During the COVID pandemic that continues to spread, millions of people are remaining secluded in their homes and separated from the outside world. This is especially true for those at-risk individuals such as seniors and those will serious illnesses and disabilities. And when you consider that this is the holiday season when most people look forward to being with loved ones, being separated can seem more like isolation. Yes, there is great anticipation of being with family during the holidays, but no one wants to compromise the health and safety of at-risk family members.

But, being physically apart because of the risk of spreading or contracting the virus does not have to mean being alone. The advancements in technology have made it convenient to remain connected with friends, family, and associates from the safety of your home. With devices found in nearly every household, you can be plugged in daily to those you care about whether they are in the local area, across the country, or around the globe. With a little creativity, you can be connected with individuals or whole groups of people at the same time. Let’s look at the many ways that you can use technology to stay connected before, during, and after the holidays. If you aren’t familiar with the technology, ask a caregiver or another person who lives with you to help you get started.

Ways for Technology to Keep You Connected

Using Your SmartPhone:
Whether your cell phone is a SmartPhone or an iPhone, the technology is the same. You can video chat with family members, friends, social club members, and members of religious groups on your SmartPhone. While your chats will be one-to-one with different people, you can enjoy the face-to-face talk with each person. Besides calling special people to stay in touch, you can interact in other ways. You can read stories to your grandchildren or have them read to you, you can also play games interactively with someone, share pictures, start or join a conversation on social media platforms such as Facebook or Instagram that can involve a large number of people. Use your SmartPhone to make a video of your holiday decorations, both indoors and outside, then post it on your social media venues, and read all the great comments. Ask others to post their decorations for your viewing.

Using Your Tablet or Laptop:
The easiest way to connect with one or more people in real time is to use your tablet or laptop. You can prop it up on a table or a counter and enjoy a face-to-face conversation. Social clubs can maintain their regular meeting times by scheduling a Zoom event. You join the meeting with log in information sent to you by the meeting organizer. Everyone gets to spend time with the club members from the safety of their homes. If you belong to a cooking or craft club, there can be a guest speaker who teaches the group how to make something special. Members can also show off a proud creation. With your laptop or tablet you never have to miss a religious service. You can attend special services without needing to leave your home.

Gift selections online is the way that most people will be shopping this year during a pandemic. But you can take advantage of technology by shopping online with loved ones. You can both log on the websites of your favorite stores and help each other to select presents. Then, those presents can be delivered directly to the homes of those getting the gifts.

Nothing will ever fully replace being with loved ones on special holidays, but you can be with them virtually. The family can agree to schedule a Zoom event during the holiday meals, the gift opening, or to just spend time with each other to share those special moments that are the foundations of your family traditions. Not being able to hug and kiss each other in person is a big drawback to remaining separated, but with face-to-face conversations you can certainly blow kisses to everyone and make the motion of giving hugs with the promise to do this in person when it is safe to socialize with others.

Bottom Line
Using the technology we have come to rely on for everyday conveniences can be the best path available for you and your loved ones to stay connected throughout the holiday season. The coming holidays can turn physical separation into an opportunity to shower each other with understanding, compassion, and love.

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