By Sammie Cohen
During the COVID-19 pandemic, a few months were spent in lockdown. A number of individuals could not travel or see friends or family, and the world was in a state of isolation. Everyone, bored inside their homes, wanted to visit their loved ones.
As cases are once again rising in the United States, there is a possibility of another lockdown occurring in certain states or counties. In the event that there is another lockdown, here are some ways to stay connected with those you love during this time.
FaceTime, a popular feature on iOS devices, has been a popular communication tool well before the COVID-19 pandemic. However, throughout lockdown, use of the feature skyrocketed. Instead of calling someone and just hearing their voice, one can see others in real time when using FaceTime.
Kaitlyn Aasheim, a junior at Oyster Bay High School says, “To stay connected with my family during quarantine, I FaceTimed them. I also FaceTimed my travel softball team. I liked using FaceTime because it was an easy way to stay connected with family and friends even when times are hard and you can't see them.”
Zoom Sports Practices
Athletes were disappointed with the cancelation of sports during the pandemic. They were unable to see teammates who have become family, and they could not participate in a key part of their lives. However, some coaches found a solution to this problem: practice via Zoom calls. Just like FaceTime, people are able to see others on Zoom.
Kaitlyn Kelly says, “I had virtual volleyball practices throughout quarantine. They were an hour long, and we did workouts, such as conditioning or at home drills, that our coaches created for us. It was fun getting to see my volleyball friends along with doing what I missed most. Zoom sports practices were not only beneficial to athletes but made their quarantine a little easier.”
Celebrating birthdays has been a challenging aspect during the pandemic. However, one way friends made birthdays special was by putting together car parades. During these parades, participants remain socially distant and stay in their own cars as they drive by their friend’s house, waving and honking.
Car parade participant Kaitlyn Kelly shares, “I liked these [car parades] a lot because even though we couldn’t spend the day with our friend, we would be able to see them for a few minutes.”
OBHS sophomore Mariana Panariello states, “I liked the birthday parades, and it led to us seeing our family more. Some days we would just drive to our family’s house--not even for a birthday, just to say hi. We would drive by and wave, and then sit in our cars and talk with each other.”
Streaming Services & Websites
Many websites and streaming services became popular during lockdown. Websites such as UNO online and the mobile streaming app Netflix were flushed with users.
During the pandemic, Chrome released a new extension called “Netflix Party.” The tool allows users to watch the same movie at the same time but from different locations, and it has a chat box for communication.
UNO Online is a multiplayer game in which participants play the commonly known card game with their friends, no matter how far apart they are.
Mariana Panariello says, “My friends and I did a lot of Netflix Parties. We watched a ton of new shows together. We also would go onto FaceTime and from there end up playing virtual games, such as UNO Online, for hours.”
Since people were unable to see their friends, websites became everyone's new friend. People were happy to do whatever they could to interact with their loved ones during a difficult time.
Hopefully, there will be no need to go into lockdown again, but if required, these quarantine activities may make it a little easier to do so.
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