So what do you do when you can't leave the house and everything from the outside world feels contaminated? Well, you use the internet for everything.
Like everyone else, we're working from home, which of course means a lot of virtual meetings on Zoom, Slack, and a variety of other platforms. We've also had some telehealth virtual doctor's appointments, and my son's speech therapist is now online as well.
Our kids teachers are making themselves available to videoconference, which has been terrific. The principal sends out near-daily video greetings, and the teachers video-chat when they can.
My mom has been doing FaceTime art lessons with my daughter, the results of which (on real paper!) have been pretty spectacular so far. We had a virtual dinner with my wife's parents the other night as well.
The kids really miss their friends so we set up a virtual playdate today which was reasonably successful although my son and his friend were kind-of unclear on the concept of talking with each other (they're 4, and rambunctious, so sitting still in front of a screen doesn't come naturally.) My daughter has made some new friends on Facebook Messenger for Kids, though again I think she's a little too young to really use it effectively.
And I spent a while loading up ebooks onto my daughter's iPad. She's a voracious reader, and this seemed like a good way to keep her well-stocked with books without needing to bring more stuff into the house.
As terrible as this is right now, I can't imagine how much worse it would be without these ways of communicating with each other. It has its downsides like the barrage of terrible news that seems unavoidable, but being able to maintain contact with the outside world while holed up inside is a godsend.