During our time of ‘sheltering at home’ and physical distancing BTM’s Youth Ambassador Coordinator, Johnathan Rodriguez-Baez was working to help the youth in our community think about how to stay socially healthy through long-distance relationships. And it turns out, some of the suggestions he offered may serve equally well as we continue to live through this pandemic and adjust to the financial impacts.
Of course, Johnathan was offering ideas for dates via video chat. It just so happens that a number of these can also serve as low cost dating ideas for times when we can safely meet up in person. Johnathan’s list of things to do together included: watching a movie or a series, painting, reading, cooking, and drinking a cup of coffee. Then came the free concerts which, by the way, won’t be limited to online forever – keep your ears open for local options. Until then, expand Johnathan’s list with things like taking a hike on one of the many local trails, volunteer together, shoot some hoops, download a karaoke app and sing your hearts out together, plan a board game night. Go to the library where you can borrow movies, music, and/or books! Be tourists for a day and explore Greater Reading as you’ve never been here before (www.visitpaamericana.com). Google ‘messy Twister’ and muck it up!
Mixed in with the pain, suffering, losses, and grief are some coronavirus pandemic perks: a renewed appreciation for being with those we love and care about, but from whom we have had to be physically distant in recent months; financial hardships that can push us to be creative in ways we may not have imagined possible; and a reawakening to the realization that our community is interconnected and interdependent. May these blessings grow and long outlast the pandemic.
By Nadine J. Smet-Weiss, Community Liaison
Translation: Johnathan Rodriguez-Baez and Ana Villaman