As COVID-19 spreads, the main advice has been to work remote, avoid mass transit, and wash your hands to greatly reduce the number of people infected. But while these preventative measures are crucial, the natural tendency to self-isolate in a time of crisis can also multiply the sense of panic.

Shutdowns impact everybody from freelancers to small businesses to students. And nothing can feel lonelier than everyone receding into their respective homes, at a time when we feel the most vulnerable.

That’s why it’s so important to maintain a strong sense of community. The best thing we can do is to reach out and help each other, whether by calling our family members to make sure everyone’s up to date on safety protocol, to starting a group chat with friends in case they need anything. Dropping a line helps everyone know who to go to or what to do if they need anything, even if it's just a greater sense of emotional support.

Knowing that we can help someone or that someone can help us lifts our moods. Yes, it’s important to keep away from largely crowded areas and opt to work from home, but there are ways to keep a safe distance without sacrificing the togetherness we need now more than ever.