( 3 minute read )

Humans are social creatures. We have a psychological need to be with other humans. But the rapid spread of the coronavirus (COVID-19) necessitates “social distancing,” which drastically reduces our social interactions. Sports associations have postponed their seasons, and major events like conferences and concerts have been canceled. University classes and entire school districts have been shut down. Businesses large and small have curtailed travel, switched to remote-only meetings, and strongly encouraged workers to telecommute. (Bonus: working in your pajamas. Extra bonus: more time with your pets. 🐱🐶.)

Though these measures may help keep us safer, the sudden lack of school, work, and leisure activities is disconcerting. Humans aren’t meant to be alone for long periods. We evolved to connect with others. We need face-to-face interactions with other humans.

So how can we stay connected in a world that is temporarily forcing us to disconnect from people? That’s easy: illumy. illumy is the Swiss army knife of communication. It combines messaging (chat/IM and text) with email (you can email anyone in the world), voice and video chat (in HD), and regular telephone calls (to mobile phones and landlines). Each interaction, no matter if it’s text-based or voice or video, is captured in one threaded “conversation,” which you can access on any device (unlike WhatsApp). And during your voice-to-voice or face-to-face conversations, you can send emails, giphys, or messages—seamlessly.

illumy is all the ways we need to connect with our friends and family—only without the germs. You might say using illumy is practicing good “communication hygiene.” 😷

With that in mind, here are a few ways to stay connected in a disconnected (and hopefully not infected) world.

make time for face time.

It’s easy to hibernate and shut out the world sometimes, but it’s important for your mental and physical health to talk to people. 🗣Try to make one voice or video call a day to a friend or coworker. Share with them what’s really happening in your life, ask how they’re doing, and genuinely listen to what’s going on with them. They need this as much as you do.

capitalize on all this time at home.

All this extra time at home offers an excellent opportunity to reconnect with our families, roommates, and neighbors. When was the last time you had a deep conversation with someone you live with? Make the most of your homebound time by cooking and eating meals together or trying a new activity together (preferably one that doesn’t involve a screen). Or maybe you can do something nice that you don’t normally do—like laundry 👕or pet duty.

rekindle old friendships.

Lots of people all over the world are affected by COVID-19 and are facing similar circumstances: They’re at home, unable or unwilling to leave for a while, and in need of human connection. What better time to check in with an old pal? Spark up a conversation via video chat, even if they’re halfway around the world (it’s free). You might realize just how much you’ve missed talking to your friend.

We get it. Dealing with this pandemic is stressful. We all have to take common-sense steps to protect ourselves and the ones we love. Deepen connections with the ones you care about, and it’ll be a lot easier to cope with the stress of this outbreak—together.

And don’t forget to wash your hands! 👏

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