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Hola! This hits at the heart of the number one consequence of isolation. But that’s the one thing we all have in common now, which can make it the perfect ice-breaker.

The New York Times recently published an article which explores this question. It presents several approaches to friendship in the era of COVID:
• Revisit old or dormant friendships. This is touted as an easier path to friendship, as there’s a shared history already in place. And the actual finding and connecting is a lot easier in this digital era.
• Stay connected with current friends. Write letters, call, video chat, email, text. But writer Aminatou Sou suggests avoiding communicating in the same manner you do for work: if you video chat for your job, don’t video chat with friends.
• Try different types of interaction. Writer Rachel Syme founded Penpalooza, a service that connects people interested in becoming pen pals. Another, Bumble BFF is similar to an online dating service, but for friendships. There are also many online clubs — from book groups to chess to poker — that welcome interested persons.
• “Repot” friendships. This interesting concept comes from digital strategist Ryan Hubbard. Because many friendships form around common activities or locations, he encourages moving friendships to new, different context.
• Don’t rule out in-person, socially distanced meetings. As the weather gets warmer, carefully planned meetings in outdoor situations can be refreshing.
• Most importantly, as in the pre-pandemic world, it’s essential to make the time.

If you do find yourself in dire mental or emotional straits, you should seek out a mental healthcare professional or the services of groups like the Yellow Springs Senior Center. If you are in an imminent crisis, call the Yellow Springs Police at 911.


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