Social Distancing Versus Social Isolation

Even before news of the Coronavirus emerged in late 2019, researchers have long been studying the effects of isolation on older people .

Now, as the world responds with unprecedented speed to the threat of Covid-19, the urgency of helping everybody stay in touch is an urgent priority – in particular for vulnerable seniors and the newly-telecommuting, homeschooling, stressed sandwich generation, who coordinates their care (now from a distance).

Physical social distancing is a critical precaution to ‘flatten the curve.” And yet, we must also be aware of the potential for serious psychological and emotional consequences of physical isolation, and take proactive steps to prevent and mitigate that toll.

Everyone needs different amounts of social connection to avoid loneliness

We know social isolation and loneliness are two different things. Loneliness is a feeling of deprivation; we are social animals, and we need each other. At the same time, individual needs for social connection vary, just as our needs for sleep.

Had we all been asked to retreat to our homes for the safety of others in the 1990s or even in 2006, we would have been able to rise to the challenge, but with much greater consequences to our mental and emotional health. Even as The New York Times profiled the difficulties older people are facing in ‘I’m Really Isolated Now’: When Elders Have to Fight Coronavirus Alone , there are blessings to count: Covid-19 emerged at a time in human history when we have never been better equipped to handle the challenge of isolation through technology.

With cell phones, tablets, smart televisions, broadband internet, and free or affordable communication platforms, people have more ways to remain in touch today than at any point in our past.

Make a plan to prevent loneliness during social distancing and preventive isolation

The United States is still making its earliest efforts to establish policies, practices, and protocols to keep everyone as safe as possible during this period. As we continue to learn more about the best medical and scientific evidence, recommendations and situations may continue to change. Still, families and individuals can help proactively stave off emotional and psychological pressures that can result from too much alone time.

1. Make a plan for “the new normal.”

Who are the friends, neighbors and relatives you would normally “go out with” or “have over” under “normal circumstances?”

Reach out to them via text, email, or phone calls at regular intervals. See how they’re doing. Find out if they have a plan to stay in touch with people. Find out what technology everyone has in common, then organize virtual get-togethers.

Identify regular times and days to check in with each other and stick to them – either with a quick text, a call, or a video chat. Most importantly: Don’t fret if you haven’t showered, done your makeup, or combed your hair when a video call arrives. Your loved ones want to see your face and hear your voice, and connection is the best medicine.

Get creative. What “normal” social activities can you do online? Pictionary? Charades?

Make planning the next call the fun part of each get-together. Having something to look forward to is important in uncertain, stressful times, and the promise of a nightly or weekly face-to-face long-distance game of chess or checkers can become a lifeline for someone who’s been unable to see people in the “real world.”

2. Explore video chat options.

If you haven’t yet dipped your toe into video chat technology, now is the time to take a few deep breaths, set aside trepidation, and get started. What’s the worst thing that could happen?

Each video chat technology requires a slightly different setup, but are compatible with most smartphones, laptops, and tablets (with the exception of Facetime).

The most popular platforms have pages of help and troubleshooting. And there’s always technical support to assist Mom setting it up if she’s having a bit of trouble at the beginning.

Step-By-Step Directions

Google Hangouts:

The 900-pound gorilla of the tech world has been facilitating Gen Z’s group homework for many years; now with everyone at home together, the kids can help Mom, Dad, and Grandma get up to speed on the tool many schools use for chats in the classroom .

Zoom:

The largest teleconferencing app/platform on Earth just waived its free plan’s 40-minute time limit for schools as part of its response to Covid-19, and for the rest of us, plans are affordable. Up to 100 people can join one “room” for a virtual “meeting” that lasts as long as 24 hours in the most affordable ($14.99/month) plan, and the Zoom app works from desktops, phones, and tablets – both PC and Mac.

FaceTime (Apple iOS only):

If you and your circle are mostly Apple fans and iPhone/IPad users, you already have the technology to connect face-to-face with multiple people at your fingertips.

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127 thoughts on “Social Distancing Versus Social Isolation

  1. Ana
    March 25, 2020 at 8:01 pm

    Skype is great too for chatting, phone calls and cam.

  2. Jan Russell
    March 26, 2020 at 12:22 pm

    Thank you! I really need this now. Need to learn how to do pictionary & group stuff on line. Already do some online games.

    1. Mary Lou
      April 20, 2020 at 3:44 am

      Jan Russell…are u the lovely lady I worked with many years ago?

  3. Jan Russell
    March 26, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    Left comment above.
    Thanks for post. Need to learn how to play games, etc. With friends other than games online.

    1. Kc
      April 18, 2020 at 5:49 pm

      Our son and his buddies played online poker on his device while doing zoom group on his tablet. So game while talking, with a beer of course.
      I think checkers might work if just one device and tour opponent has a board too.

    2. Barbara
      May 27, 2020 at 5:23 pm

      I love WORDSWITHFRIENDS. com Keeps brain sharp while passing some time!!!

    3. Anonymous
      June 16, 2020 at 6:51 pm

      I enjoy the game “WordsWithFriends” online. You can get a random player or play with friends. I feel it helps keep our minds a bit sharper & have fun at the same time. 🤗

  4. Anonymous
    March 26, 2020 at 5:47 pm

    Good information!

  5. Anonymous
    March 26, 2020 at 11:46 pm

    Meet in the neighbors driveway. Stay 6 feet away and drink wine!😍😍

    1. Anonymous
      April 16, 2020 at 12:52 pm

      Sunset every day !!

    2. Sue
      April 17, 2020 at 9:04 pm

      👍🏻 Like it. Long as 6+ feet apart

      1. Anonymous
        April 26, 2020 at 5:40 pm

        12 feet + is even better

      2. Ralph
        May 3, 2020 at 2:47 pm

        Which way the wind is blowing may make a difference in the amount of space needed

      3. Janice
        May 24, 2020 at 7:50 pm

        We do drinks on the driveway with our neighbors! My husband keeps chairs in the trunk, we bring our beverages and plastic glasses and have a great time socializing!

    3. Anonymous
      April 18, 2020 at 5:31 pm

      That’s what we do. Walk to see friends. Sit in driveway. 8 feet apart.

    4. Kc
      April 22, 2020 at 2:46 pm

      That’s what we started doing. We have an area in the back yard with chairs set across from each other closer to 7ft so if we move around or stand up at the same time we will not cross that six foot devide. Everyone has to bring their own glass of wine. We tried it for the first time last night and it worked great.

    5. Loyce Smallwood
      May 2, 2020 at 9:25 pm

      Need friendly neighbors

    6. Loyce
      May 2, 2020 at 9:28 pm

      Or coffee, cold drinks, a pizza party

    7. Betty A. Cox
      May 9, 2020 at 11:39 pm

      Chianty or Merlo, I:ll be there! lol

    8. Patricia
      May 15, 2020 at 8:13 pm

      Wonderful!

    9. Bobbi Brooks
      May 16, 2020 at 10:14 pm

      Good idea!

    10. Anonymous
      May 22, 2020 at 6:58 pm

      Great idea. My friends and I do it almost everyday at 5pm

    11. Carolyn Milhan
      May 27, 2020 at 4:51 pm

      I can’t wait to do this 2 weeks and 2 days from now (June 13)we will be allowed to do this. I feel our (Georgia’s) stay at home orders are discriminatory!

    12. Karla
      May 29, 2020 at 2:47 am

      I have severe anxiety and even that seems too risky to me.

  6. Stephanie S Sawyer
    March 28, 2020 at 2:12 am

    What about those of us who don’t use smart phones nor have zoom? I am a new senior, am on disability, and am quite isolated. I wish I had a teacher to learn these tech things. It also takes financial backing.

    1. Pam Rose
      April 11, 2020 at 12:59 am

      Look into it: if you are a senior on social security or disability, the cable company will have a program that will give you high speed internet for $14 a month. You can also contact social services and get an Obama phone for free, and the government also pays for the mobile data– up to a point. The wifi (internet signals from your cable subscription) will make any data you use in the house free.
      In some cases you may not even have to do that. Some apartment buildings offer free wifi. So do some stores, restaurants and religious institutions. Any friend with a smart phone can be called an asked all sorts of basic questions. Other answers are on the internet.

      1. Ralph
        May 3, 2020 at 2:45 pm

        Which cable company?

      2. Jan
        May 12, 2020 at 12:56 am

        Lots of good advice. The free government phone is called SafeLink. I did not know about the $14 a month for high-speed internet. I definitely need that. I know this gal that we’re trying to help out is still feeling overwhelmed. But this will be a start on her way to an improvement all her life. It’s all a little tricky but it can be done.

      3. Justine
        May 18, 2020 at 4:33 am

        In CT, low income seniors get modem/router installed for 9.95 a month. All tech support WAS included. Now with Virus they don’t come in.

      4. Jean
        June 1, 2020 at 3:32 am

        Where are you? I’m in Tennessee and have never heard of the discounted price for internet. I am 66 years old and am on disability. Sure would love to find out how to look into this. Thank you.

    2. Anonymous
      April 12, 2020 at 11:53 am

      If you were able to read this and then comment, you must have Facebook. You could text to other people back and forth or go back to the old days and talk to people on the phone.

      1. Anonymous
        May 29, 2020 at 9:22 pm

        If you have an android phone and are a Facebook user you can video chat using Messenger. You can do this with any computer or tablet with Facebook access also.

      2. Sandra M
        June 24, 2020 at 2:22 am

        This senior has computer access & FB, so might find FB Messanger easier than Zoom to do a one on one video call. I was sending my s-i-l a message one day & accidentally hit the phone icon. She came up on video & scared the crap out of me, had a nice chat – both in pj’s & a good laugh! I’m a senior also!

    3. Tisha Milheim
      April 14, 2020 at 12:12 am

      Do you have a smart phone?

    4. leila
      April 14, 2020 at 1:29 am

      someone on line will help you. I needed help to get a printer set up, frustrating but it got done.

    5. Jeanne Ostermann
      April 14, 2020 at 1:00 pm

      Use your phone to make phone calls! Call people who might need a little lift! When you focus on others–it lifts you!!

    6. Anonymous
      April 14, 2020 at 4:19 pm

      Like you I am not computer savvy I am 88 years old today and my resolution is I am going to learn this computer so I can keep in touch with the outside world

      1. Joanne Bussell
        April 17, 2020 at 11:22 pm

        There are lots of good people out there who would be delighted to help you! My computer guy can “come into” my computer and fix whatever is wrong with it. If it’s just basic setup you need, those millennials know everything about computers because they were born and grew up knowing them. They love to help and are flattered that we ask them. I know, because I’m 66, my nephew is 33 and he’s only too happy to show me what he knows. Good luck to you, learn it & you’ll not be lonely. I’ve even reconnected with two people I knew from elementary school. Stay home & be safe, but enjoy life online!

      2. Anonymous
        April 24, 2020 at 2:30 pm

        Good for you!! There are all kinds of wonderful things to do and see on the internet- not to mention staying connected with other people! Good luck, I’m praying for you🙏🏻

      3. Anonymous
        April 25, 2020 at 3:17 pm

        at any rate — HAPPY BIRTHDAY!!!!

      4. Anonymous
        May 2, 2020 at 7:57 pm

        HAPPY BIRTHDAY 😊

      5. Marge
        May 8, 2020 at 11:18 pm

        Happy Birthday, &a many more!👆🌂🎂🏠☔️

      6. Anonymous
        May 22, 2020 at 2:43 pm

        Good for you!

      7. Anonymous
        May 31, 2020 at 11:57 pm

        Yeah! Good for you 👍❤️😷

      8. Janet
        June 19, 2020 at 11:33 am

        Go for it!

    7. Kay
      April 15, 2020 at 11:41 am

      Can you write friends a letter? Maybe you’ll get one back!

      1. Anonymous
        April 18, 2020 at 1:33 pm

        Or that letter may get answered with a letter or a phone call.

    8. Anonymous
      April 15, 2020 at 5:04 pm

      Hi, If you have a computer this may help. Zoom is free as an app to download http://www.zoom.com . Then, go to YouTube and search for beginners videos on how to use Zoom. I just did this a week ago and with that help I was ready to go. If you try this and seems easy enough for you as family and friends to download the app too. If you have someone who is more comfortable with the technology they can initiate the call which makes it even easier.

      1. Sharon
        April 21, 2020 at 1:30 am

        I downloaded Zoom but got message about disabling my “Anti- virus scan” so I feared to disable it just for using Zoom. ( what about all my other apps?).

        Must be some way to get around it. but what?

    9. Warren Mass
      April 17, 2020 at 10:46 am

      I got my first smart phone from Consumer Cellular a year ago in January. Before that I had a “dumb” phone with them. The phone and plan were very affordable. The first time I used it I actually had to call tech support to ask them how to send a text! Now I’m always on it. My wife is in a nursing home and visiting was banned on March 13. The nursing home was terrible about helping families stay in touch with residents so I had my wife moved to another nursing home about ten days ago. I got Skype on my phone and they schedule Skype visits once a week. In between I talk to my wife on the phone. She always sounds cheerful. I think I benefit from the calls more than she does since I live alone and find the isolation extremely depressing.

      1. Mary
        May 2, 2020 at 10:27 pm

        It’s wonderful you figured out a good way to stay in touch with your wife! I know it feels better to have that contact and security of knowing she’s ok.

      2. KenLowJr
        May 13, 2020 at 10:40 pm

        Warren, Mass, many years ago, my dad was incarcerated in a Tuberculosis facility. It was hard on both him and my mother and I would take her to visit regularly. He died of emphysema shortly after. They would have loved to Skype or FaceTime. I’m isolated in a senior facility at present and FaceTime is my saving connection to my family. Technology is wonderful isn’t it? Bless you and your wife.

    10. Joanne Bussell
      April 17, 2020 at 11:27 pm

      Take a look at my answer to the person called “anonymous” down below, who is 88. I think some things I’ve shared about my experience with learning and doing things online might be helpful to you as well. Learn how, and you’ll enjoy being with people again even though you are safely at home!

    11. Anonymous
      April 22, 2020 at 1:34 pm

      You have Facebook or you could not have read and replied to this. So you must also have some electronic communication and quite a bit of knowledge to do that. I’m also a senior who doesn’t know how to Skype or Zoom, but I call, text and email friends and family and enjoy Facebook and Words with Friends all of which are free and easy to download. It looks as if you are already on your way! Good luck! 🎈

    12. Anonymous
      May 19, 2020 at 2:25 am

      Call United Way to find volunteers who would love to help you.

    13. Joyce
      June 23, 2020 at 4:48 pm

      On Facebook you can use Messenger to video chat with others also on Facebook. Very easy to do.

  7. Anonymous
    March 28, 2020 at 1:41 pm

    Think how thankful we will be to be with our friends and family again.

    1. Anonymous
      May 15, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      Yes. It will wonderful.

  8. Poonam chawla
    March 28, 2020 at 3:05 pm

    War, physical and mental illnesses, hunger… these are the things that cause real suffering.
    If we consider social isolation as a situation rather than a grievous injury we can move forward very easily.
    In other words, look at it as a solvable problem.

    Yes, I agree. We are better equipped technically, than we ever were.
    Meditation and music, facetime and journaling are great pastimes for the old – and young.

    1. Anonymous
      April 11, 2020 at 5:51 pm

      Very healthy advice. 🙂

    2. Margaret😊
      May 25, 2020 at 11:41 am

      Thank you for stating for the young as well . I’m so sick an tired of everything played up on THE OLD . Tired of trying to insist we are the only ones .also tired of people an businesses trying to get us to buy technology to communicate so they know our personal business .And start pushing to sell us something an take the rest of our hard earned money ! 🤗

    3. Crc
      June 27, 2020 at 8:14 pm

      Someone commented that “ War, physical and mental illnesses, hunger… these are the things that cause real suffering.”

      I know what they mean, but I believe that the suffering of so many people in isolation is just as real! Any mental illness we may have already been experiencing can become worse from isolation — as well as our concerns that COVID-19 could kill us and those we love. I wonder if the incidence of PTSD will increase?

      I’m in my 70’s and have discovered that video connections like Zoom and FaceTime help me a great deal. Never the same as a personal visit, of course. I’ve often wondered what our lives would have been like if the coronavirus had hit 10-15 years ago.

  9. Anonymous
    March 28, 2020 at 9:15 pm

    Thankyou for all this info. Old, but not gone.

  10. Anonymous
    March 28, 2020 at 11:04 pm

    You can live in the same place as others and still be isolated especially if they are continuly wearing the head phones and they’re contently on their phones their tables and Facebook

  11. Donna
    March 29, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    I just started using Messenger’s Video Chat. It works great for me!!!

  12. Janice Magoon
    March 29, 2020 at 3:25 pm

    I was raised an only child and as such I learned how to entertain myself at a very early age. I also learned to enjoy my own company. These traits have served me well throughout my life. It is really sad to think that without the aid of so much social media to rely on that we would fall apart as your article seems to suggest. Human beings are strong, adaptable and resourceful. You would probably be surprised to see how well they could handle things on their own if they really had to do it.

    1. Anonymous
      April 13, 2020 at 8:25 pm

      I agree. I was an only child and having to stay away from people don’t bother me

      1. Margaret
        May 25, 2020 at 11:52 am

        It is what you make it . Figure out which you want loneliness or happiness . And don’t ask a Dr .or for sure he’ll give you a pill to solve it. As so many do. LOVE YOURSELF , then you will be happier , so will others !💖

    2. Susan Seacrest
      April 14, 2020 at 11:13 pm

      I am an only child as well and am
      enjoying this time and rediscovering the joy of being with myself. Not rushing, instead reflecting.

      1. Rose Miller
        June 16, 2020 at 7:49 pm

        I love to read and do quite a bit of that. I have also joined a couple of groups on Facebook and have several friends there that exchange messages with me. Plus, I have a little cat who is so sweet and loving. I talk to her and she talks back. I have taught her a number of words that she knows the meaning to. Last night, I said to her, “Let’s go beddy bye.” and she got down from the chair and followed me to be.
        If it is possible, a pet can help quite a lot.

    3. Anonymous
      April 15, 2020 at 1:38 am

      Although I am not an only child( 1 brother, 2 years younger), I could not be in more agreement with you. What’s up with watching tv or social media constantly? Those can become a crutch instead of providing structure & activity in our lives.

    4. Anonymous
      April 16, 2020 at 4:09 pm

      I totally agree. I grew up in the country where socialization occurred only on weekends with extended family and church family. No social drinking or partying, just good wholesome conversation and working together. I’m so glad I didnt grow up to be snow flake.

      1. Anonymous
        April 18, 2020 at 1:01 pm

        what is a snowflake?

      2. Anonymous
        June 19, 2020 at 12:16 pm

        You just said you go to church So why did you find it necessary to add a mean comment at the end of your statement I will never understand this God doesnt teach us that

    5. Anonymous
      April 26, 2020 at 3:41 pm

      That is well and good if you don’t have health problems to deal with every day! The legs don’t work well, the back hurts and the brain is exhausted from all the chores and
      Trying to remember all the new available technology! Not that simple nor easy! Remember the elderly especially if they are alone! Thank you! Lisa

    6. Anonymous
      June 22, 2020 at 7:20 pm

      My thoughts exactly! I too was an only child and am confortsble alone. I can just take crowds of people socially within limits. I have a book with me wherever I go.

    7. veet
      June 26, 2020 at 4:29 pm

      Ditto.

  13. Skip Curry
    March 29, 2020 at 3:33 pm

    Using this type of technology is definitely going to evolve into the “new normal.” The social distancing, social shut down and or quarantine is opening the door for new acceptance of Technology and universities, in the professional world and certainly among families and friends.

  14. Anonymous
    March 29, 2020 at 3:38 pm

    Yes, Facetime with family is like a visit with them personally. Also texting and phoning. I am grateful for these devices to stsy in touch. At 91 I am not venturing out. We are doing Zoom today with one family for first time. Want to do whole family if possible soon – 41 of us. Praying for wisdom for countries’ leaders and the whole world and that good will somehow come out of this horror.

  15. Joanne B
    March 31, 2020 at 2:44 am

    Having some great virtual visits with our daughters and grandchildren via FaceBook Messenger!

  16. Betsy L. Chambers
    April 1, 2020 at 11:38 pm

    I believe this is extremely dangerous time for all ages ! It’s one thing to stay home by choice & be mandated to do so. There will be repercussions.

  17. Linda
    April 3, 2020 at 12:33 pm

    It leaves me with a feeling of hopelessness. I wake with a stomach ache or headache almost every morning. I seem to wake earlier every morning. Sometimes I want to cut off all communication with everyone. I do not watch the news because it is too depressing.

    1. Anonymous
      April 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      Go right ahead. Maybe it will help you

    2. Bonnie
      April 15, 2020 at 1:50 am

      Linda,
      Being a very social person, I understand your discomfort with isolation. The need for person to person conversation and a physical hug is overwhelming. Knowing that everyone is experiencing this helps a little, but our own feelings are what we have to live with. Depression saps our energy and tears are ever on the surface ready to flow with the slightest kindness from another. Aloneness becomes agony and I wonder how long I can tolerate it.

      1. Susan
        May 21, 2020 at 9:00 pm

        I understand how you feel. I have isolated over 3 months and starting to feel hopeless, although I depend on my faith to get me through. I wish you peace.

      2. hol
        June 16, 2020 at 2:00 am

        Same

      3. Anonymous
        June 22, 2020 at 1:39 pm

        My feelings exactly.

    3. Loraine
      April 15, 2020 at 8:23 am

      I am sorry you are suffering. Can you spend some time outdoors taking a walk or even just sitting somewhere in the sunshine? These things lift my spirits – also taking an occasional drive.

    4. Anonymous
      April 19, 2020 at 5:47 pm

      I do understand where you’re coming from I was a very social outgoing person I’m 81 years old and three years ago I started to withdraw from being sociable stop traveling stopped attending weddings I got very nervous around people and I don’t know why and this isolation has got me to the point where even if they want to stop by and sit in the backyard I get very nervous as anybody experience that I can’t watch the news anymore either I’m not really afraid of the virus it’s being face to face with people that are making me nervous and I can’t figure out why

  18. Debi
    April 4, 2020 at 12:46 am

    You can also Video Chat with FaceBook Messenger!! Which I just found out since this pandemic started!

    1. Sheryl
      April 13, 2020 at 4:26 pm

      How does that work

      1. Denise Hedge
        June 20, 2020 at 3:56 am

        Hi, I recently started using Facebook video chat. I think both parties must be “friends” but if you have access to someone else’s Facebook account, that works too. Go to a friends page and look for the “message” icon near the top of their page. If you have left private messages to others in the past, you already know how to access someone’s message window. When the window pops up, you will see a camera shaped icon in the upper left corner. Press or click on the camera icon. You will hear a telephone-like “ring”. The person you’re “calling” will also hear the ring and can respond to it. Both of you need to have cameras on your equipment (computer, laptop) and those must be turned on. It really is almost as easy as making a phone call. Hope this helps!

    2. Nita
      May 18, 2020 at 8:33 am

      What’s the advantage for video chat thur Facebook messenger vs FaceTime?

  19. M. K.
    April 5, 2020 at 8:07 pm

    Having some negative effects from all this ZOOM communication. Though I get lots of help,I am still old fashioned about ” manners”; e.g. interrupting someone accidentally, by pushing the ” mute” and ” unmute” button. My church uses it for coffee chat after the online service. This morning I waited 35 minutes to just try to voice a news update about a much loved member. When I was finally able to signal by waving,and was recognized, most participants had left the gathering. Not only frustrating,but makes one feel unacknowledged and not a valued part of group. I will probably avoid this for awhile.Rather unpleasant.

    1. Anonymous
      April 12, 2020 at 5:58 pm

      Try again so that you’ll become comfortable! Some of these types of meetings and contacts will be normal
      for sometime!

  20. Linda Eggerman
    April 5, 2020 at 10:00 pm

    The older people who are being the most isolated do not have the access to phones or computers or the knowledge to use them for social interaction anyway.

    1. Anonymous
      April 12, 2020 at 9:05 am

      We have a family Marco Polo. It’s great because it saves all the conversations, so you can always go in and catch up on what everyone has talked about!

    2. J. Facklam
      April 15, 2020 at 1:11 pm

      Don’t lump us “old” people all together. I will be 82 in 3 weeks. I have been on computer way back to commodore 64. I do just fine.

      1. Carol
        June 30, 2020 at 2:03 am

        I will be 82 in a month. I have a sweet dog who keeps me company
        And is an excellent watch dog. We walk daily and see others doing the same. A greeting or a wave and a smile helps lift my spirits and hopefully theirs. I talk to family several times a day. Haven’t been in a grocery store since the end of February and do order groceries for pick up. All in all, making the best of a not so good situation.

    3. R. M. MilligaN
      April 20, 2020 at 12:08 am

      Wait a minute. I’m 91 years old, and I’ve been using Facebook (just an example) for quite a few years and “talk” there with a number of relatives and friends daily.

  21. Ina Lazarus
    April 11, 2020 at 11:28 am

    Dear app inventors Like google,zoom Skype facebook,my gratitude is beyond thank you,thank you.im 82 and without these aps on my IPad I would be in the looney house.

  22. Doris Dodds
    April 12, 2020 at 2:57 pm

    Some old people are forgotten because no one cares to check on them to see if they are ok so they have to fend for themselves & go to the grocery store & risk their lives because they have no one.

  23. Carol
    April 13, 2020 at 1:35 pm

    At 5:30 , five gals meet on FaceTime for cocktails. Our only rule is no makeup.

  24. Karol Fentem
    April 13, 2020 at 1:51 pm

    Read online with kindle, Libby, or local library.
    Call or take a dessert treat to those who are alone.
    Learn to order food online with delivery service and then eat food that is healthy and enjoyable
    I am 82 yrs old and try to do all of the above.

  25. Kathleen Joan Siino
    April 14, 2020 at 1:56 pm

    It’s great if you have hobbies! I have done 6 oil paintings since
    this all started. I play the piano, Guitar, do lots of
    crossword puzzles, email, use Facebook with all my friends. I
    go for walks. Tend to my many plants. I read a lot. Even at
    night when I can’t sleep.
    I am elderly and I live alone. I do get depressed not seeing my friends and relatives and going out to lunches and clubs. But
    if you just keep busy the days go by much faster and if you
    have deep faith in God like I do, this will pass and we will
    appreciate life more!

    1. Gladys J. Jones
      June 19, 2020 at 1:48 pm

      You sound like “my kind of person”! I admire you and hope I am a lot like you! I’m 87 and living in an “old folks” place where we are confined to our rooms because of the virus, etc. I felt like a prisoner until I learned the joys of the computer, word puzzles, walking “around the building”, reading, etc. Am not able to have conversations or meetings with anyone but “hanging in there:”! Blessings on all of us shut-ins (or is it more shut-outs 🙂

  26. Dave Huegel
    April 14, 2020 at 6:01 pm

    I have been living an isolated life for a couple of years,and am ok most of the time. It does get pretty old being retired and alone… hopefully this virus issue gets resolved,and we can at least be free to travel again.

  27. Chris
    April 15, 2020 at 3:10 pm

    I am 71 with multiple health issues, so I have been home alone..because I get insulin over the counter at Walmart and not a prescription, I had to break my isolation and go.I was extremely nervous that I would somehow be exposed to the virus.I wore a hoody and mask but noone else did..even after it opens up everywhere will I ever be safe??

    1. Anonymous
      May 2, 2020 at 9:47 pm

      Have you asked Walmart about having your prescriptions sent to you?
      I did and received it in two days.
      Hope this helps. Take care ⚘

  28. Judy
    April 15, 2020 at 3:50 pm

    Is it safe to kiss your husband of 30 years during isolation

    1. Anonymous
      May 24, 2020 at 4:38 am

      Depends! Does he live with you and practices safe and healthy choices? If he hugs and kisses others, avoid him.

  29. Karen Graham
    April 16, 2020 at 9:44 pm

    My 11yo grandaughter and I have had breakfast “together“, played Hangman, shared stories, and I have helped her with some homework, all through FaceTime. She once spent a 4 hour Saturday morning taking me on a virtual tour of her room, organizing her closet and every nook& cranny, box & bin! We had wonderful time… until my daughter came to check if she had fallen asleep!

    1. Mary
      May 2, 2020 at 10:31 pm

      A marvelous idea for a great morning!

  30. Julia Collins
    April 17, 2020 at 12:53 am

    Thanks for your article on Social Distancing vs. Isolation. Very helpful!❣!

  31. Sarah
    April 17, 2020 at 11:01 am

    I wish I could get an emotional connection to video conferencing. But all I can see it as is meaningless TV. Not real connection to another. My mind wanders away from video for this reason, and I feel lonelier and more despairing after one of these “gatherings” than if they had never happened. I show up so as not to hurt my friends’ feelings, but it’s not any kind of connection. TV is not “real.” Glad it works for the rest of you.

    1. Anonymous
      May 17, 2020 at 2:52 am

      I agree

    2. Lori
      May 26, 2020 at 9:47 pm

      This is all nice to hear. Yes technology and so much more a person can do using that
      With this said, it’s not working for me. That does not stimulate me or make me feel happy. Physically seeing human beings and interacting with humans and physical touch like hugs helps your brain and can help with depression and other mood issues . Plus Being happy is very good medicine for people. So for me there is no substitute for human touch , conversations and activities to share physically with humans. God did not intend for man to be alone .

  32. Anonymous
    April 19, 2020 at 5:41 pm

    I started to suffer three years ago with social anxiety I am 81 years old I was very outgoing sociable traveled attended every party and every wedding and then I started getting withdrawn and I could only go to a few places where I was comfortable and now that this is happened even the thought of somebody coming through my front door I get so nervous and my blood pressure go so high and it’s not the virus that I’m afraid of it’s just I’ve become afraid of being around people and I don’t know why does anybody have that problem

  33. Kathy R.
    April 21, 2020 at 2:54 pm

    We had a church coffee hour by Zoom on Sunday. It really helped to feel connection. And yesterday close family and friends had a Zoom birthday party for my husband.

  34. Judy
    April 26, 2020 at 9:33 am

    I sure enjoyed reading these comments and suggestions. Thank you everyone. It sure helped me a lot.

  35. Jan
    April 29, 2020 at 12:25 pm

    It’s not a huge problem for me. I keep in touch via phone and internet and I do things around the house. I am 65 and am thankful to have cable too. I try to encourage people and spend time with God and that always makes my days better!

  36. Sarah
    May 3, 2020 at 11:49 am

    Our senior citizens Sunday School class is using Zoom for the class to interact each Sunday – and a lesson too.

    Church is also having virtual church services and youth group meetings.

  37. Brenda P
    May 27, 2020 at 3:28 pm

    I am now elderly, though I can’t believe It’s true mentally. However, I also have heart stints, so am extra vulnerable. One thing that I did when I was caring for my mother was to put in a glass “screen” door. She enjoyed looking out of it into the world, and now I am. It is also a buffer so that I can socially distance and still take the mail directly from the mailman.

    I also brought in fallen leaves for my mother. She touched them constantly and remarked on how beautiful they were. Any touch from outside that younger family takes for granted is precious.

  38. LogosAletheia
    May 29, 2020 at 10:31 pm

    I appreciate that we live in an age of Technology. But I am sick and tired of meeting with people through Zoom or GoToMeeting or something like that. Video chatting is just not anywhere near the same as face-to-face in person socializing. I’m a widow. With our Governors lockdown orders so wanting everyone to stay at home and not fellowship with anyone who doesn’t live at their house, I am in complete isolation unless I deliberately disobey the orders. Which I have done. I refuse to be kept a captive a slave in my home with isolation. And the Widow I’ve spent the past couple of years rebuilding my social network, and expanding my social connections, only in March to have them virtually destroyed by our Governor’s orders which have no compassion for 98% of the people in our state. Our state has less than 2% death due to covid-19. We have had about 50,000 cases of covid-19 that’s because I want to keep the numbers inflated so they can keep us all in a state of fear and anxiety if we try to connect with anyone. The man may seem to protect people, but they don’t really. Especially someone like me who has allergies and Asthma and can’t breathe with a mask on my face. That is unless it is hooked to oxygen. So I wear a piece of scarf that is the thinnest cloth I can get because I can’t stand masks. The feeling of isolation that I have had is insane. There is no reason for this. There is no reason for people dying alone in hospitals. There’s no reason for them dying alone in nursing homes. I get that covid-19 b infective. But there are other things that are way far worse then locking everybody in their houses indefinitely. I’ve Governor doesn’t intend to ever let loose on the executive orders, because she is waiting for texting, and vaccinations. At that rate we might get rid of the lockdown orders in two or three years. If she has her way it will at least be until after the election. It has become obvious that Cotto is no longer about the disease but more about controlling Our Lives indefinitely and eventually causing us to get vaccinated with Nano chips to track US. I’m not in favor of tracking at all, nor vaccines that will change my DNA and put in Township into me. So yes I feel very isolated, I feel very violated by the governor’s orders that have imprisoned me without bar.

  39. vex 3
    June 3, 2020 at 4:49 am

    I would love to discuss the topic you share. with lots of good information and updates.

    fnaf

  40. Mary Kay
    June 16, 2020 at 12:12 pm

    All I want is a hug. I am a hugger. I am 77 and live alone. It is lonely. I have several health issues. I do a lot of praying. 6 months in my life can really change you. I want to socialize
    While I can. Do love the way my church has provided services and daily prayer. I know God is in charge.I worry about childen growing up in this time.

  41. Bunny
    June 29, 2020 at 5:25 am

    I hope some of these people feel better after seeing replies on here. I drive an hour once a week to see my 95 yr old mother, then go to a socially distanced lunch at my friends outside on her deck. Mostly I am alone, I read 5-6 books a week and watch the news, play Boggle by myself, take care of my plants. I dislike the feeling of getting older and not having my normal outings. It’s hard for all of us.

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