Birch: Do not stop intentionally connecting with loved ones once COVID is over

It’s likely that recently you’ve been spending a lot of time in front of a screen: for work, school, and talking to loved ones. Social media and technology have been known to make us feel connected at times and disconnected at others. In this time of COVID-19, it’s clear that we would be worse off if we didn’t have modern ways to stay in touch. 

The Spanish Flu that plagued the world in 1918-19 has been brought up frequently lately, with people comparing it to today’s pandemic. And while life feels pretty dismal right now, it’s important to remember that today, at least, we have Facetime and Zoom. 

Before COVID-19, we used and overused these communication platforms when we were around each other in person.  We would be at dinner with friends, something people are missing now more than ever, but would be looking down at our phones, texting someone else.

These things are understandable. Life is really busy most of the time, especially as a college student. But quarantine and self-isolation have made us all slow down and realize how meaningful our connections are with friends and family. 

We have been forced to connect with the people in our lives over the phone, and this fact has made us do so more consciously. Zoom calls are scheduled, so when you join your family over the phone, that whole allotted time you have set aside specifically for communicating with them. 

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Even small things like workouts and reading books — things people would usually do on their own time — are being seen as opportunities to connect and spend time with others, by doing virtual gym sessions or creating book clubs.

One of the noticeably good things that has come out of this pandemic is people’s urge to be there for each other, whether friends or strangers, and feel the human connection as much as we can right now. 

Once this is over, people will be overjoyed to reunite and resume life as normal. To be able to get dinner and go to the movies with friends will feel like such a relief. But it is important to remember what it felt like to be apart, and to appreciate being together again.