Tag: zoom call

Covid-fatigue? Two Suggestions for Relief

Man on phone with covid-fatigue

Covid-Fatigue is a Big Problem

Yesterday I had a video-visit with my doctor. It was a regularly-scheduled check-up, and as soon as it was clear there were no medical issues to discuss, the conversation went to my state of mind. (On the list of interview questions these days, I am assuming.)

Then I turned the question around and asked about HER state of mind. As a kidney specialist on the front line, she laid it out clearly and starkly. “Virginia, I haven’t had one of my patients walk out alive.”

Punch in the gut. Then the call was over. And I can’t forget what she said.

Later the same day I was struck by the title of this recent article about Covid-fatigue, coming from The Atlantic: The Pandemic Has Erased Entire Categories of Friendship

The author writes about all the people and simple social interactions she has missed, “without fully realizing it.” Her list includes watching sporting events in a crowd of fans, saying hello to the local barista, even discussing the weather in the break room at work.  Ordinary conversations with people not so close but people who “were all, in some capacity, my friends, and there was no substitute for them during the pandemic.”

My own list of missing people doesn’t include sports bar fans (!), but I miss greeting the stylists at the salon. I miss discussing books when I visit our neighborhood library. (Only one person at a time allowed in the room.) My world has become strangely silent since all those people that used to make up my day are staying safely invisible at home. Has your circle of friends gotten smaller, too?

Some Ideas for Covid-fatigue Relief

So let me report on a couple of ideas that may work to help. Of course, they are related to emergency preparedness. Happily, preparedness isn’t controversial. Pretty much everyone can relate to the topic. So you may find more response to either of these than you might have expected!

Idea #1: How about a one-time Zoom call featuring a police officer on the topic of personal safety?

We’ve had more neighborhood reports of cars being broken into and stolen, wallets disappearing from shopping carts, packages scooped up by strangers right out from under the Ring porch cameras. Facts are hard to come by – mostly we get stories via fearful or angry online messages.

People in our neighborhood are calling me, too, because I’m head of our local emergency response team. They want to report on “strange people” they have seen in the street, or worries about elderly neighbors being abused . . . things that I can do little about. But I listen and offer what little advice I can.

These negative stories, mixed in with misinformation about the availability of Covid vaccine, started taking over our daily communications. We needed facts and realistic recommendations, not more rumors.

So I took the initiative and scheduled a zoom call with the police. I invited everybody on my neighborhood email list to join in. For some, this was their first ever Zoom call. For most, it was useful info. And for all, it was a chance to see smiling neighbors’ faces WITHOUT MASKS, and to hear voices!  Yes, a social interaction! 

I recommend you call your police department immediately and set up something similar! (I’ll be happy to share the invitation I used, with the questions I wanted to be sure to get answers to.)  In a future Advisory I’ll be sharing all the tips we got.

Idea #2. How about a multi-session group activity designed to make new friendships while helping everyone in the group get better prepared?

You know we’ve been publishing a series of booklets on preparedness topics. It’s called the Emergency Preparedness Q&A Mini-Series. One topic to each mini-booklet; 14 topics in all.  

What you may not know is that as the series developed, it became clear that each of these little booklets could be used as the basis for a group discussion – on Zoom or in person.

The whole series can be a tool for building community – and fighting Covid-fatigue!

When I say “community” I’m referring to groups. Which kinds of group do you have in your life?  

  • Church group
  • Scout troop
  • Service organization
  • Neighborhood group
  • Etc., etc.

The secret that makes this idea work for any group? “Shared Leadership.”  That is, your group doesn’t need an “expert” to lead the group. With the help of the mini-series booklets, members of the group make it all work by themselves!

The last booklet in the series, Prepare & Share, goes into great detail about how to use this tool to help your group reconnect with current members, or attract new ones.

If you and family or neighbors are struggling with COVID-fatigue, either or both of these suggestions may put some welcome “social activity” back into your lives. If I can be of any help setting them up, please let me know.

Your Emergency Plan Guide team

P.S. Visit this separate webpage for full details on the Prepare & Share concept!