With the Covid-19 pandemic reaching it’s peak across the world, it’s not exactly an understatement to claim that spending time with people is a bit more challenging than usual. The mandatory distance of at least two metres between people has to be taken seriously, and this has resulted in a flood of innovative ways in which people socialize.
We’ve seen Italians burst out singing on their balconies, elderly neighbours having coffee in their hallways three metres away from each other, as well as artists hosting intimate gigs from their living rooms on instagram to brighten up our quarantine days. It’s safe to say that the corona virus has taken control of our everyday lives and routines in the most horrible and ruthless ways. Therefore, even the most silly videos of what people get up to while in quarantine ads essential joy and cheerfulness to the current mess we’re in.
The governments and public health agencies are doing their best to provide straightforward guidelines for everyone to follow, and one of the most effective rules seems to be social distancing. With that in mind, it was a given quest of mine to ask people across the world how they hang out in times of a pandemic, and the more people share, the more fascinating it is to see how creative people can be under challenging circumstances.
Mariya Vorotnyeva (England): ”Just today me and a friend decided to meet up in the park for a one-hour walk and have beer at the same time. We had to have two metres of distance between us on the entire walk since we’re not allowed to walk close to each other. We ended up getting quite drunk.”
Jennifer Henriksson (England): ”I’m doing online yoga classes with friends and also host yoga classes for other people. Apart from that, I’m doing a weekly quiz with my family on Zoom or Skype, where we take turns coming up with the questions and the rest of us compete with each other.”
Sofie Falck (New Zealand): ”My friend lives quite close to me. I was out for a walk and stopped by for a little chat. After a while, her husband joined us and brought an Afghan cookie which he passed over to me on his skateboard.”
A common theme in both England and New Zealand is initiatives that involve children. Boris Gustafsson (England) is one of many who shares ideas on how to keep your children busy during isolation.
”In our family we’ve got a schedule for the kids with home classes in karate, ballet, piano and Swedish classes via Zoom.
We’ve also got a whatsapp group with our neighbours and have drinks with each other from across the street every Friday. At work we’re doing a Skype pub quiz with questions in a program called mentimeter.com.”
In New Zealand, children in lockdown are able to join a nationwide bear hunt while following the guidelines of the public health agency. The Kiwi woman, Debby Hoffman, created the page ’We’re Not Scared’ – NZ Bear Hunt, to get children to look out for bears in their neighbourhoods while getting their daily excercise with their parents. During easter, the children will also be able to keep an eye out for eggs.
Frida Kabo (New Zealand): ”I live in Hamilton and work from home via Zoom. I like to write nice messages to passersby on the driveway, and also put teddy bears and other stuffed animals in the windows.”
Gabriella Köhler, who lives in London, often spends time playing board games with her friends during the weeks.
”Tabletop is a game online where anyone can create a board game, or search for preferred board games and install them virtually. It’s exactly as if you would sit down with your friends and play board games in real life, only online.”
While being held in quarantine is not the ideal situation for anyone during springtime, one comforting thing to know is that there sure are alternative ways of staying in touch with your friends and family. Whether it’s as simple as joining an online Happy Hour with your friends, or an afterwork via Zoom with your co-workers, there seems to be something for everyone to cure your restlessness until we are free to hang out face to face again.