Since it’s the most critical tool to fight community spread of the COVID-19 virus, social distancing quickly became the pandemic’s buzzword. But because most of use thrive on social interaction, limiting or avoiding it altogether has been challenging. Thankfully, there are a few virtual ways for us to stay in touch with our family and friends.

  1. Zoom Brunches, Lunches and Dinners: You may not be able to go out to eat with your loved ones, but video conferencing platforms like Zoom give you face to face interaction over your favourite takeout or home-cooked fare. Since the pandemic started, Zoom sign-ups have boomed. While most are work-related, many tech-savvy social butterflies use the platform for drink-ups and link-ups with their friends. So, while you keep yourself and others safe, there’s no need to be on your own. Add a Zoom call to your social calendar, and catch up with your friends.
  2. Live Stream Performances: Miss hearing your favourite artists live? With Instagram and Facebook you can still enjoy quality live music in the comfort of your own home. Digicel Jamaica’s recently launched “Digicel Unplugged” series, for example, lets viewers watch popular artistes live from their yard. Stars like Beenie Man, Bounty Killer and Koffee have streamed across Digicel’s social media platforms and its “D Music” app stars. The Mother’s Day edition featured the beautiful Sevana and legendary Freddie McGregor.
  3. Online book clubs: “Bookstagram” may not be a familiar word to many, but if you’re a Jamaican bibliophile, you should already be in the know. Full of well-read Jamaican book lovers, Jamaica’s “bookstagram” also has several online book clubs that enjoy books by Caribbean authors or those of Caribbean descent. If you’re an avid Jamaican reader looking to connect with other book lovers for good conversation, these virtual meetups are a godsend. Based in Trinidad and Tobago, Jamaican bookstagrammer “BookofCinz" started her book club to “create awareness for Caribbean Literature and Caribbean Authors.”  You can join her and other Jamaican (and Caribbean) book lovers on Zoom on the last Tuesday of each month at 6 pm to discuss that month’s book pick. This month, they’ll review “The Ghosts are Family” by Maisy Card, a Jamaican-born author, so get signed up quickly to take part in the riveting discourse!

Stay safe and connected!