Keep Your Friends Close- But Not Closer Than Six Feet

With the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, mostly everyone’s world has been morphed in front of them, almost like a ball of wet clay. Instead of indulging in the usual festivities, outings, and photoshoots with friends, we learned to keep our distance. However, like most times of transformation, so many new ways to enjoy your friends’ company without compromising social distancing guidelines. From picnics and painting sessions to Netflix Party and everything in between, I got you covered! Here are some of my favorite ways to reconnect with my friends from a safe and healthy distance.

  1. Outdoor picnics! This has been one of my favorite pastimes since being back on campus (weather permitting, of course). Picnicking has proven to be one of the top tier social distancing hangouts, as you can spread out blankets six feet apart and interact with other people safely in the great outdoors. If you’re lucky enough to have a pretty green and nature-oriented campus like my school, it’s also a great way to familiarize yourself with campus and see all the sights!

  2. Take out over Zoom! If you and your friends want to eat together but are afraid of having too many people together at once, I have a solution for you! Either order takeout or cook yourself a meal, hop onto Zoom with your friends, and enjoy a virtual dinner with all your loved ones! Bonus points if you all make the same food.

  3. Netflix Party- an absolute classic. Now known as “Teleparty”, this Google chrome extension changed my quarantine completely. Teleparty allows for multiple people to watch Netflix shows and movies synchronously, as well as participate in the chat room that is included in the extension. My boyfriend and I used Teleparty every day during quarantine, and I truly believe it’s an amazing way to stay connected in these difficult times. Start a new series with loved ones and plan on marathon nights! This is a surefire way to pass time, as well as invest in the relationships around you.

  4. Go on a hike or bike ride! Before moving to Oregon, I was absolutely not a nature girl whatsoever, but living in the huge forest that is Oregon has opened my eyes to the natural beauty our environment has to offer! I love going hiking with friends and taking pictures at the summit, or biking to Autzen and getting coffee afterward. If your school is in an urban environment, grab a friend and walk around town! Visit a favorite coffee shop, or order takeout from a restaurant you’ve always wanted to try, all that matters is that you go outside!

  5. Play games together! Although usually not able to accomplish from a distance, gaming platforms like Animal Crossing and Among Us have allowed the masses to collaborate and hang out in real time, but in a virtual setting. Whether you’re trying to find the imposter or decorating your island, virtual gaming is guaranteed to give you a good time you can share with friends and loved ones.

 

In conclusion, being alone does not have to be lonely! With enough planning and communication, you can still see your loved ones from a safe distance! Of course, along with the ideas I mentioned, please be sure to wear your mask,wash your hands, and consciously check yourself for COVID symptoms before you leave your house. Keep doing your part to keep our communities safe, and in no time things will begin to resemble normalcy.