The Art of “Socializing” During Isolation

“Our great grandparents were once called to war. We are now being called to sit on our sofa”

Illustrations by Tomi Um

Who would have thought our future would rest on our very ability to remain in our homes?

In an instant, millions of Americans have been left unemployed by the spread of the new coronavirus. It has devastated the economy, our communities, and taken so many lives. Working from home, which was once considered a luxury, has now become a survival mechanism to help curb the spread of the disease; that is, if you are fortunate enough to be working remotely and still have a job.

Governments across the globe have shut down museums, galleries, bars, and beaches. Most states in America are enforcing stay at home measures that dissuade socialization with the outside world. While the challenges and feelings of loneliness that accompany this are more than understandable, staying at least six feet away from other people is imperative to lessen the chances of catching or spreading COVID-19.

Sadly, social isolation is nothing new for elderly communities. Roughly one quarter of Americans aged 65 and older are said to be socially isolated and those who are 50 years of age or older are much more likely to experience loneliness.

WHAT DOES SOCIAL DISTANCING MEAN IN PRACTICE?

  • Staying at home (unless you need to engage in an essential activity such as grocery shopping, medical care)
  • Not having visitors
  • Working from home instead of at the office
  • Closing schools to switch to online classes
  • Visiting loved ones via video chat instead of in person
  • Not congregating in groups
  • Not sharing things like towels and utensils
  • Staying at least 6 feet away from people

Since this is the reality we face for the foreseeable future, how can we continue to function as members of society and stay connected to the ones we love?

Thankfully, there is an abundance of resources and entertainment available to keep us busy during this crazy time and fulfill all our communication needs. Here are a few ideas to help you remain connected and make the experience of being stuck at home more enjoyable.

CONNECT WITH YOUR FRIENDS & FAMILY

One of the easiest ways to stay grounded during these uncertain times is to remain close to friends and family. With today’s technology, geography thankfully doesn’t have to keep anyone apart from their loved ones. A cell phone with a decent wireless plan and a strong Wifi connection is a wonderful way to stay in touch with our loved ones. Phone calls and video chats can help forge deep and meaningful human connections. This is the perfect opportunity to reconnect with an old friend, or even to make a new one.

It could be as simple as supporting a friend seeking advice on how to handle life during this pandemic. Or just checking in on an older family member to see how they’re getting on. This can be enough to help lower stress levels.

EXPERIMENT WITH MEDIA

Since the inception of self-quarantine, people have been finding creative ways to communicate and share stories with one another. We’ve seen an Instagram live stream boom. DJ’s have been keeping the party going with “social distance” live streaming. Cooking classes, intimate acoustic performances from our favorite artists, live painting sessions, and poetry recitals because the need to hear stories is as strong as the need to deliver them.

DISCOVER ART LIFE’S NEW PODCAST “PAINT THE TOWN”

If you’ve exhausted the above and are looking for a new form of stimulation, you’re in luck!

We just launched our brand-new podcast “Paint the Town” hosted by Avery Andon. Here you will get a backstage pass to the Arts and Entertainment industry. Episodes feature a wide array of high profile guests including Artists, Photographers, Actors and Musicians along with Art Industry professionals.

As the first guest on “Paint the Town”, Tyler Shields gives a startling update on the photography industry amidst the COVID-19 Pandemic, along with some more lighthearted and entertaining topics including his controversial Kathy Griffin photoshoot and the time Secret Service agents surrounded his house, forcing him into a self-imposed Quarantine!

This is a great listen for art collectors and lovers, photographers of every skill level and just about anyone who enjoys vibrant, engaging conversation!

Check out “Paint The Town” Episode 1 with Tyler Shields now!

Social distancing doesn’t need to completely take you off the grid, unless you want it to. It’s also totally ok to use this period as a break, give yourself permission to do nothing and reflect and recharge. Consider this the downtime you always wanted but never had the time for. What you do with it is entirely up to you.

And remember to keep doing the following to help stop the spread of the Coronavirus.

Stay safe!!

1
HANDS
Wash often with soap

2
ELBOW
Cough into it

3
FACE
Don’t touch it

4
SPACE
Keep safe distance of 6 feet

5
HOME
Stay if you can