Social Connection Strategies

Hi everyone,

Many of us already are, or are about to go into, physical distancing and reduction or complete stopping of our normal social contacts, including work.

Over the years you have all proven we are a resilient and inventive bunch, and I’ve loved hearing about some of the great solutions people have come up with for PsA, so now I want to hear how people plan to keep their social connections, which is really critical in a time like this.

Me first; my mum was visiting over a week ago before things hit hard, and I installed Skype on her phone. My two good friends I normally catch up with in person, we had our last bbq a week ago in preparation, and my tech-savvy friend made us a what’s app group so now we three can video chat together.

We have a lot of front lawn and good weather at our house, I’m thinking of seeing if the elderly next door neighbours, who I used to sometimes go for coffee with, wants to do 2m-separated, byo chair and coffee meet.

I’d love to hear your thoughts!


My whole family tends to be pretty introverted, so we’re mostly holding tight. That said, one of my friends and neighbors is having a rough time. I’ll likely have coffee with her on opposite sides of her back deck, or by Zoom.

I’m a private tutor, and I am loving Zoom! I can share work with students online, we can work problems on the whiteboard together, and so on. Okay fine, one of my cat lover students, I might have taken on a tour of my cats after we were done working. It’s only fair, I’ve met her cats in person.


A lot of telephone calls. The script is pretty same-y: ‘are you all right? Have you got enough supplies? Can you sanitise worktops with vodka? Have you gone stark raving mad yet?’

There’s a warmth though in all this communication & more tolerance of the lack of anything interesting to say than there ever was. We’re self-isolating for a minimum of 12 weeks and what stings is the inability to get out there and help others or just to be with them. I’ve been googling & there are lots of community-based groups springing up. Some are trying to establish phone / internet support & company for those who are struggling so that’s something we will be able to do.

Getting food is not easy. Brits have gone crazy at the shops, really truly crazy. But yesterday evening a small whole food shop bent over backwards to get a delivery to us. Again, there’s this strong streak of goodwill alongside the utter selfishness. All I could do was to pin a ‘thank you!’ on the front door. I don’t usually draw gold stars on a note to people delivering bread etc.!


What’s App for family all over the world. Facebook otherwise. I help moderate a local village FB page which has just mobilised the entire neighbourhood into ways of coping with this - it’s astonishing how may little local food suppliers are suddenly doing home deliveries or leaving them in a remote place on their farms etc for collection. And it’s incredible how gorgeously but remotely connected we’ve all become. The local pharmacy needs a gong from the Queen frankly.

Local pubs (all now shut) are doing home delivery on their menus etc etc.It Mother’s Day here in the UK today and I think every pub and restaurant is delivering its special Mother’s Day menu to the people who had originally booked a table.

Otherwise the telephone and email. So far it’s so lovely - it’s often reduced me to having a tear or so.


The government said for 12 weeks or you are opting to isolate that long? I know Great Britain was a little slow to get on board, so more aggressive measures are appropriate. Our schools have already been closed for a week or week and a half oh, and we were on social distancing. But now and all non-essential stores are closed as well. The good news is at the liquor store is considered an essential store.


Yep, government advised 12 weeks for people over 70 and those who are vulnerable. We’re basically planning to do what the government says + some if necessary, so 12 weeks minimum.

Have some groups been advised to self-isolate in the US?

I think they will jump at the chance.

Mum lives in sheltered housing, and it’s rather a shame that all the other people living there can’t be trusted to comply with the social distancing, because if they did there was no reason why they couldn’t socialise with each other. Sadly, though, a couple of them are still having family around, and others have carers go in, so that’s a no-go.

I ring Mum twice a day anyway, but am concerned she’s going to get rather depressed by the end of this as she’s so used to going out two or three times a week. At least with virtually all of the shops shut, she’s not going to be tempted to think “to hell with it” one day and just go out anyway. I have been encouraging her to walk around the block a couple of times a week just to get some exercise, but she’s having none of that either.

My guess is that we will adapt to the new normal surprisingly quickly. I find myself filling the time rather constructively, and actually being rather perky for most of last week (probably because I DON’T have to be sociable!). I’ve been less cheerful over the weekend though, but partly because of a couple of bad nights of sleep. I’m hoping to get back into a routine tomorrow as I have a few projects on the go - revising a book I wrote a few years back, learning some new songs for when the jazz jams start again, and even working on a “documentary” about early film, which I hope to shove on YouTube if it comes out Ok. A couple of hours on each helps to kill the day.

My biggest fear if I literally can’t leave the house is my bipolar. At the moment, I’m still going to the local shop/post office twice a week - ten minutes walk there, five minutes in the shop, and ten minutes back. The streets and shops are pretty empty, and I take disposable gloves and sanitiser with me. I know there is still a small risk even involved in that, but I have to look after both my physical and mental self, and so willing to take it for the time being. That said, I reckon the postal service will be gone within a week or so. Pretty much all non-essential shops here in Norwich closed today indefinitely.

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I kind of don’t know if that’s wholly correct. I think every country has been ‘a little slow to get on board’ and it’s only the reality of hindsight which shows this. I don’t really know what you Americans are being ‘fed’ about the UK but you’ve come out with precisely what both my sisters have, who both live in the USA too. So it’s obviously ‘a thing’. Oddly I’ve loads of Irish friends who ostensibly were ‘ahead’ of the UK in shutting schools etc but who don’t share the same view of the ‘little slow’ thing.

I’m pretty comfortable with the level of science the UK is following for now. It’s as good as we’ve got obviously but it’s from guys at the top of their game. I’m also pretty impressed with how the government is handling it. Boris holds a press conference daily between 5pm and 6pm and is obviously incredibly well advised by psychologists as to how he’s pacing things. You can just ‘see’ that and it’s comforting to me anyway.

The reality is that more and more aggressive measures are a fact of life now and none of us will get away with not having them. The reality is sadly this will last a whole lot longer than 12 weeks too for all of us until a cogent vaccine is finally available.

And most certainly I’ll be following what the scientists advising the government say I should do. It’s also comforting that these scientists are also explaining things to the nation rather than just the government reinterpreting what the scientists are saying if you can see the difference.

I’m incredibly impressed that this weekend my local supermarket managed somehow to identify me as being in the ‘vulnerable’ category which guarantees me a home delivery of groceries once a week. I’m sure all sorts of data protection laws are now being scrapped for the cause and I’m not complaining - not one little bit.

For now I work at home - I was doing that anyway. I get my groceries home delivered - yes it’s a pain ordering online but I can get over myself on that now. I stay super connected on social media - I was doing that already. I can walk my dog provided I can find somewhere remote enough - I was virtually doing that anyway. So the only change is physically not seeing anyone but my partner. That’s now changed to being on the phone and on line - that’s OK.

Our canal boat holiday for the end of April will be deferred this week. No point of us travelling to another part of the country and ostensibly putting pressure on its resources there. It would have been a great self-isolation holiday as ours tend to be anyway but it still would be stupid to go.

Whatever though - let’s all wish eachother luck. :hugs:


Thank you for the response
That is interesting that other Americans said the same thing, but what you’re saying is clearly different.

I feel like my area was slow too, but now they’re fully on board. The mayor of NYC was planning on keeping schools open, which is just ridiculous. And there’s clearly areas that are having a hard time following the rules. NYC is a real problem in general. Even if everyone follows the rules and is just outside for essential needs, the population is just too dense and social distancing is really hard.

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Yes I feel so enormously grateful I don’t live in or near a large city. Enormously.

I also feel enormously privileged I live in a detached house with a large enclosed garden. The issues are so much greater in more densely populated areas. Breaks my heart.


We need more aggressive measures ASAP, we’re only a couple of weeks behind Italy and some say things could be even worse here.

I note that professional sons are being treated fairly by employers. However gardener son who works at a university is denied the hand-sanitiser that is handed out to the lecturers. His team are meant to clock-on by gathering in a small room - that’s about 20 guys. The cleaners, many of whom are not in the first flush of youth, are being herded together for meetings about social distancing :unamused:

He will tackle this as best he can - ex-union rep. & no slouch. But cannot risk losing his job at this time.

Oh, and a nurse friend with 20 years experience recently invited him & his diabetic gf to a party! Impressions about how well this country is doing depend a lot on who you happen to meet or know about.


I know what you mean Poo, nobody’s been on top of this except Hong Kong and Singapore, and more recently China, and it’s difficult to see that the outcome could possibly be very different in most western countries, so I suspect we are all in this for the long haul, whether that’s UK, North America, Australia, or of course anywhere on earth. I’m just grateful we started with a reasonable health system, so many are not that fortunate.


I’d just like to announce that I’m already planning a post- Coronavirus party. I went looking for a can of black beans in my cupboard. No can of beans, but OMG the chocolate I bought! :joy::joy::joy:


I want to come please!

Speaking of luxury items, apparently an organic gardening website is advertising plants with large, soft leaves that can be used for certain hygienic purposes …


We of course are under a stay at home law here in louisiana.I have had psoriatic arthritis/Psoriasis for almost two years.i take no meds at all for it.i use over the counter meds. My immune system stays overactive so i am wondering if that will prevent me,or hurt me from getting the corona virus.i have has injections before,and they done me no good.any thought,ideas,suggestions will be appreciated.Stay safe everyone.God bless you.

My boyfriend’s job has moved him to remote work, which is wonderful. My job on the other hand, I am not capable of doing from home but I have decided to take un-paid leave. I feel much more comfortable at home and sanitizing meticulously every time he has to leave the house. I’m so thankful that my job has let me take this leave, even though it is un-paid. I would rather be without income than putting myself at serious risk. I’ve been staying in contact with my family through the phone. My boyfriend and I are pretty introverted anyways, so this isn’t too detrimental to our lives. Tomorrow I go for an infusion and the office isn’t allowing any person other than the patient in the office and they have triage nurses on site as well. I’m glad they’re taking some serious precautions to protect us very vulnerable people that are entering. I wish you ALL safety and comfort.


I think it’s uncertain for all of us, whether we take meds or not, the best thing we can do is act like we are high-risk, and keep supporting others in online and other low-risk ways.


My guess is making your immune system behave more normally is a good thing with this virus. :hugs:

This!! Absolutely.

So many pronouncements about this virus and its effects are prefaced with phrases such as ‘this is a new virus which we don’t know much about but …’

I now take most notice of the first bit.

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