Alone Together

Alone Together
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These are uncertain times for our health, economies and societies. We're alone, but we're in this together.

Most of our conversations, the news and daily lives are about the pandemic. Voices of both hope and fear, flooding the news and social media. 

I worry how this information overload is impacting my mental well-being. The reason for this is that, while I usually am someone who loves being at home, I now have this urge to get out and connect.

It’s hard to avoid the conversations about things “going back to normal”. But I may be pessimistic, but it’s hard for me to imagine that after living with this for months, maybe a year or more, that things can go back to normal. Because the experience that we have now will change us for the rest of our lives.

Purely out of a selfish cocern for myself during this, because I just lost my job and am experiencing back pain. I’ve decided to compile comforting and useful information to deal with the reality we live in. And also to think of the reality we’ll live with in the future.

I hope this can be useful to someone. And if you have any suggestions, I would love to read them in the comments.

Take care <3

Point of importance

For the sake of organizing, I’ve divided these ideas and resources up into 4 catagories:

  • Considering Safety of Ourselves and Others
  • Mental Well-being when Life Changes
  • How to Rethink Community
  • Work Life and Economies in 2020

This means protecting ourselves and the people around us, from spreading the virus. It’s staying grounded when everything is changing. How to stay connected to our communities and the people we love. And how worklife will be altrered.

Safety

  • Understand the risk.
  • Wash your hands.
  • Avoid physical contact and keep two meter distance.
  • Avoid touching your face.
  • Cough into your elbow.

Avoiding getting sick can be one of the most powerful ways you can help your community during these times. You’re protecting the vulnerable people, and lighten the burden on healthcare institutions.

Some countries and cities have lockdowns, but we can also contribute in our interactions with people, and staying at home. 

The hopsital is not a place I wanted to be during a pandemic, but this is where I found myself not too long ago. During my stay of several hours, I saw two other patients, and three healthcare workers. I had been in this hospital before, this was not normal. Back then it was already a sign of how our hospitals had to completely change in a short period of time.

There is a lot of speculation about what the right approach is. It’s good to remember that we’re all trying to find ways that make sense to us, and everyone around us is doing the same. It’s good to listen to ideas of others, stay curious, and be respectful of the differences.

Similarly different countries have different approaches. And without criticizing the difference, I’m hopeful, knowing that all these different approaches will provide a diversity in data, which could allow us to learn more from this than if we all had the same approach. 

Similarly, if you want to do something for your friends, family or community, I’ve found some free covid awareness icons, which you can use for any awareness project you want to make.

I hope you’re curious to learn more, listen to the medical experts, and stay positive.

Resources

COVID-19 - Google

COVID‑19 Information and Resources. Source: World Health Organization

COVID19 Awareness Icons

300 free vector icons related to hygiene and awareness about the virus.

European Commission Coronavirus Response

The European Commission is coordinating a common European response to the coronavirus outbreak.

Mental Well-being

The abrupt change to our lives, and of the people around us, can be complex for a variety of reasons. You miss your daily routine, and unplanned interaction with people. The world is panicking, and you’re just trying to get some work done with your family around you.

It’s a time in which find creative ways to get along. But just because some people found love from a distance and made a viral tiktok about it, doesn’t mean you have to “super change” your career. A change in life can be very isnpirational but it doesn’t have to be.

Many people are focused on “getting back to normal”, but I don’t think what life was is what life is going to be. We’re not on pause. And over time, the pandemic will not dominate our lives and the news as much as it does now. But we will have changed by then.

And this process is reminiscent to me, of when I experienced depression. Wanting to get back to normal, but also knowing that this wouldn’t be possible, and being sad about that. Mourning the girl I had been, that I no longer felt I could be.

We’re not all experiencing this in the same way, but I can imagine many of us feel like we’re on pause, when in fact we’re not. We should try to have fun, not because right now is an “oppertunity”, but because no matter what we do, we will come out of this experience as changed people.

Anna Sail and the audience of Death, Sex and Money created a fantastic Pandemic Tool Kit with things to read, listen to, watch and think about. Let’s be silly, try something new, build a cake. What we do now is able to inspire the person you will be when all of this is over.

  • Learn a new skill.
  • Make / build something with your hands.
  • Move your body, dance, take walks and exercize.
  • Write about life, journal, doodle and sketch ideas.
  • Make life smaller, give things time, look and architecture a little bit longer, stare at the painting.

Resources

Shannon Morse 30 Day Security Challenge

A 30 day challenge to help you get control over your online security and privacy.

Death, Sex & Money's Pandemic Tool Kit

Suggested things to read, listen to, watch, think about, and more.

How to be Your Best Self in Times of Crisis - TED

"Life's beauty is inseparable from its fragility," says psychologist Susan David.

Tested

Jamie Hyneman and Adam Savage are champions of science and technology.

Top Tips for Isolation, as told by Astronauts

Article by Ben Lamm on LinkedIn.

Well Challenge (6 Min.) Workout - NYT

Three short workout videos will get your heart pumping and give you a full-body workout without a trip to the gym.

Community

Reach out to loved ones.

  • Prepare food with your family.
  • Reach out to loved ones.
  • Help out others if you can do so safely.
  • Be mindful of the stress on the healthcare system.
  • Choose to not be part of the problem.
  • Tweet about connection with strangers.
  • News friends & emotionally check in friends.
  • Everybody has their own rules.

Resources

Disasters and crises bring out the best in us - TED

Now more than ever, in the middle of a pandemic, it’s crucial to remember this.

Folding at Home

[email protected] is a project focused on disease research. Its software allows you to share your unused computer power.

Misinformation Fact Check Guide - The Verge

How to fight lies, tricks, and chaos online.

How to Keep the Greater Good in Mind During the Coronavirus Outbreak - Greater Good

In the midst of our panic around COVID-19, we must look to each other to help us get through it.

I’m Immune Compromised & High Risk COVID19, Mutual Aid is What’s Saving My Life - Medium

I’m Immune Compromised & High Risk COVID19, Mutual Aid is What’s Saving My Life.

The Daily - Special Episode: Alone Together

How people all over the world are facing the crisis — by coming together on the internet.

Work

Worklife is changing, not only because of remote work, but it’s also the large groups of unemployed that have to change their lives. It’s the companies that couldn’t survive a blow to their industry or their businesses. And how a change in hygene and distance will effect day to day work.

  • Dress in work attire and find a dedicated work space.
  • Schedule work blocks and take breaks.
  • Plan a schedule for activities with all in your house, and communicate available time with your work team.
  • Not every call has to be a video call.
  • It’s okay to slow down.
  • Be okay with work and life becoming more intertwined.
  • Set boundaries, but continue exploring. 

Resources

An ode to unsung heroes - TED playlist

These talks honor the selfless and overall wonderful human beings who help us every day.

EU Circular Economy Action Plan

A new Circular Economy Action Plan for a Cleaner and More Competitive Europe.

Google Hangouts Meet

Free access to our advanced Google Meet video-conferencing capabilities for some G Suite customers.

How Science Can Fix Remote Work - WorkLife with Adam Grant

Remote work was a trend that some companies and gig workers were trying out, even as others resisted.

Linda Hill: How to manage for collective creativity - TED

What's the secret to unlocking the creativity hidden inside your daily work, and giving every great idea a chance?

Why we need to move toward an economy that can regenerate itself - TED

The old take-make-use-lose model of industrial design has depleted resources and dumped waste into the environment.

Updates

Anything missing? I’m working on adding more. If you have any suggestions for things that have really helped you, I would really like to hear about it. Stay safe, and take care <3

Origionally posted: April 17, 2020.

Update May 14th, 2020: I’ve come to realize there is a lot more I want to write about on these topics, than I origionally thought. So I am keeping this as is for now. Instead I am going to divide it up into seperate articles and work on seperate itirations in the background.

Laura

Laura Ljungqvist is a Dutch designer working from Sweden. She has a passion for organizing and her drive is ethical design. She's currently available for hire.

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