For those with access to an internet connection, here are a couple of ways to create a sense of community in physical isolation.

Illustration by Jo Chukualim

Utilise technology to stay connected with family and friends.

We’ve all experienced cancelled plans when life gets in the way, but taking advantage of the time we have to connect is important in combatting the negative feelings that are present during this time of isolation. Below is a list of apps that help do just that, including some with extra functions such as being able to play games whilst you chat:

In the time of COVID-19, when social distancing is vital to keeping everyone safe, feelings of loneliness, stress and anxiety can creep in. For many of us, this is the first time that technology will be our sole means of everyday communication and entertainment. This sudden adjustment can leave us feeling confused and unsure of how to proceed.

However, it doesn’t have to be all doom and gloom!

There are many online communities out there for people all over the world to connect. Most of these communities are centered around the arts, which can provide a means of escape from reality. Furthermore, they can also be a source of inspiration or catharsis in a time of crisis, helping to combat feelings of stress and anxiety (Martin et al., 2018).

Stream TV shows and movies with friends and family

There are apps being developed to help you share the experience of streaming services with others, such as Netflix and Disney plus:

Connect with online communities based on your interests

  • @blackwithnocream – An online community for digital content creators, founded by Ben Hagarty.
  • @workshowgrow – A platform to inspire creatives, founded by Natasha Caruana.
  • @artsandhealthhub – A community of artists connected through their work in arts and health, founded by Daniel Regan.
  • Covid-19 drawing project – An online Facebook community presenting weekly drawing tasks, created by Martyn Blundell.
  • Creative Network – Daily meetups on Zoom for people who are involved in the arts and culture community to support each other, created by voluntary arts.
  • P.E. livestream with Joe – A daily live stream workout for kids and adults with thousands of people across the world, created by Joe Wicks ‘the body coach’.

Tap into a variety of entertainment services available online 

There are a number of organisations providing activities, talks and Q&As. In order to satisfy people of all ages and interests, some are focused on books such as ‘The Stay-at-Home! Literally Festival’, while others are focused on theatre such as the online showing of ‘Cypress Avenue.’ Below is a list of the ever growing ways to tap into your creative side and develop new skills during this pandemic.

(NOTE: Most of these organizations are based in the UK but as a result of their availability online, they are accessible to anyone around the world)

To share with the kids

Learn something new

  • UNDER CONSTRUCTION. Bethlem Gallery has created a temporary weekly programme, which you can follow on their twitter page.
  • Free online art classes. If you’re looking to learn something new, Artsy has compiled a list of art classes you can take for free.
  • Pathways to wellbeing. The Holburne Museum has created an online community engagement programme, which features weekly art groups on Wednesdays.
  • Sadler’s Wells digital stage. Sadler’s Wells have created an online programme filled with digital dance performances and workshops for all the dance lovers out there. Certainly a good way to keep moving while you stay indoors.
  • Online classes. Skill Share offer some free online classes from web development to dance, so head over to pick up a new skill.
  • Learn to Code. Code academy offer a basic free plan that includes 180 hours of learning content in order to get you started.
  • Story club. A writing community that encourages writers, of all skill levels, to push the boundaries and develop their creative writing skills.

Entertainment

  • Always Playing. The London Symphony Orchestra are streaming concerts from 22nd March and have also scheduled dates till the end of April.
  • The Social Distancing Festival. A festival featuring live streamed events and workshops across the globe, which includes everything from music concerts to poetry readings, all delivered to your home.

Let us know how you’re building a sense of community in the comment section below!

Reference:
  • Martin, L., Oepen, R., Bauer, K., Nottensteiner, A., Mergheim, K., Gruber, H., & Koch, S. (2018). Creative Arts Interventions for Stress Management and Prevention—A Systematic Review. Behavioral Sciences, 8(2), 28. https://doi.org/10.3390/bs8020028