Staying Connected: Engagement Amid Isolation

18th March 2020

Social distancing. Self-isolation. Alienation. A remote environment with little or no contact? Not necessarily...

We are all in the midst of very surreal and strange circumstances, with our way of life being drastically redefined every minute, right from the recent bushfire crisis to the COVID-19 crisis now, as it unfolds. It’s almost as though we are all actors in a blockbuster movie, only we don’t know how and when it’s all going to end. It’s easy, then, to fall into the trap of mental isolation and despair. But what if we think instead of the potential opportunities emerging from this situation? What if we used a different language to address our current circumstances? For instance, let's practice physical distancing, not social distancing. There are ways to embrace the distance and isolation and yet stay connected, positive—and most importantly—kind and compassionate. Here are some real-time, amazing examples from around the globe…


Social media has received a great deal of flack recently for fear mongering. While it is probably a good idea to limit your use of it for factual research on the virus, it’s still a great source of engagement, showcasing helpful initiatives of people all over the world to make a positive difference. Be it viral kindness campaigns or mass meditations on Instagram, people are doing some really innovative ways to help. And the great thing about social media is that it is globally visible—one person’s act of ingenuity and kindness gets replicated in different ways elsewhere. Take the case of a Cornish woman who decided to create ‘self-isolating cards’ to post to people self-isolating. This has now gone viral, with lots of people around the world doing the same thing.

Compassion the .com way

Almost anything’s possible online these days, and communities everywhere are being brought together despite events and activities being cancelled. So when a kids’ camp excursion was cancelled recently, someone in Maine, USA decided to go on Facebook Live and hold the camps online for kids. They can still sing camp songs and even learn some camping tricks and tips!

Musical celebrity Lizzo recently went on Instagram and led a mass meditation for her fans, while chefs and cookbook authors the world over are providing online guidance on food preservation and other helpful tips.

Film screenings and festivals are also going online, with organisers making films and related group events available via the internet.

Community connect

Whether it’s physically or virtually, each one us can make a difference. Call your neighbours and check on them; reach out to someone elderly you might know to make sure they are OK; get together with other volunteers to help someone who needs help or support; learn a new instrument; connect online over a cuppa with your colleagues and friends; spend time with family at home…

There’s so much to be done, and so much we can still do to really make a positive impact—so let’s all do our bit to spread the love. Stay positive, keep well, be safe, and follow the recommended hygiene tips from reliable sources. We can beat this together.

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