Staying Connected in the time of Covid-19

Abby Grabowski

As Minnesota temperatures turn frigid and public health experts continue to advise us to stay outside for social gatherings, what are the options in order to see friends and family all winter long? The CDC advises people to “prioritize attending outdoor activities over indoor activities,” while continuing to keep in mind distancing measures and the use of masks. Social gatherings with friends and family can be beneficial to one’s mental health, but with the COVID-19 spread continuing to grow and the case increase caused by holiday gatherings, how can we stay safe? Guidelines, as we all know, are ever changing and so it is important to, above all else, follow these. However, when outdoor social gatherings are approved again by the governor and top health officials, it is crucial to take steps to keep yourself and those around you safe. Here’s some ideas to prevent the spread of COVID-19, while also having fun:

    • Bundle Up and Head Outside – There are plenty of ways to brave the cold and meet people outside. Have a bonfire, make some s’mores, have some hot chocolate, wear lots of layers, and you’ll be all set for an outdoor and covid-safe gathering.
    • Calls Calls Calls – Calls are a regular occurrence and some may be sick of the zooms, facetimes, and google meets by now, but there are still many ways to spice things up a bit and still have fun. Consider a movie night, cooking/baking night, dinner call, or powerpoint presentation night with friends. This is one way to see friends and try something new, all while enjoying the comfort of staying indoors.
    • Winter Means Snow – As Minnesotans, winter means another season of skiing, snowboarding, and snowshoeing. It also means time to head outside with friends for ice skating, sledding, and snowball fights. The cold may be intimidating, but be sure to take advantage of the joys that come with it as well!
    • Trade, Exchange, Connect – In a time when we can feel isolated and alone, taking part in exchanges with friends can be a great way to connect. Set up a book, game, or snack exchange, or as the holidays creep nearer, a Secret Santa. Exchanging letters back and forth is another great way to connect off screen and exchange physical items with friends and family. This not only helps you connect with friends, but also helps establish something to look forward to during this time of fewer events.