Keeping in touch with your home country during the pandemic

  • video call
    Shutterstock.com
Article
Published 2020-04-21 09:00

For many, lockdown means complete isolation, bringing along a feeling of loneliness, especially when you have moved abroad. How can you keep in touch with your friends and family and stay informed about what's going on in your home country during the pandemic? We've got you some tips.

Follow the global news

We’re not just talking about online newspapers, but also radio stations and TV shows that you can follow anywhere in the world, like Paul, a British expatriate in Indonesia. “I enjoy listening to BBC Radio 4 and the BBC world service - both lived streamed by Auntie Beeb for free. Their 'Listen again' podcasts are very handy as you don't have to care about schedules. ”

Also, keep an eye on what's happening in your home country and city -- and try to discuss the news with your friends and family. Show interest in what's happening around them, especially your parents who might be worried about your being alone abroad, or who might be feeling lonely. As the duration of lockdown in many countries is being extended, you will certainly want to make sure that everyone is fine. 

Stay active on social networks

Today, social networks are the most efficient of staying up to date on what's going on around the world. Facebook, Messenger and Whatsapp are the most popular applications. You cal follow the news feed of your friends and contacts anywhere in the world, but also to subscribe to groups and pages which are more specific about COVID-19 in your home country or city, so you're not likely to miss anything.

Applications like Skype, Messenger and Whatsapp allow you to make free audio and video calls anywhere in the world, like Estelle, a French expat in Italy. "Apart from working from home, I keep in touch with as many people as possible, my boyfriend who does not live in the same city, my family back in France and my friends by message, calls, Skype etc".

Plan a get-together

Not satisfied with a few phone calls to your loved ones? Improvise! Even though you're miles apart, nothing can stop you from having a drink together and share some nice moments. Make some snacks and plan a family get-together on Skype or Whatsapp. 

Today, apps like Zoom are becoming more and more popular. You just have to send invitations to your friends or family members, and anyone can join in at any time. What's more, everyone will be able to see one another on a single screen. Looking for some more fun activities? Plan a workout evening or online yoga classes together. 

For even more fun activities, try Houseparty! This app works like a virtual club, so pump up the volume and party with your friends and family online, but without disturbing the people next door.

Be present at all times

For some, like Simon, a British expat in Austria, nothing has really changed regarding keeping in touch, even though the situation is alarming. "I still watch the news, I can still call my family on the phone. There is Facebook, also." In any case, travelling abroad is not allowed as most borders are still closed, so even though you would like to be with your family back home, there's nothing much you can do. Just make sure that you're always present whenever they might be needing someone to talk.