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Wednesday, June 29, 2022

Safe Socializing Tips in the Wake of COVID-19



Australia currently has over 23,000 total diagnosed cases of COVID-19. While things may slowly be returning to normal, it’s still important to socialise safely and at a distance whenever possible. Doing so will help this pandemic from resurging across the country.

There are many reasons why socialising is essential. Some studies have already shown the impact this virus has and will have on the mental health of people all over the world. Isolation and loneliness are serious mental health issues that can lead to other conditions like poor cardiovascular function, reduced immunity, depression, and anxiety.

On top of isolation, people are struggling with fear and uncertainty. Counselling also may not be widely available due to social distancing guidelines. So taking charge of your mental health is vital. One way to do that is to spend time with people and feel connected.

But how can you do that safely?

Let’s cover a few tips on how you can socialise in the wake of COVID-19 while keeping yourself and the people around you safe and protected.

Socialising for Children

While there has been competing information in regards to how COVID-19 affects children, they are still significantly at risk for developing mental health issues due to loneliness and isolation. That can put them at a greater risk for things like depression and anxiety, even from a young age.

Because many schools closed for in-person learning abruptly, emergency home learning became the norm for many families across the country at the beginning of this pandemic. But should kids be allowed to attend school in-person now?

Obviously, that answer will be left to different districts and parents. But whether your children are returning to school or learning at home, it’s important to understand the different types of learning to maximise what your kids will retain. If your child is staying home, for example, synchronous learning is a great option that can help them to stay connected to others (virtually), while still staying safe. One of the benefits of synchronous learning is that everything is done at the same time, so students will still feel like part of a class. They can even do peer-to-peer projects, so they will get a chance to work with their friends and classmates. While that certainly isn’t the same as in-person connection, it can give the students a much-needed sense of a social life simply to be able to see (virtually) and talk to their friends safely. Synchronous learning includes things like:

  • Instant messaging
  • Live webinars
  • Video conferencing
  • Chat rooms

Finding other ways for your children to stay connected will benefit both their physical and mental health. Get out and do things as a family as often as possible while staying socially safe. Some of the best tips for remaining both safe and mentally healthy include keeping a daily routine, getting outside as often as possible, and engaging in activities that will keep both your mind and body active. The same goes for your kids. Thankfully, many of those things can be done together, so you encourage each other to remain healthy and happy.

Staying Safe When Meeting New People

Now that things have started to reopen, you might be eager to meet new people. Whether you’re trying to form new friendships or romantic relationships, there are still ways to connect with new people safely.

In this world of digital connections, one of the easiest ways to meet someone new is online. People all over the world have been taking part in “Zoom dates” or even Zoom happy hours, allowing them to connect face-to-face without having to meet in person. This is a great way to get to know someone safely.

If/when you do decide to meet someone new in person, be sure to talk about your boundaries and what safety precautions you want to keep in place. This virus is still very much a real thing, and it’s necessary to be respectful of your own boundaries, as well as other people’s limitations. Try to communicate via different forms of technology as much as possible, and gather in smaller, less-crowded settings when you do decide to meet. Avoid places like bars and clubs as much as possible right now, especially if you or someone you know has pre-existing health conditions and could be severely affected if they contract COVID-19.

Adjusting to a “New Normal”

Staying diligent about COVID-19 is imperative. Unfortunately, far too many people haven’t taken it as seriously as they should. For example, young men are more likely to believe conspiracies about COVID-19, rather than the facts about its risks.

Additionally, even if you understand how dangerous the virus is, you might be so tempted to return to normal that you let your guard down. That’s often especially true when you’re around family members or friends.

For now, consider smaller gatherings and try to keep people spaced apart as much as possible. Don’t share food or utensils, and hold events outside whenever you can. Even when you are outside for gatherings, keep your distance, use disposable cutlery and plates, have a handwashing or sanitising station available for everyone, and wear masks as much as possible.

Keep in mind that for as much as you might miss your loved ones and being close to them, socialising safely can help to keep them healthy, and reduce the spread of this virus until it is gone completely.

Image Source: Unsplash

safe socializing tips in the wake of covid-19Ainsley Lawrence is a freelance writer that lives in the Northwest region of the United States. She has a particular interest in covering topics related to good health, balanced life, and better living through technology. When not writing, her free time is spent reading and researching to learn more about her cultural and environmental surroundings. Find her on Twitter.  

Mick Pachollihttp://www.tagg.com.au
Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.