Being disabled in a pandemic is exhausting. I know that I need to work to maintain social connections, but that is exhausting. One minute I have the energy to schedule a zoom happy hour or a socially distanced movie on the deck (my family invested in a projector for outside movies at the beginning of the summer; solid choice), and the next thing I know I am too tired and end up canceling. This is a new development for me since March. I used to do things, a lot. I was always hanging out with friends, going on adventures, and instagramming about accessible bathrooms. I have always been active and involved in my community. Now I just tweet angrily about disability rights issues, but that’s a different blog post... this blog post is about staying social while in isolation due to being high risk for COVID.
So on those rare occasions, when I do have the energy to socialize, I try to keep doing the same things I would do in real life. For example, in April my friends and I decided to have a paint and wine night over Zoom. We all had our supplies and crafted and chatted for a couple of hours; it was almost as if we were in the same room.
I’ve had other ideas too, and I hope that if you aren’t too exhausted and find yourself in need of socialization you can use these with your friends!
If you used to like going to get ice cream with friends search “no churn ice cream recipes” on Pinterest and hop on a Zoom call and make a mess with our friends!
You can start a virtual book club, and discuss a book you all read. Or everyone can talk about what they’re reading now.
Spa nights are also easy to do virtually. Order some face masks from Target and give yourself a manicure.
And there’s always games you can play together online, such as jackbox or a virtual escape room; although these might not be affordable for everyone.
If you have other ideas, leave them in the comments!
I hope you are all staying as safe and happy as possible.
I have Spinal Muscular Atrophy, and I’m in my mid 20s. I started a business to help people become more understanding of life with a disability.
Born, raised and college degreed in St. Louis, I have a Bachelor’s in Rehabilitation Services from Maryville University and a Master’s in Public Administration from Saint Louis University. Even though I have been working since I was 15, I still have time for fun. My favorite activities are playing Power Soccer, reading, swimming, going to Disney World, and watching a whole lot of Netflix. My favorite place on earth is Disney World. “Why” you ask. Because Disney is one of the most accessible places on earth, and I believe that everywhere should (and could) be as accessible and friendly as Disney.
The truth is, disability awareness and accessibility is easier to reach than you think. That’s why I started Sarah Jean Solutions: Approachable Accessibility & Empowering Events to make help EVERYONE:
- become really familiar with what it is like to have a disability
- find innovative, affordable solutions to any environmental accessibility problems or concerns; and
- assist in planning amazing events that everybody can enjoy
What most people don’t understand about living independently with a disability is that it involves a whole lot of planning and a whole lot of laughter.