Editorial: check up on your friends

By now, almost everyone has been practicing social distancing for at least two weeks, maybe a little longer than that. While these unprecedented times have given all of us the free time to get things done that we felt we didn’t have time for, or to simply relax for a few days — two and a half weeks is starting to seem like a long time and there’s no telling when this will end. 

I think the best thing we all can do is to try and focus on the positives. The biggest positive obviously is that staying at home and being away from others should eliminate the chances of COVID-19 spreading. 

There are also little positives, especially for university students, who may have gotten to go home a bit earlier and be with their family, who may now have more time to get coursework done or prepare for online exams in April and so on.

However, there is also something we all can do to try to make this time a little easier. Obviously, not everyone feels like they are benefiting from social distancing. Some people may not be at home surrounded by family — maybe they are alone and they will literally not see anyone throughout this social distancing. Maybe some people are stuck in their house where they don’t have a great home life. 

As much as technology and social media can be great at a time like this so that we can stay connected to those who we love and miss, what’s happening right now may be shedding light on the fact that phones and social networking apps really can’t replace the value of face-to-face interaction. Texting, emailing or whichever platform you use to keep in communication with others may be showing us the real reason it’s there, not to replace face-to-face interaction, but to allow us the opportunity to be connected with others even when we can’t be with them.

These times can and will get hard for a lot of people and I believe it is vital that during these times we are doing what we can to support one another. Reach out to one or two people everyday, maybe it’s your close friend or maybe it’s someone you had a class with this semester, just ask them how they’re doing. Sometimes it’s going to be needed for people to vent about the situation, other times a simple ‘how are you?’ or ‘hope you are safe and healthy’ can go a long way for someone. 

The world needs everyone to do their part so that we can get past this, but the world also needs us to make sure that people are doing okay. 

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