With the COVID-19 pandemic forcing us into self-isolation, I’ve been wondering how different groups are coping with these changing times?
Recently I spoke with three young adults about their challenges and learned about their methods for finding fun and staying connected outside of their homes. School has switched to online learning, programs are cancelled and times are stressful. We can’t get together with our friends to vent and commiserate. So what are these three doing to get through these tough times?
I was joined by two 18 year olds Caitlin Starr and Sam Fanaki as well as 20 year old Isobel Fanaki.
There’s a lot of stuff that’s not so positive going on. How are you all doing?
Sam: My biggest concern was in getting school together. There was a lot of uncertainty but teachers have been putting stuff online so I’ve been planning my days around that. If we do go back to school I won’t be super far behind. I’ve been coping by keeping myself busy.
Caitlin: This whole thing was very out of the blue. I’m trying to take it upon myself to stay ahead and keep going. I have my textbooks and there’s tonnes of stuff on Youtube to keep me learning.
That takes a lot of self-discipline. How about you, Isobel, as a third-year university student how are you finding it?
Isobel: University is already a self-sufficient environment. It’s also harder not being in that environment where you’re surrounded by other people and you’re cheering each other on. It’s also strange not being able to study with your friends and go to the library.
With the lack of in-person social contact, how are you all coping?
Sam: I didn’t do a lot of online gaming before with my friends but it’s been a good way to keep us connected. Giving yourself another outside activity is a good way to stimulate social interaction.
Caitlin: The main thing that’s been difficult for me is that I can’t go to my competitive dance classes. Instead of us all being sad about it, we get onto Facetime groups together and talk about how we’re all doing. My dance class did a neighbourhood walk together which was really fun. Instagram and Snapchat are a huge help for me, because I get to stay in-touch with my friends.
Isobel: I’m surrounded by the university environment and I sometimes work from home but not for this length of time. It’s very different staying up till 2 at home when everyone’s asleep at 9, versus everyone staying up at school. One of my friends and I went on a walk together, we were walking but in our respective neighbourhoods talking together but not together. My friends and I will watch Twilight together from each other’s places. There are ways to be with your friends but be apart.
Sam: My friend and I did a social distanced walk but you can’t do that with a big group. We do a lot of calling and Facetiming to simulate being in the same room together.
Caitlin: I want to do the Netflix party extension. You pick a Netflix show or movie and you get a link that you send to your friends and you can all watch it together. There’a live chat too so you’re all watching it together.
These three have found some creative ways of spending their days and learning to cope with a lot of uncertainty. None of us know when we will be with our family and friends again, but technology is clearly helping this group to embrace being “together alone”.
Janet Fanaki lives in Toronto and is the founder and lead content creator for RESILIENT PEOPLE, a website that profiles EXTRAordinary people who are admired for their resilience. Her guests have bounced back from a major challenge and now help others be resilient too. To learn more, follow her on Facebook and Instagram, Twitter or email