Connecting through COVID

July 14, 2020 12:15 pm

As we continue to adapt to the world with COVID, some people must quarantine, and others choose to self-isolate to protect themselves and others from potential infection.  In some ways, we are all participating in the biggest social experiment in our lifetimes. Scientists are seizing the opportunity to learn more about the impact of isolation.  This article highlights some of the recent and past research.

In brief, previous research has shown, we are highly social beings, and studies have found many negative associations with isolation including changes in mood and reductions in cognitive functions including memory, concentration and others’ higher-order’ thinking abilities’.

Given that we will be living in this COVID world for a while, we must work together to ensure that physical isolation does not also force us to socially and emotionally distance.  While we may not prefer connecting through technology or while wearing masks and staying two meters apart, we need to learn how to make it work for us.

We also must consider how we protect the most vulnerable in our communities, including the elderly and those with limited social connections.  Practically this means checking in regularly with those that we know may be at risk for social isolation. I am particularly sensitive to people I know who are not working because of the virus. Many people get much of their social contact through work.  When that goes, it is not just the financial hardship that impacts mood, motivation and general performance.

Don’t underestimate your ability to help – a regular phone call can make a big difference.  For all the formal public health efforts, one of our best health resources is each other. Take a moment right now to consider who in your network may be at risk and contact them – then commit to connecting regularly.

Since the beginning of the first lockdown in Australia, we have run free webinars to help people adapt to the uncertainty, and many changes brought about by COVID.  We share bite-sized science and work together to apply it to help participants become STRONGER THROUGH CHANGE. Register for the next session online here.

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