How to Hang Out with Your Friends During the Coronavirus Crisis

The latest coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak has forced many people to socially distance themselves from others to prevent viral transmission. Even if you feel isolated from your friends during this tough time, you can still spend time with them safely over the Internet. If you and your friends feel healthy, you can try getting together in person, but be sure to limit your group size and the amount of physical contact between you.


[Edit]Staying Connected

  1. Send text messages to keep in touch with one another. Either send individual messages or make a group chat if you want to involve all of your friends. Reach out to your friends often and ask them how they’re doing. Limit how much you talk about coronavirus so you don’t feel anxious or stressed out by it. Instead, try playing fun games like 20 Questions, Would You Rather, or Never Have I Ever to pass the time and get your mind off the emotional toll of this turbulent situation. [1]
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    • You can use your phone’s standard messaging app, or you can use apps like Facebook Messenger, WhatsApp, or another texting service.
    • Reach out to extroverted people that you usually see out in public since they may be having a more difficult time adjusting to social distancing.
  2. Use social media to reach out to all of your friends. Post statuses or photos on apps like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or Snapchat so if you want to communicate with all of your friends at the same time. Write something to let your friends know that you’re doing okay or update them about what’s happening in your life. Try to share funny images or posts to help lighten the mood. You can also send direct messages to individual friends or groups of people if you want to communicate more privately.[2]
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    • Social media is a great way to reach friends that you only see occasionally.
  3. Call your friends on the phone to hear their voices. While messaging a friend is a nice gesture, it can be comforting for you to hear each other’s voices. Give your friend a call to see if they answer. Ask your friend how they’re doing and have a casual conversation with them to catch up. You can also try playing games over the phone, such as Would You Rather or telling a story 1 sentence at a time, to help pass the time and have fun.[3]
    Hang Out with Your Friends During the Coronavirus Crisis Step 3.jpg
    • Many messaging apps, like WhatsApp and Skype, also offer free voice calling services so you can still contact your friends if you don’t have phone service.
  4. Try a video chat service when you want to see your friends. Even if you can’t see your friends in person, you can still spend face-to-face time together from your phone or a webcam. Make 1-on-1 calls if you only want to talk to one friend, or try doing a group call so you can see multiple friends at the same time. Have fun together by telling stories, playing charades, or trying to draw each other.[4]
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    • Try using apps like Skype, Discord, Marco Polo, or FaceTime.
    • Some text messaging apps, like Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp, also offer video chat services.
    • Leave your video chat running in the background while you do other things around your home so you can chat with your friends throughout the day.
  5. Write letters to your friends for a more personal way to communicate. Take time to write your letter by hand since it will show that you sincerely care about your friend. Try asking thought-provoking questions or just describing how you’re feeling to them. You may also try making a collaborative art project or story where each person adds a little bit before sending it again.[5]
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    • You can also exchange personal emails if you’re unable to send physical letters.
    • Try planning out what you want to say on a scrap sheet of paper or word document so you don’t make any mistakes when writing your letter.
    • If you don’t know your friend’s address, ask them. Otherwise, try looking it up online if you want your letter to be a surprise.

[Edit]Planning Remote Activities Together

  1. Host an online movie night if you want to watch something together. Try to find a time when you and your friends have a few hours of free time, and decide on a movie you all enjoy that’s available to stream online. Once you each have the movie loaded up, count down together so you all click the play button at the same time so it’s synced up. Comment on the movie or make jokes so you can have fun together.[6]
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    • There are many browser extensions, such as Kast or Netflix Party, that automatically sync the movie so you’re all watching it at the same time.
    • You can also use Facebook Watch, but you can only watch videos that have been uploaded to Facebook.
  2. Play video games online if you and your friends have the same systems. Many video games have online cooperative or competitive modes, so find out what games you and your friends both own. As you communicate, talk about your days and make jokes to help lighten the mood. Make sure you also plan and strategize about the game so you all can win together.[7]
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    • You can still play online games even if you don’t have voice chat.
    • If you don’t have a strong Internet connection, you may disconnect from your friends or experience lag.
  3. Try digital board games for a friendly competition. Many board games have dedicated mobile and web apps that help streamline gameplay so they’re easier to learn. Start a voice or video chat with your friends and choose a board game app to play. Try a variety of game genres, such as goofy party games or fun strategy games, to see what works best in your group.[8]
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    • If you want to play standard board games, try using sites and apps like Tabletopia or Tabletop Simulator.
    • If you want to play a roleplaying game like Dungeons & Dragons, you can use sites like Roll20 to run your campaign.
  4. Enjoy a virtual happy hour if you want to have drinks with friends. Start a video chat with your friends when you all finish work for the day and have a drink. Use the time to talk about your day and socialize with one another like you normally would at a bar or restaurant. Spend as long as you want together, but be sure to drink responsibly.[9]
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    • Don’t drink alcohol if you’re feeling sick since it may make you feel worse.
  5. Cook or enjoy meals over video chat to relax and destress with friends. Pick a recipe with your friends that you’re all able to make at the same time. Set up a video call in your kitchen with your friends so you can all cook at the same time and chat about it. Share any cooking tips or adjustments you made to the recipe with your friends to help them out. When you finish cooking, eat together over the video chat so you can talk about the flavors and carry on casual conversation.[10]
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    • Try picking simple recipes that only require a few ingredients so you don’t have to go out and buy groceries.

[Edit]Getting Together in Person

  1. Avoid going out and seeing others if you feel sick. If you have a fever, shortness of breath, coughing, or sneezing, opt to stay home and let your friends know that you’re not feeling well. Take time to rest and distance yourself from other people so you don’t spread any bacteria to other people. Continue monitoring your symptoms and contact a doctor if you start feeling worse or your condition doesn’t improve within 2 weeks.[11]
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    • Coronavirus can spread even if you aren’t showing symptoms, so use caution when planning to meet up with friends in person.
  2. Keep your group less than 10 people. Since coronavirus spreads easily through the air, it’s more likely to transmit in large gatherings. If you’re planning get-togethers, only plan for a maximum of 10 people so you’re less likely to catch COVID-19. Make sure each of your friends feels healthy as well before getting together with them to reduce the chance of infection.[12]
    Hang Out with Your Friends During the Coronavirus Crisis Step 12.jpg
  3. Try planning outdoor activities so you have more room to spread out. It may be hard to give people personal space if everyone is inside, so look for things you can do outside. Try biking or hiking so you can split up and space yourselves out to prevent transmission more. Avoid activities that have a lot of physical contact, like sports, since you can spread bacteria more.[13]
    Hang Out with Your Friends During the Coronavirus Crisis Step 13.jpg
  4. Limit physical contact between you and your friends when you’re together. Avoid shaking hands or hugging one another while you’re together. Instead, give each other personal space to keep everyone safe. If you’re providing food and drink, make sure everyone has their own plate and drink. Wash your hands frequently and encourage your friends to do the same to prevent any bacteria from spreading.[14]
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    • Don’t share any dining ware with another person to limit any viral transmission.
  5. Disinfect surfaces once your friends leave to keep things clean. Use a disinfectant that is registered by the EPA or has at least 70% alcohol content to ensure that you kill viruses and bacteria effectively. Clean any surface that someone touched or came into contact with using soapy water before spraying them with your disinfectant.[15]
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    • Wash your hands for 20 seconds immediately after you clean to kill any germs left on your hands.



  • Reach out to your friends frequently to make sure they’re doing okay while social distancing.[16]
  • Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds after blowing your nose, sneezing, coughing, or going out in public to limit how much you spread bacteria.[17]
  • The bright side of hanging out with friends virtually is that despite technological glitches, it may take much less effort and hassle than traveling to go see them (and you don't emit the C02 that you would from driving!).


  • If you feel sick, avoid going out in public unless you’re seeking medical care. Wear a facemask if you have one to help prevent transmitting bacteria to others.[18]
  • Coronavirus can spread even if you aren’t showing symptoms so use caution if you’re planning on meeting your friends in person.[19]

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