So, I’m sure by now it’s not really a surprise when we bring up how social interaction is a necessity, and how it doesn’t necessarily need to go head to head with social distancing. At this point, it’s all about finding a balance and making sure you stay responsible while also catering to your needs as a human being, which can be done in a multitude of ways.
I’m getting this one out of the way first because 1-it sort of goes without saying and everyone is already doing this and 2- we already have an article specifically about what you can do online, which you can find here.
In short, there’s plenty to be done, from Netflix parties and breakfast dates, to online study sessions and “going” to concerts together. If going out isn’t really that much of an option for you, I’d definitely recommend checking the other article out for more options and details. If, however, you’re also wondering how you can begin going outside to meet up with your best friend(s) responsibly, then just continue here.
A few general rules of thumb first; the less people the better, keep physical contact to an absolute minimum, and try your best to only meet up in open spaces. Avoid meeting up with a group of over 3 people tops, and always keep your distance – that means no handshakes, hugs or anything else. I really don’t need to be explaining this so I’ll just move on to the actual rest of the list, since I’m sure anyone reading this is quite responsible and knows what they should and shouldn’t be doing even if they really want to do something dumb :3
2-Go for a Walk
I feel like this one is also quite common, but that doesn’t mean it’s not worth mentioning. It’s perhaps one of the best options you can go for when meeting up with a friend, since it allows you to catch up and talk all you want without constantly facing them or being in a closed area.
If you’re not sure where exactly you can walk, you can always try whatever body of water may be in your city (Nile/Sea/etc.) if the corniches are still open to the public. If that’s not an option or it’s too crowded, you can always choose a few nice streets and roads to walk through before going out, making sure to not get too close to any passerby.
Ok ok just hear me out. Yes, walks can be considered exercise but like, it’s different. What I mean here is pretty much anything ranging from going on a jog (probably on the same or a very similar route to that which you’d have hypothetically planned for walking) to meeting up in a garden to do some yoga/CrossFit/whatever, separately. Like, you can do the same workout obviously, but no partner stuff that involves sharing equipment or being too close to each other too.
4- Go out for a Drink/Snack
The next few entries predominantly require the presence of some private garden you can meet up with your friends at, or any nice open space you know of really. This one’s quite simple, but maybe requires a bit more care than previous options. If you’re going to a café (if any are opened) then definitely be sure to sit outside and follow necessary precautions when eating.
You can also each bring your own food and snacks for a sort of picnic where you don’t share food. Might sound weird, but I’m sure it’d be a lot more fun that it seems.
5-Have a Discussion/Debate
This, in my opinion, is best done when combined with a walk or just chilling in any open space, and has more positive effects than just the social interaction. For starters a good discussion is always good when it comes to you finding out more about the other person and how they think, even if you’re already very close. It’ll also give you something to do before meeting up, where you can read about the topic you decide on and try to form a proper opinion.
If this sounds too boring or task-like for you, I think the next entry might be more up your alley, but either way I think it’s worth a shot.
6-Do Different Things but Together
Read a book. Paint. Catch up on some work/studying you need to get done or pretty much anything at all. You can just meet up, sit a couple of metres apart and each do your respective thing for a few hours. The novelty factor of leaving your house and meeting this person will help you focus on whatever you want to do more and make it more enjoyable, while you’ll have company for the occasional break.
For this final idea, I think you should explore your musical talents. It’s definitely not for everyone, but if you’re musically inclined in any way, you can really make use of that. You’ll need an instrument like a ukulele or a guitar, which are ideal for this kind of a meetup, at least one person who can (or will) sing, and a list of songs to try out. You can also switch things up in many ways; one person can play an instrument while the other paints or draws, if you’re big on singing you can try to harmonise, etc. It’s all a matter of the people and various talents that might or might not be available at you and your friends’ disposal. Who knows, maybe you’ll end quarantine having formed a band.
Oh and you can both just listen to music together and not do anything in particular. Also quite chill.
Whatever you end up doing, make sure you stay safe. Enjoy your time with your friends, but also don’t do anything particularly stupid. Take this as both a kind reminder and a casual threat; whichever floats your boat, remember boats can sink 🙂