Attention to physical needs such as toilet paper, hand sanitizer, masks, etc., are important - especially food. In the hustle and isolation we sometimes forget that we have wonderful technology available that makes staying in touch possible for almost everyone.
Writing letters and sending physical cards are nice ways to show you are thinking about someone, but with the danger attached to the virus being spread through the mail system, we can't really rely on those old tried and true forms of communication.
We can, however, still pick up the phone an dial the number of a family member or friend that we miss and want to talk to. That still works and almost everyone has a phone.
What really works well and is almost as good as being face to face in person ( note: I said "almost"), is using computers and smartphones along with available technology to not only talk to a person, but also actually SEE that person or persons.
It is quite possible to have a family reunion of as many as 30 or more family members on the screen at one time to see and talk to each other and share things.
Here are some really cool apps that you can download and use to talk, see, and share screens with one person or with several and most of them are totally free:
- Facebook Messenger Video or Audio Only - you can video chat with anyone on your friends list in Facebook easy.
- FaceTime – still one of the best options IF your friend or family member has and IOS device (iphone, ipad, Mac, etc.) You can video chat or audio chat.
- SKYPE – still available and still an option for those on Android devices. The video has improved over the years, but there are still a few little glitches such as delays and voice is not great (good, but not great).
- Zoom – free to use for 40 minutes with as many participants as you would like. Great for family “reunions”, “virtual parties”, etc. They have a few security issues, but it is mostly related to using passwords that are too simple. Use a tight password, you “should” be good. (download Zoom for meetings)
- Telephone – a good old phone call is always a great way to communicate. You can keep in touch by calling or texting. Either is better than no contact at all.
It's important to stay socially connected while also socially distancing. Keeping in touch is vital to staying healthy mentally and emotionally. Checking in with each other is not only mentally and emotionally healthy, it is also important.
If someone lives alone, you may their only line to humanity. They may be mentally on the edge and you are the one to bring them back.
This is a tough time to be sequestered, but especially for the elderly, single, or others living alone. Remember, reach out, but do it safely.
Have you ever used FaceTime, SKYPE, Zoom, or Messenger to communicate with friends and family? What is your favorite and why? Do you know of any other available communication outlets that can be used to connect? Share your information and let's help each other get through this scary time.