• Hanna Rice

Maintaining a Sense of Community Throughout the Pandemic

Updated: Jul 30, 2020

For a majority of the world, our current political and social situation is characterized by a strong demand to isolate from others. This can be frightening for many who view social relationships as a crucial component of their well-being and mental health. Although this unprecedented time of mandatory isolation is frustrating for many, it is important to recognize that there are numerous outlets to help to quell feelings of loneliness that are oftentimes overwhelming:

1. It is important to create a sense of community to help break through barriers of distance. It is crucial to remember that everyone is experiencing the effects of isolation. Loneliness can be ever-present during times of social distancing, but each person is experiencing a similar consequence of the pandemic, and recognizing the sense of community that spurs from distancing is a healthy coping mechanism.

2. Quarantining doesn’t have to feel distant. There are numerous outlets that allow for communication that distracts from society’s physical distance. These include but are not limited to various forms of social media (Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, etc.), FaceTime, Skype and Zoom, and other forms of texting and calling. Although this seems both simple and intuitive, forms of technological communication help create a sense of unity among individuals and society as a whole that helps to mitigate feelings of isolation.

3. Quarantine is a unique time in which individuals can invest energy in cultivating stronger relationships with their family and those immediately surrounding them. Many times, busy schedules divest from quality time with loved ones, and although social distancing diminishes the number of people one can see, it allows for an adverse effect in which one can grow closer to those surrounding them. This includes siblings, family, and friends and can help to cultivate strong, long-lasting relationships that will flourish post-quarantine. Each situation is unique, and some people are unable to sustain or create lasting relationships with those around them, however, social media and outlets mentioned above can help to remedy (if only slightly) those circumstances.

4. Recognizing that our current situation amidst a pandemic is strange and frustrating is necessary in order to fully accept it and progress as individuals. Although quarantine is upsetting, it is imperative to realize that our lives will eventually return to a state that is normal. The pandemic will not always be as ever-present as it is now. Focusing on the present is normally important, however, it is also crucial to occasionally realize that we as a society will make it through this.

We should all attempt to cultivate a sense of community among our immediate social groups and society as a whole, in order to help everyone make it through this unprecedented time. Reach out to those you love and care about and maintain relationships with numerous people. Connections and interactions will be the basis in which we can flourish as a community and make it through such difficult times.

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