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5 Ways Tech Can Make Social Distancing Easier

April 1, 2020 

Social distancing has impacted our access to the people, places, and things we need and enjoy. But technology provides ways to help us cope with the challenges and stay safe.

Financial Advisors: This article is based off of our popular 5 Ways Technology Will Change How You Age module. Click here to access additional content to share.

Social distancing, isolation, community lockdowns… we’ve been advised to take extreme precautions to protect ourselves and others from COVID-19, disrupting our lives in ways that we never anticipated. Many are not only anxious about contracting the virus, but also about not having access to the people, places, and things they need and enjoy.

Fortunately, technology offers a multitude of ways for us to meet some of the challenges we’re facing and maintain some semblance of the lives we’re used to. We’ve compiled a list of technology tools and articles to help you adapt to our current way of living.

 

number1

Staying Connected

Social isolation can leave us longing for the human connection we need and crave. But many are using apps and devices in new and creative ways to communicate and remain connected with friends, loved ones, and the world.

 

VIDEO

Group Video Calls on Zoom, Skype, Google Hangouts, Houseparty

Now a popular way to communicate and socialize with family and friends, video calls are being used for a variety of virtual get-togethers, such as birthday celebrations, book clubs, and even choir practice

Amazon Echo Show

Can be used for hands-free video chatting and, more importantly, remote check-ins on aging or ill family and friends. The device owner can provide remote access to the video camera so their loved ones can keep a protective eye on them.

TALKING TO CHILDREN

Tips from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)

How parents, school staff, and others working with children can discuss the virus

 

number2

Getting Stuff You Need

Apps can give you access to basic necessities such as food and medicine. Aside from having enough food for two weeks on hand, consider non-perishables that won’t spoil while in storage.

 

GROCERIES*

Staying Safe When Running Errands

Tips for protecting yourself from illness when running essential errands

Grocery Delivery Services

Grocery delivery apps give you the option to shop online and have your groceries delivered or you can pick them up at the store

(COVID-19 has caused unprecedented demand for groceries. Therefore, wait times for delivery or pickup may be longer than expected. Due to shortages, you may not get your complete order at once.)

Use Mobile Payment

If you have to go to a store, paying with cash or credit cards increases the risk of spreading germs. Instead, use your phone to make contactless payments. Currently, the most popular systems are Apple Pay, Google Pay and Samsung Pay—look for those logos when checking out at the register.

MEAL-KIT DELIVERY*

Meal Kit Delivery Services

Delivery services that provide the ingredients for complete meals

RESTAURANT DELIVERY*

Restaurant Delivery Services

Don’t feel like cooking? Get meals delivered from a range of restaurants. You can support local businesses by ordering from restaurants in your community.

Safety Tips

Safety measures for ordering in during the coronavirus pandemic

MEDICATIONS

Tips for Mail-Order Prescription Services

It’s advised that you have prescriptions on hand for a month’s worth of any medication you may need. See if your health insurance plan offers a mail-order option.

Pillpack

Full-service online pharmacy packages your medication and delivers it to your door every month

*Refer to CDC and U.S Food and Drug Administration guidelines.

 

number3

Staying Healthy

Being confined and sedentary can make it difficult to get physical exercise. Many fitness professionals and organizations are now offering a wide variety of free online fitness classes. Check YouTube and other social media platforms, or your preferred app store, to find one that appeals to you.

 

GUIDANCE

CDC

Google COVID-19 Information and Resources

Apple’s COVID-19 Website

The CDC is the leading national public health institute of the United States. They explain the symptoms of COVID-19 and how to protect yourself against it.

EXERCISE

6 Minute Workout

Three short workout videos from The New York Times will get your heart pumping and give you a full-body workout without a trip to the gym

Planet Fitness Workouts

YouTube offers workout videos from this popular gym

Nike Training Club

Free app provides workouts for everything from bodyweight-only sessions, invigorating yoga classes, targeted training programs, and full-equipment home workouts for all fitness levels

TELEMEDICINE/ TELEHEALTH

What Is Telemedicine

Telehealth Providers

Need medical care but can’t reach a provider? Telehealth apps can connect you with a health care provider from the comfort of your home. Wait time may be longer than normal due to COVID-19. The average cost is $79 per visit, possibly less depending on your health insurance plan. Check with your insurer regarding if/how telemedicine is covered under your particular policy.

 

 

number4

Entertainment

Stave off boredom—see, hear, and experience new things without leaving home.

 

TV STREAMING

TV Streaming Services

See the pros, cons, and pricing for top streaming services

Netflix Party

Netflix Party is a new way to watch Netflix with your friends online. Netflix Party synchronizes video playback and adds a group chat to your favorite Netflix shows.

BOOKS

The New York Times Best Sellers

This list authoritatively ranks books sold in the United States, sorted by format and genre

VIRTUAL TOURS

Google Arts & Culture

View artwork from famous museums around the world

San Diego Zoo Live Cams and Houston Zoo Live Cams

Watch live cams of koalas, elephants, pandas, polar bears, and more

Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History

Take self-guided, room-by-room tours of select exhibits

Google Earth National Parks

Map and satellite imagery masters at Google Earth have put together a series of guided virtual tours of 31 national parks around the country

PERFORMANCES

BroadwayHD

View hundreds of productions online, from Shakespeare to Tony Award-winning blockbusters. $8.99 USD/mo. (after a 7-day free trial)

Living Room Concerts

Broadway performers launch a series of free living-room concerts

The Metropolitan Theater

The Metropolitan Theater in NY is offering free nightly operas

The Social Distancing Festival

See visual arts, dance, concerts, opera, and theatre created to showcase online art projects that were canceled due to the coronavirus

PODCASTS

Recommended by The New York Times Podcast Club

Get top podcast recommendations from this Facebook group of more than 32,000 members who often debate and recommend podcasts

Top 100 Podcasts

This list of the top 100 podcasts in the US on Apple Podcasts (iTunes) is updated every few days

 

number5

Increase Your Knowledge

Less time commuting means more time to increase your knowledge and skills. Even the kids can learn while having fun.

 

IDEAS FOR ADULTS

TED Talks

Watch influential videos from expert speakers on education, business, science, tech and creativity

Coursera

Build skills with courses from top universities such as Yale, Michigan, Stanford, and leading companies such as Google and IBM

EdX

Access 2,000 free online courses from 140 leading institutions worldwide

IDEAS FOR CHILDREN

Khan Academy

Learn from expert-created content and resources for every course and level, all for free

ABCmouse.com

Kids ages two through eight can learn an array of subjects or $59.95/yr

Early Childhood Education Zone

Kids ages two through eight can learn an array of subjects or $59.95/yr

Science Mom on YouTube

This channel offers science lessons for kids and virtual experiments

edhelper.com

Print free workbooks for preschool through high school levels

The Best Ideas for Kids

Get craft ideas and activities for kids and resources for parents

MagicBlox

Access kids’ books for free online

National Geographic Kids

Read about animals, science, history, and geography; includes games and videos

GoNoodle

Free movement and mindfulness videos created by child development experts

Wonderopolis

Curious kids can enter a question in the “Wonder Bank” and get a detailed explanation return

 

StarBonus

(Bonus) Volunteering

Studies show that volunteering is connected to better physical and mental health, which can suffer when we’re under stress. Consider helping from a distance and experience the reward of serving others.

 

AARP Volunteer Opportunities

Offers ways for you to help your community that can be done from home or remotely

Meals on Wheels

Program that delivers meals to older people who are home-bound anticipates increased demand during the outbreak. Some chapters are looking for healthy volunteers who can make deliveries during the coronavirus outbreak. Many volunteers also keep in touch with seniors at a distance through “telephone reassurance” programs.

All for Good

Volunteer opportunities from multiple sites are pooled together to provide the most comprehensive database in the world. It includes options to volunteer from home.

VolunteerMatch

Virtual and on-site volunteer opportunities to aid communities impacted by COVID-19

 

Next Steps

  1. Email this article or share it on Facebook, LinkedIn or Twitter
  2. To stay connect with friends and family, try ideas in section 1, “Staying Connected”
  3. Decide which of the five categories are the most challenging right now. Explore and try the tools in those areas this week.


Links from this page to a non-Hartford Funds site are provided for users’ convenience only. Hartford Funds does not control or review these sites nor does the provision of any link imply an endorsement or association of such non-Hartford Fund sites. Hartford Funds is not responsible for and makes no representation or warranty regarding the contents, completeness or accuracy or security of any materials on such sites. If you decide to access such non-Hartford Funds sites, you do so at your own risk.

The information in this presentation is provided for informational purposes only. Hartford Mutual Funds may or may not be invested in the companies referenced herein; however, no endorsement of any product or service is being made.

Hartford Funds Distributors, LLC, Member FINRA.

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