How do one socialize during a global pandemic? The short answer is that you don’t really socialize. Cases are rising almost everywhere. Toronto is looking at average of 2000+ cases every day and Ford has also implemented tighter lockdown rules. The global pandemic results in not only physical health issues, but also mental health challenges, especially when you have to quarantine alone. Colder weather and shorter days in the winter may present even a tougher hurdle. In times like this, a genuine connection with people feels like a privilege and also, an urgency. So here are some ways you can responsibly socialize:
1. Virtual Hang Out
Luckily, we live in a far more technology advanced world now. Virtual hang out will be the go-to to combat the quarantine and winter blues. You can set up a video call for a short chat, or you can set up a group video call through Messenger or Zoom to play a game together (my favourite is Among Us). You can also watch Netflix together with Scener!
You can also order some foods from local restaurants and have a virtual dinner party. There are plenty of amazing cuisines here in Toronto from different cultures. Some of my favourites are kamayan from Tala, vegetarian Chinese meals from Buddha’s Vegetarian Restaurant, jerk chicken pasta from Rasta Pasta, or the newly opened Jollibee on Yonge St.
2. Take Online Class together
If you want to be more active in quarantine, you can take a variety of online classes (live and on demand) together! My favourite is taking a yoga class and dance class. Another alternative is you can have a video call on your favourite platform and play a workout video together too. There are plenty of quick and great workout videos for all levels on YouTube.
3. Try new hobbies
I started cooking a lot more during quarantine and I found it relaxing. It could be a fun activity to do with your friends to try new recipes together! You can buy groceries at the local Chinatown supermarket (Hua Sheng, Lucky Moose) or the big generic ones (No Frills, FreshCo) to get your favourite Asian ingredients and snacks. With all the time we have more nowadays, it is time to try that new hobbies you have always wanted to try!
4. If it safe to do so, walk around the park
It’s recommended to at least get 30 minutes outdoor time. You can have a phone call with a friend during the walk, or you can hang out with them (socially distanced and following the city guidelines of course). It’s colder outside, so make sure you wear proper outfits!
I hope these lists can help you to stay safe and healthy (both physically and mentally) during the global pandemic!