By John Chavez
The world is a different place than it was in February. With a worldwide pandemic dominating the news, it can be easy to forget that there are still people who both care about and want to spend time with you. One of the hardest things about 2020 is doing our part to help stay socially distant. Many have taken a hit to their social lives to help contain this pandemic. With clubs, bars, restaurants and theme parks all closed, it can be difficult to find things to do with friends. However, this does not mean it is impossible to find activities that can be done safely. Where there is a will, there is a way.
Here are five ways to safely keep friends close during 2020.
1 . Zoom call with friends
It may be a surprise to you that Zoom, the online video chat service, can be used for more than just school. It also serves as a great way to have a video call with friends, provided they have access to a webcam. Not only does this provide a way to see your friends face-to-face, but it also allows you to see many friends at once. Forget about Zoom fatigue, as the activities on a Zoom call are nearly limitless. From Zoom board games, to Zoom dates (which apparently are a thing now) there are many social activities that can be done on Zoom.
2. Online gaming
Gaming is a great way to spend the hours during those boring months of quarantine alone. But it can also be used to connect with your friends. Provided you already have a gaming console, all you need to is a hot new game and a microphone. It will be easy to lose track of time playing with friends, all while remaining safe at home.
3. Phone call
While this may be considered a lost art only used by your parents, consider trying it during these times. Texting and social media are great, but hearing a friend's voice goes a long way in helping combat quarantine loneliness. Talking to a friend without the use of a screen, Twitter or Instagram will no doubt help with your need for actual human connection.
4. Streaming watch party
The world of streaming seems to be growing every day. With new streaming services like Disney+ and HBO Max to watch, there is a wide variety of movies and shows to binge-watch. Now these streaming services are adding a watch party feature, where friends can simultaneously watch programing across multiple screens. Some of these even include a chat feature, where you can talk to your friends while the movie plays.
5. Outdoor activities
Believe it or not, the outdoors still exist in 2020. While it is much safer to be at home, sometimes there is a need to be with your friends in person. However, greater caution must be taken when doing this. Consider taking a socially-distant walk around a park or neighborhood. Try to avoid times where many people will be doing the same. Remember to always wear a mask when outdoors around other people.
Though the pandemic is tough on all of us, remember that your friends are still there for you. There are many more ways to have fun with your friends during these times, all you need is creativity. Safety should be your number one priority, but do not let yourself go through this alone.
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