According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), older adults aged 85 and up and individuals with medical conditions are at increased risk for severe illness from COVID-19. As the coronavirus pandemic persists into the fall and with no foreseeable cure to be found for several more months, it is recommended that individuals in these more vulnerable populations limit social interactions as much as possible. As we adjust to this new era of social distancing, there are tools available to help individuals, especially those that are more vulnerable to the virus, remain connected with friends, loved ones, and their passions.
In this social-distancing climate, it is easy to feel isolated and alone. But we’re not, and we certainly don’t have to be with the number of free technological communication tools available to help us remain connected with those that matter most to us. Some of the most popular tools on the market are Skype, FaceTime, Google Duo, Zoom, and WhatsApp, apps that allow you not only to chat via message, but also video chat, providing that social connection many of us are craving during this time. FaceTime is a pre-installed app available on iPhones, and Google Duo is available for Android users in the Google Play Store. The remaining apps on the list are available on both iPhones and Androids. With these apps, you can schedule traditional phone or video calls, or even bring the whole family together, no matter where they are in the world, for a trivia or game night. The possibilities are endless. There are many options on the market, but the most important thing to keep in mind is what works best for your loved ones. If they are a senior and are uncomfortable with technology, you can demonstrate how to use these valuable tools and determine which ones they feel the most comfortable using to remain connected.
Despite international travel being limited due to COVID-19, you are still able to cross out all those destinations you have on your bucket list. Do you still dream of walking the streets of Italy? How about cruising around Germany? A YouTube channel called BookingHunterTV films first-person point of view videos in some of the world’s most breathtaking cities, allowing you to experience the wonderful sights and sounds as if you were a traveler roaming the city. So “book” those dream vacations, and virtually explore these destinations at no cost until things are safe again. There are also different online virtual tours where you can “walk” around Yellowstone National Park and take in the views, explore various exhibits in the world famous Louvre in Paris, or if you’re interested in interplanetary travel, NASA is offering a tour of Mars so you can see for yourself the answer to David Bowie’s question in his song “Life on Mars”: Is there life on Mars? These virtual trips can be experienced alone or in the company of a loved one, even if they are not near. Just choose a destination and arrange a time to explore together.
In order to slow the spread of the virus, some of the country’s most cherished cultural events including festivals and concerts have been postponed until further notice or even canceled. Many U.S. and European tours and in-person concerts have been canceled, but as if these musicians have all agreed “the show must go on,” many music artists have been performing online shows for their fans as an alternative to in-person shows. This pandemic has been challenging for all of us and although it is recommended we limit our social interactions, we can get creative and utilize the technological communication tools available to us to remain connected with our friends, loved ones, and our passions.
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About The Author
Segan Falconer earned a B.A. degree in English from Colorado State University-Pueblo. She is experienced in content writing, grant writing, and press release writing and currently works as the Human Resources Assistant at Voyager Home Health Care.
- Segan Falconer -