This year, 2020, has thrown the world for a loop. Unfortunately, due to lockdowns, travel bans, and local closures in general, it is very difficult to enjoy the social activities we used to. Watching movies in a movie theater, eating in restaurants, and even visiting family or friends in their own homes can pose a risk for getting sick.
Fortunately, there are still ways to socialize with our peers thanks to factors like the advancement of technology, warm weather, and pure creativity. As a college student who lives with my immediate family, I prioritize safety and health by avoiding situations of viral transmission. Yet, as a college student who has an extroverted side, I also prioritize getting the social interactions I need in order to be happy.
Ideas for Safe Socializing during a Pandemic
- Picnic- Picnics are the most aesthetic way to safely socialize during a pandemic. It’s one of my favorites because not only do I get to support my local restaurants, eat yummy food, and catch up with my friends in a safe in-person way. To make a picnic safe, split up the food before eating it, and BYOB-bring your own blanket!
- Drive-In Movie- I’ve always loved the idea of drive-in movie theaters because they are so cozy and different. It’s such a lovely way to watch a movie and sets up an ambiance that is unmatched in your home, on a call, or even in a movie theater.
- Walk- When the weather is nice, walking can be such a nice spontaneous, or planned social activity. Walking has become one of my favorite social activities to do with my boyfriend. Since we both live with our families and do not want to expose each other to each other without taking precautions, we walk with about 6 feet of space in between us. Even with the awkward distance between us, it really is refreshing to help each other get out of the house and a great way to socialize during a pandemic. Ever since I’ve been stuck mostly indoors, I have learned to appreciate nature a lot more.
- Zoom- The pandemic also often pushes us to stay inside. Sometimes we can’t easily fly to see people, the weather forces us to stay in, or we’re just quarantining. Technology platforms like Zoom allow us to video conference with those we love at no expense.
- Teleparty (previously Netflix Party)- Teleparty/Netflix Party is a Chrome extension that allows you to watch Netflix, Hulu, Disney Plus, etc. with friend(s) and chat while keeping everyones’ screen in-synch. While this is a great way to watch movies with peers, it is less personal since there is only a chat function and no call feature. Yet, this feature may be positive because you could be in your pajamas in a top-knot and no one will know!
By doing these safe social activities, I’ve been able to keep my sanity while mostly locking myself at home and avoid getting sick. That’s not to say that I don’t wish things could go back to normal — I absolutely do — but I’m so grateful that I’m still able to keep in touch with those who don’t live with me while keeping my family healthy and doing my part to stop the spread of the virus.