Entertainment and Social Distancing


Audrey Kelly

Students and friends have been using Zoom to hangout.

Rachael Maughan, Feature Editor

Coronavirus. COVID-19. Social distancing. Quarantine. 

These buzzwords float around us all day, every day. Within 24 hours the world as we knew it shifted, and continued to rapidly change and adapt more in the following days. School, church services, weddings, funerals, parties – everything – cancelled. 

We have been told to stay in our homes, only to leave for groceries, short exercise, and essential jobs. 

After a day or two the reality began to sink in. No direct social contact, possibly for months, all because of a virus that has yet to be controlled.

Humans are social creatures, we live and thrive in herds. Everyone needs their people, but now being with those people puts lives at risk. That means no hanging out with friends or extended family, no going to work or school, simply no physical contact at all.

Many are struggling, coming up with creative solutions like parking cars in a circle and talking from trunks. Walks have also become a major way for neighborhood families to socialise, letting kids play while adults talk. But these limited interactions can only go so far.

With a lack of available physical contact the world has turned to what has long been preached as bad, evil, or the root of mental illness today, and it’s bringing the world together. Technology, phones, and social media.

Zoom and Microsoft Teams are how classes and groups are now meeting. Now, you still get to see the teachers you like and your at-school friends. It’s close enough to the old normal that it has easily become the new one.

Social media has brought alarming stories, misinformation, and panic. Apps like TikTok that are largely used by younger generations only, however, have brought a lot of comfort. It gives peace of mind that everyone’s worried, everyone’s trying, and that we all need a distraction – one that is definitely provided through dumb jokes and trends. A less talked about side of TikTok is where the adults exist, the ones who are on the kid’s sides. Lawyers, nurses and doctors, therapists, and sometimes even just kind mothers give tips and lessons to kids on how to cope in this world and make them feel important. While it can be a huge time-sucker, it can also be a support system.

Netflix and other streaming services have given people something to talk about because nothing new happens in the quarantine life that can fill a conversation for more than five minutes. New reality tv shows, movies, and series are being released and old and forgotten gems are being brought to the table again. With sites like Netflix Party you can even watch shows with your friends without being with them.

Similarly, FaceTime and Houseparty allow groups to talk over video calls easily. It’s once again simple to talk about nothing and everything with your friends all at once without struggling to convey what you mean over text.

Social distancing is hard. It’s hard not to see the people you used to see everyday – even if you didn’t like them. The day-to-day life has changed for everyone all over the world, but we are adapting. It’s a process, and hopefully soon we can return to our old lives. For now though, let the screen time spike.