Marriages and relationships that have had difficulties must find a way to overcome the quarantine. Life becomes even more depressing when you are in a confined space, especially for those who face relationship problems.
This is a time when “normal” needs to be redefined when individuals and families isolate and human resilience and creativity are put to the test. Communities worldwide are learning to connect to work virtually, to study, to make contacts, to meet and to continue relationships and commitments. Unfortunately, there are no previous experiences or examples of coping with a global pandemic to such an extent, nor the important need for social distancing at this level.
The guidelines of the World Health Organization (WHO) emphasize the need for early social distancing in order to stop the spread of COVID-19 and to smooth the infection curve. A slightly infected person can accidentally infect others who may be more susceptible to the disease. Therefore, social responsibility for maintaining distance is of paramount importance in this time of crisis. This raises the question: how can the social connection be maintained?
This is a time of uncertainty, turmoil and fear on a global scale. Recognizing this in our communities and families is a first step towards processing and dealing with our current circumstances. While we have to physically distance ourselves, we are all emotionally together when we face the crisis. Flooded with conflicting information, unclear instructions, and a lack of resources such as protective gear, it is easy to feel confused and helpless, leading to a collective growing mental panic. However, the power within communities to help one another through the exchange of experiences, anecdotes and information is enormous and the means to combat loneliness and fear in these difficult times.
Intense circumstances affect dynamics in both families and communities. Under the pressure of the current situation, communication, behavior and closeness between family units, couples and neighbors can change and emotional, sexual and intellectual intimacy can be impaired. The collective trauma of communities requires collective healing, which requires the mobilization of communities. This relieves individuals, partners and families of coping with the effects of the crisis alone. While community unity, permanence and solidity are required, people are isolated and locked up in their homes. How shall we do it?
Social media, email, phone calls, group chats, virtual gatherings, virtual religious and community gatherings are all sources that provide context and support. Such a connection to emotional and social support is important so that we can all get through together and individually. Resilience is promoted by pulling from different sources and traditions. Stories about humanity and courage inspire our strength and motivation and fight depression and isolation.
Social connection within the CDC guidelines
- Connect with family and friends through group chat, phone calls, conference calls, and audio / video. Discuss updates, coping, looking after young and old, hobbies, books and films, recipes, encouragement, etc. and even feel sorry for them if necessary.
- Have a list of your friends and family support system.
- Find out more about local information and insights from Facebook or NextDoor community groups.
- Get involved in a book club or film club that meets virtually.
- Make virtual dinner parties.
- Follow a routine for yourself and give structure to your family and children.
- Help virtually if you are able to do so.
- Contact older neighbors if they need groceries or supplies, and provide them when you are able.
- Review local, national, and global disaster relief efforts. If you are able to provide support, you should consider this.
- Spend time in nature in accordance with the permitted guidelines in your region.
- Don’t get stuck on coronavirus messages.
- Contact telemedicine advisory services.
Resilience is stimulated on purpose. The activation of resources and ingenuity as an individual and as a community is a means against fear and loneliness. Collective resilience can occur in times like the current period of persistent uncertainty and fear of danger. We’ll get through this together.
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