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How to Stay Connected During This Global Pandemic

By: Morgan Paul

About 95% of Americans are ordered to stay home due to the widespread Coronavirus. People are only allowed to leave their homes if their job is considered essential or if they need essential items, like groceries or medication. This prohibits any physical or social interaction with anyone besides your immediate family. Thanks to modern technology, many platforms, such as Zoom, Google Meet, and Canvas, allow people to stay in touch. 

Half Hollow Hills has been using Canvas to continue our education. Through Canvas, the teachers are able to give us assignments, have chats with us, and host conferences. This technology is allowing students to continue the curriculum from home while staying in touch with their teachers. Teachers are also utilizing Google Meet and Google Classroom to stay in touch with their students. Clubs are also able to keep running with the help of these platforms. For example, Best Buddies, a club that creates friendships between the IPC students and the student volunteers in the club, is continuing virtually  through the conference feature on Canvas. Through Canvas conference, the IPC students are playing games and participating in activities with the student volunteers and the teachers involved with this club. Having this bit of normalcy through socialization during the week is important, and it is fun for everyone. 

Another program called Zoom allows a group call where you can hear and see each other. Zoom allows you to talk for an unlimited number of minutes with an unlimited amount of people if you set up an account. Through Zoom, families and friends are still able to talk, play games, and have fun together. Gyms, dance centers, sports teams, and many other groups get together through Zoom, or an alternative communication device, to stay active together. Many organizations, including the NY Friendship Circle, are also able to continue running programs through Zoom. The NY Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that fosters friendships between the special needs community and the volunteers. The chorus program through the Friendship Circle is also still running through Zoom. Once a week, the participants and the Friendship Circle volunteers come together through Zoom and are able to sing, talk, and dance. It is not quite the same as having the chorus program in person, but it is still a lot of fun and gives everyone something to look forward to during this difficult time. Many other programs, organizations, and communities are able to come together thanks to this technology and are proving that we are stronger than this virus and that we will all get through this difficult time together.

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