CLEVELAND — As concerns rise over the spread of COVID-19 coronavirus in Ohio, people are coming up with creative ways to stay socially connected while we've been ordered to limit our physical interaction.
With health experts advising that we stay at least six feet apart from others when possible, many are turning to the very thing accused of ruining our ability to socialize to support each other through this unique time: technology.
Under normal circumstances, Brick: The Digital Wellness Co. typically advocates for less screen time in favor of staying more present, but the organization is now embracing the idea that devices can really do us good right now.
And while they're doing it, they are making it a point to reject the term "social distancing" in favor of a phrase that's more accurate, calling what we're currently dealing with "physical distancing."
In an Instagram post shared on Monday, the people behind the group wrote:
"Words have power. Let's be conscious of how we're framing the situation we're all in.
"And if we're going to use screens, let's use them to spend time together, instead of isolating ourselves and binging the news / social media.
"Because you know what feels great? Spending time with friends and family. Can't do it in person? There's tools for that (Facetime, etc.) We need each other. Now, more than ever."
Along those lines, we've asked people to share how they're keeping connected, using #3Connect, and have gotten a wide range of responses from the community.
Some are hosting their own "virtual dinner parties," where people are opening up a video chat platform like FaceTime or Skype, cooking dinner together and bonding over conversation, from afar.
Others have created Skype groups to share funny cat videos with coworkers who are now working remotely, and pledging to make phone calls instead of texting.
In one case, children who are now home from school are being encouraged to email happy messages to residents of nursing homes, where visitors are now restricted.
Do you have a suggestion you don't see here? Let us know using #3Connect, or email it to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.