This is an odd time for the world. For the first time in a century we are faced with a novel virus that we don’t yet know all that is involved with keeping it at bay and keeping ourselves safe. Many nations are asking or demanding their citizens maintain “social distance” and/or quarantine themselves in their homes.
A friend pointed out an important distinction – we should be calling this “physical distance” not social distance, as this is a time when we need social cohesion and support more than ever.
And what a glorious age that we live in that we can still do this?
My kids can still call grandma on video calls, even though she is 1000’s of miles away. I can write an email or send pictures to my friends in a nanosecond.
I live in King County, one of the epicenters of the outbreak in the US, and immediately after schools closed parents created a Facebook group dedicated to supporting each other, sharing online resources for videos, workbooks, and fun online activities for kids to do while they were out of school. I’ll post a few of my favorites below.
Music and science groups also started offering their materials live, including free concerts and events. Authors have started offering “virtual” book signings and draw-alongs for kids and adults alike.
There are numerous organizations offering free resources – classes, books, videos – and even free Live events that will encourage our Netflix-enabled on-demand culture to schedule some time to tune in and all watch the same experience at the same time. The magic of the early Television age will be renewed as we will all be able to experience a concert together in real time, granted on channels like Facebook Live and Instagram, Zoom, and other channels.
Italy is demonstrating this social cohesion better than any nation currently. They have had impromptu sing-alongs, flash mob concerts, and just plain rebellious screaming from the balconies of their apartments in Naples, Rome, Sicily, and Florence.
We do not need to feel alone or isolated.
We can create solidarity among our neighbors with symbols, music, and messages.
My kids and I are going to spend the afternoon creating art and then decorating our front yard with art, just to remind everyone we are here, we are alive and well, and we are a community.
There are NUMEROUS opportunities for online learning, these are primarily Resources for online book readings, live events, and other free media that help support social cohesion and reducing feelings of isolation (although if you need those resources, here are just a few):
- Metropolitan Opera nightly concerts
- Seattle Symphony Orchestra Live Concerts
- Database of Virtual Music Events, including Rock Concerts and other pop music
- Book “signing” and draw-along with Ben Clanton, author of Narwhal and Jelly
If you have others please share them and I will post them!