Given that states are loosening restrictions on coronavirus and the summer weather has already begun, people are figuring out how to get in touch with others while trying to stay safe. According to a Google Trends tweet, the popularity of the search term “ideas for social distance together” has grown by 600% this week.
However, due to the ongoing pandemic and the lack of an approved treatment or vaccine for Covid-19, why are people interested in communicating with each other despite the risk of infection?
“As humans, we are driven by bonds. We have a fundamental motivation to join, ”said Teresa DiDonato, assistant professor of psychology at Loyola University.
According to DiDonato, communication with people can help increase self-esteem and give meaning and meaning.
“The fact that we are in this strange situation, that we should not be in close proximity to other people, seems to us very unnatural,” she said.
According to DiDonato, even quarantine with family or roommates can leave people longing for communication with close friends, because they satisfy various needs in relationships. Wearing masks and communicating from a distance further complicate the situation, as people often rely on facial expressions and non-verbal signals to communicate.
“Trying to strictly follow the guidelines, even if it’s not seductive, is becoming a real problem,” she said.
To overcome these obstacles, people had to be creative and find actions appropriate to their age and interests.
Christine Carter, a sociologist and life coach based in the San Francisco Bay Area, said her family relies heavily on outdoor walks. Four family teens are allowed to meet on the street with few friends during social intercourse.
“One of my daughters had a picnic birthday party where everyone brought a large enough blanket,” she said. “They divided them all and were able to make sure that everyone was next to the birthday girl. She said that actually it was really fun and something that they will always remember. ”
In addition to picnics, family teens also organized social distance trips with their friends. According to Carter, this kind of interaction with peers is especially important for the mental health of young people during a pandemic.
“Teens really need a source of emotional support outside the home, especially when it comes to everything they go through,” she said.
According to Maria Zimmitti, clinical director of therapy at Georgetown Psychology in Maryland, Virginia and Washington, DC, socializing with friends may need to be more controlled for younger children. She recommends outdoor activities where children can easily be at a distance. apart from each other.
“Parents should wear the counselor’s hat,” she said. “Activities can be as simple as walking in nature, having a picnic, riding scooters and bicycles, hopscotch, playing a sprinkler and water slides in the backyard.”
According to Zimmitti, families can also organize a backyard drawing lesson, where children can work on their easels, staying at the proper distance or in an open-air cinema.
She said that these fun, easy ways out can help children develop valuable social skills during a pandemic.
“Socialization is important, and personal communication contributes to sustainability,” Zimmitti said.
Social interaction is also vital for adults, according to Barton Goldsmith, a psychotherapist in Westlake Village, California.
“We simply should not be alone without other people,” he said. “People want to reach out and they will find ways to do this – the problem is to do it safely.”
Goldsmith said people should stay 6 feet apart when they get together and wear masks, but that doesn’t mean they can’t have fun. He has provided many safe ideas for social exclusion for adults, including those that he has implemented in his life.
For trips to the beach, he recommends bringing a large towel or blanket to help set boundaries and facilitate separation.
“If you get something like a king-size bedspread, something really big, and you lay it out and you lie in the middle of it, then you have a social distance,” he said.
He added that communal culinary receptions can be arranged in neighborhoods where families bring their grills to the front yard for a barbecue and eat together while still away from each other. Recently, his neighborhood began to hold concerts in the backyard, where different people take turns playing music on the street.
For unmarried adults looking for a summer romance, Goldsmith recommends dating via video chat. Participants can order food for each other and watch the same show or movie on Netflix, giving them the opportunity to talk. They can even cook the same dish while watching a video cooking lesson.
“This can allow couples to get to know each other better than if they went outside or chatted,” Goldsmith said.
Common to all these socially-distant ideas that they rely on innovation helps people communicate securely in an ongoing pandemic.
“I really believe in American art,” Goldsmith said. “We are a very creative group, and we are going to figure it out.”