Well, it’s officially April and we’re not out of the coronavirus weeds yet.
Cities continue to be shut down, citizens continue to self-quarantine, restaurants continue to only offer food to go, and front-line workers continue to put their lives at stake to protect ours, working tirelessly to bring an end to this madness.
People across the globe have been learning valuable lessons throughout the course of this pandemic. Some people are realizing they don’t like their significant other as much as they thought they did when they recently decided to move in together. Some people are realizing they have an unhealthy relationship with junk food. Some people (okay, a lot of people) are realizing that watching Tiger King is even better the second time around.
But there’s one thing every single one of us is realizing…
We miss each other. A lot.
Isolation is hard. And the value of true connection (like, actually being in the same room as other people) has never been clearer. It’s human nature to need and desire interaction with others and even though the physical form of connection has been temporarily taken away from us, all hope is not lost.
For in the face of adversity, people are coming together (virtually, of course) to play, learn, compete, celebrate, educate, and support one another. Check out some of the new and creative ways humans are connecting.
Crack Open a Cold One
With restaurants and bars shut down across the nation right now, our living rooms have taken over as gathering places to get together with friends…through our screens. Whatever your platform of choice – Zoom, Facebook, Google Hangouts, FaceTime – virtual happy hours are all the rage. Whether with a group of friends or a full team of coworkers, pouring yourself a drink and settling in in front of a Brady Bunch-esque grid of smiling faces has a way of taking the edge off the isolation-induced anxiety most of us are feeling.
Celebrities from every corner of the entertainment industry have been doing what they can to support those in need during this crisis. One clever way they’re getting involved is through the Save with Stories initiative, which finds famous faces recording videos of themselves reading children’s stories to post on Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The movement aims to raise funds in support of children who rely on school cafeterias for lunch each day, and to “provide fun and education to kids and parents stuck at home during the coronavirus outbreak.”
Amy Adams & Jennifer Garner on #SaveWithStories initiative, A-list participants, money raised to support school children amid #coronavirus quarantine https://t.co/gKB4HrpAnk pic.twitter.com/EwM1Dt7L5A
— Deadline Hollywood (@DEADLINE) April 3, 2020
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…and this was my choice for you. When researching for #Sulwe, I was reminded of how great children's books can soothe little ones, but also adults too. Not Quite Narwhal, written and illustrated by @jessie_sima and published by @simonkids, is one of those books for me. #SaveWithStories is a place to watch your favorite children's books read aloud in order to engage children out of school right now and to raise money to support those in need. Head over to @savewithstories to find out how you can help @savethechildren and @nokidhungry, and enjoy more stories. Take care. Stay home. Be well. ?????
Celebrate Good Times
There are some things that can’t and won’t wait for the pandemic to pass, mainly birthdays, holidays, anniversaries, and every cause for celebration in between.
With Passover, Easter, and Ramadan right around the corner, people are getting innovative with the ways they plan to gather with their loved ones and share a communal meal to celebrate these all-important occasions.
Birthdays, weddings, and anniversaries look a little different these days as well. Officiants are hosting weddings from fourth-story windows and via iPads, birthday parties have turned into drive-by parades, and anniversaries are spent riding virtual Disneyland rides or taking a virtual cruise.
— ABC News (@ABC) March 23, 2020
This couple's cruise around the Pacific Islands was cancelled due to the coronavirus outbreak. But that didn't stop them from celebrating their 53rd wedding anniversary! Dressed in bathrobes, they toasted to a calm, virtual ocean on their flatscreen TV. ?? pic.twitter.com/iELb8IBEuF
— LightWorkers (@LightWorkers) March 25, 2020
You Learn Something New Every Day
Some people are taking advantage of the extra time on their hands to learn a new skill or brush up on an old one. One outstanding resource for socially distanced education is Masterclass, a website that offers online classes on a mind-boggling number of topics, created for learners of all skill levels and taught by the best instructors in the world…literally. Think Gordon Ramsey teaching you how to cook and Martin Scorsese running you through the fundamentals of filmmaking.
As we continue to adjust to this new normal, there’s no doubt people will keep coming up with ways to make the most of the situation. From live-streamed concerts to an entire online hub for Harry Potter fans, family game nights, and Netflix watch parties, we’re getting more creative by the hour.
And though our virtual communication tactics don’t always go as planned, there’s one thing that’s indisputable: we will do whatever it takes to maintain connection.
This worldwide crisis is proving that face-to-face interaction is invaluable. As an experiential agency, we’ve been privy to that fact for a while now (just about two decades actually). And while we can’t wait to get back to doing what we do best – providing award-winning activations and experiences for some of the world’s top brands – we’re ready to get creative to help our clients tell their story and provide a new form of connection for their audience.