderly relatives or friends who have smartphones or computers but don’t know how to use them for video calls, this is a great time to introduce them to Skype, WhatsApp, Facetime, etc.
3. You’ve heard it before: the gifts that matter the most are the ones that come from the heart and nothing could be closer to the truth. Jocelyn made a birthday card for our eight-year old nephew’s b-day. It sparkled. So did he.
4. Happiness – all it takes is an eGift card from Starbucks or your fave java place. Pick a frontline health care worker you know and send him or her a cuppa on you. I’m sending two of my most loved health care workers, gift cards this week. Shhh.
5. Chalk is cheap but thank you notes are like gold. Martina Wilson, a health care provider on the front lines shared this photo at an ambulance bay in Westlock, Alberta.
6. If you live in a place where you’re allowed to go outside, invite a friend for walks, meet up for a run, just spend time together. Just remember to keep about two meters (six feet) between each other, avoid shaking hands, all the usual precautions.
7. Call up a local, small business and enquire how you can order something from them. Most Alberta small businesses are 30 days away from going under. Get a couple of friends to track with your thoughtfulness. I’ll be calling Christine at the Flower Shoppe in Barrhead for a special delivery.
8. Write, draw, say, or show it, just don’t wait—do it. If someone touches your heart or makes your life a little brighter or easier, tell them.
9. Who loves handwritten letters or cards more than grandparents? They remember hardcopy. Surprise your grandparents with some personally written snail mail.
10. Write a note to a stranger in a local seniors home. Call up reception at the home, tell them what you want to do, ask for the name of someone in care, get the address and write on. Include your return address. You just never know where you might find a new friend.
Application: Idea #11 is yours. What have creative ways have you seen people connecting? What have you done to connect and brighten someone’s day?
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