Connecting from a Distance: How students keep in touch with friends in the midst of a pandemic

"Please Keep Your Distance - Social Distancing Poster" by CartridgePeopleUK is licensed under CC BY 2.0

For many, social distancing measures during the coronavirus is a necessary practice, but also a boring one.

The idea of spending months away from friends and public services can seem overwhelmingly mundane and tedious to some, but students at Loudoun Valley High School have adapted to social distancing measures and found their own ways of keeping in touch with friends.

For rising senior Sawyer Peterson, distancing with friends can also be a great workout. When she’s not FaceTiming or texting with friends, Peterson can be seen riding her bike with them while social distancing.

This solution has multiple benefits. Spending time with friends while exercising releases endorphins and helps the human body stay in shape, improving both mental and physical health—both of which are important, especially during times like these.

“We’re not locked in our house all day, but also get exercise in a fun way,” Peterson said.

Rising sophomore Kyla Aubertin Facetimes her friends as well, but also does stationary in-person activities with her friends, always at least 10 feet apart. When she isn’t spending time with her older sister Calen, who is home from college during the pandemic, and younger brother Elijah, Aubertin connects with friends by painting, reading, tanning, listening to music, ignoring school work, doing chores and more. According to Aubertin, doing these everyday activities while still distancing gets her mind off of the pandemic and today’s events.

“It just helps normalize the situation a bit and makes me feel less isolated,” Aubertin said.

Rising sophomore Logan Moseley prefers to communicate virtually, as opposed to distancing in-person. He texts and Snapchats his friends, and keeps in contact with them through video games. When Moseley and his friends do spend time together in person, they remain outdoors and six feet apart, watching TV shows and having fun together.

For him, communicating with peers helps ease the stresses of quarantine until social distancing orders are removed. As difficult as it may be to have to stay six feet away while socializing with other people, it is safer and far better than being completely isolated from the outside world.

“We all want to be with friends, but it helps just to keep in touch,” Moseley said.