How to maintain connections during the COVID-19 pandemic

Hannah McDonnell, Staff Writer

As the one year anniversary of the COVID-19 virus hits the United States, we are still trying to navigate the struggle of staying connected with people and starting new connections. Making friends and connections is already a hurdle new students have to jump over and with quarantine, that hurdle becomes even higher.

Once you make friendships, options for hanging out are still limited while being socially distanced. Here is a list of things you can do with your newfound friends.

Movie Share

Many streaming services like Disney+ and Netflix have incorporated a movie share option so even if you are not in close proximity with your friend, you can still enjoy some quality time while watching your favorite movies and shows. In order to movie share on Netflix, both parties will need their own accounts. There are also many separate apps that will allow movie share with different streaming services.

Weekly Night-In’s 

If long distance isn’t for you and your friends, it is still possible to have one or two friends over to hang out in your room and watch movies or play video games. Plan a night of the week dedicated to spending time with your friends. You can have movie nights with movie themed snacks. You can also play video games to exercise those thumbs or play interactive games like Just Dance so you can exercise the rest of your body. This will provide a weekly escape from stress and allow you to bond with your friends while also getting you some exercise.

Visit a Small Business

In order to break loose from cabin fever, invite a friend to go get a cup of coffee or go take a look around an antique shop. There are tons of small businesses in Wilmington that don’t attract a lot of traffic so social distance is a piece of cake. This will not only help support small, local businesses but it will also give you and your friends some retail therapy.

Take a Walk

Another way to cure cabin fever and get some exercise is to go on a walk through a park or just around campus. Spring and warm weather is just around the corner so this is the perfect time to experience the trees blooming and the Earth coming alive. Walking is not only a great form of exercise but it gives you and your friend an opportunity to bond and get to know each other better.

Start or Join a Club

Another good way to connect with your friends and also make new friends is to join a club; a book, yoga, hiking or Pilates club. There are plenty of clubs on campus and other local clubs. But if there are no local or campus clubs that peak your interest, you can always start your own unique club! Even if the club you join or the club you create isn’t in person, Zoom or other video communication is still a great way to make new connections. 


Getting a pen pal is a great way for you or your friends to reconnect with old friends or even make a new friend, nearby or across the globe. Writing handwritten letters may take more time but it also takes more effort and care, making it all the more personal on many levels. There are pen pal platforms similar to dating apps that use an algorithm in order to match like minded people so they can get to know each other and make connections.