If the worldwide COVID-19 crisis has taught us anything, it’s how much we crave human connection.
Under Australian Government restrictions, there’s been a very hard push to social distancing. Many of us have been confined to our homes, either on our own or with immediate family members, for weeks on end. Even for the most insular person, being isolated for lengthy periods is problematic.
Watching the news, it’s evident how true this is by the way Australians have burst out of their homes at the easing of restrictions.
Centuries ago, the Greek philosopher Aristotle wrote that humans are social animals and need to seek the companionship of others. Science has proven him to be correct – humans are wired for connection, it’s in our DNA as strong a need as food, water, and shelter.
In fact, psychologists believe that the benefits of human connection including an improvement in both mental and physical health, which are so closely aligned – we thrive in these conditions. The coronavirus has tested this statement like never before in our lifetime, as worldwide there are concerns about mental health, led by the World Health Organisation.
We’ve used technology to connect
In the early days of COVID-19, we quickly found ways to connect – if not physically – then remotely, using the power of the internet. In fact, many of us found new apps and other ways of connecting, bringing together people of all ages and backgrounds to celebrate and find the positives in a challenging time.
People have set up zoom accounts – a web-based conferencing tool traditionally used for business meetings – as a way to bring their families or friends together. Video chats mean we can see each other, which is better than simply talking over the phone. There’s some therapy in enjoying a coffee or a glass of wine while chatting about a range of things – how we’re coping, what we’re streaming on TV, what we’re baking in the kitchen.
And some people have taken the fun to a new level – hosting themed calls, such as Disney Princesses and superheroes. Others are holding TikTok competitions to meet the latest crazy dance, song, and other challenges.
If you’re missing going out with your best, hold an online shopping party with your bestie. Start a video chat, visit the same shopping website and compare notes! Then have a tea or brunch together just as you would normally.
Virtual parties are booming. Some people have had to cancel weddings, engagements, 21sts and other milestone events – and instead of missing out altogether, have held an online party – with people joining in from their homes, sharing a drink and a dance. In England, a couple held a virtual fancy dress party, attracting thousands of people who joined them online.
Various famous musicians have held free virtual concerts – think One World which featured Lady Gaga, Keith Urban, The Rolling Stones, Elton John all performing from their home. There have also been free musicals and stage shows, including Cats and Phantom of the Opera – get your friends together and enjoy it with a glass of champers or an ice cream at ‘interval’. .
While restrictions are easing, the coronavirus is continuing to escalate overseas so understandably the Australian Government and state and territory leaders are still very cautious.
Restrictions continue on the number of people in a gathering but where there’s a will, there’s a way! Some people have been very creative, like having dinner with their neighbours using part of their fence as a horizontal dinner table. You can still celebrate and feast together while following social distancing guidelines. Others have played table tennis across balconies, taken long walks together while keeping 1.5m apart, or driven past houses to wave and cheer to family or friends for their birthdays.
In places like the UK, United States and Italy, communities are gathering together at 7pm during the hospital shift change to cheer for those hospital workers putting their lives on the line for us. Even the royals have gotten into the spirit of things, with Princes George and Louis, and Princess Charlotte clapping hard alongside their parents.
Keeping fit has also been a challenge but some organisations have held online classes – some free of charge. There’s no reason not to do it with others… remotely of course, by joining the same class at the same time.
Social distancing is likely to become our new normal for some time. So while we navigate this time together, we’ll think of ways to bring people together and enjoy every day.
With Social Distancing Restrictions easing, we are all looking to find ways to get back to enjoying and sharing our lives TOGETHER. Let Pillingers Hiring Services help you create the most memorable events of your life. Contact one of our event specialists today.