Overcoming Social Distancing

Overcoming Social Distancing

Agustin Zelikson

 

A month ago, I was able to go out and see my friends, my classmates and my family. Now, with the Covid-19 outbreak, I am left in quarantine with my parents and my brother, wanting to return to the time it was allowed for me to go out. The fact that I am physically separated from my loved ones doesn’t mean I can’t overcome that division. 

The fact that we live in the 21st century means that there are a lot of ways to get over this separation that struck us the moment we began social-distancing. As an immigrant, I believe I have been preparing for this apartness since I moved here from Argentina four years ago. When 4406 miles of land and sea separate you from family and friends, one quickly learns to adapt to the situation. At first, Skype and Whatsapp calls were recurring ways for me to communicate with my friends in Buenos Aires. These apps showed me that I didn’t need to physically be with the ones I care about to be part of their lives. I spent countless hours talking to them through these apps, and now, they resurface in my life to allow me -and you- to talk to those who are indispensable in our day to day. 

Now, apps like Zoom allow us to stay connected with a lot of people at the same time, with it allowing up to 100 people in one normal, free meeting. This means that you can talk to all of your friends at the same time, overcoming that separation. Just two weeks ago my dad had his “birthday party” with ten friends through the app. The fact that you can talk through Zoom doesn’t mean it is the same as being physically there with your friends. The singing of the “Happy Birthday” song was a mess because no one could time it right. Things like that are the ones that remind you that you are distanced. Still, if you need to talk to many people at the same time, Zoom is the way to go. 

Not only can one talk to friends by calling them, but you can also play games with them. Once upon a time you had to be in a field to play soccer or football; now, you can do this through Playstation 4 or Xbox One, with FIFA 20 and Madden 20 providing a platform to play sports with your friends while you talk to them through your headphones. This means that a part of my day is always occupied by PS4 time. Even though it is not the same as being physically there with your friends, that is the way that resembles it the most. The extra time from online schooling also allows you to talk with them more than usual, overcoming that gap in distance with a closeness through your phone.

These things should be part of everyone’s day if they don’t want to miss their close ones. Friends and family may in reality be apart, but by using apps like zoom and Whatsapp, one tends to forget, for an ephemeral but joyful moment, that they are not as far as they truly are