Humans — by nature— are social creatures. In a pandemic staying social is just as important as physical health. 

While keeping physically distant is important to prevent the spread of COVID-19, video chat platforms make it easy to connect with friends socially while being safe. Here are a few activities to help stay connected with your friends online. 

Uno

The classic card game Uno has brought friends together for decades. What’s better than being able to play it online?

Setting up a game is easy. All you have to do is go to https://play.unofreak.com/create and have one player set up the game by going to the “Join a Game” tab. There you can also control what rules are set. You can even set how many cards each player holds in the round. Then, just create a password, send the link and let the game begin.

There should be a minimum of four players and the platform allows for a maximum of ten players. The object of the game is simple, lose all your cards by matching either color or number. There are a few special cards that can disadvantage other players by adding more cards to the next player or reversing the playing order. Once you are on your final card, you have a limited amount of time to press the Uno! button.  

Netflix Party

Nothing connects people more than their favorite TV shows and movies. Netflix Party is a free downloadable chrome extension, allowing you and your friends to watch a movie as if you were in the same room. There is also an extension available through Firefox.

In order for it to work everyone has to have the extension. Once you download the extension, choose what you’d like to watch then click on the NP icon in the search bar. Then, NP will create a link to send to your friends. Everyone who wants to join has to press the NP button after they click the link.  A chatroom will also open, allowing you to talk during the program. 

Happy Hour

For those above the age of 21, bars are a common place to connect with friends on the weekend. 

Connecting with people over a cocktail or mocktail can ease your quarantine boredom. 

JackBox

Jackbox games are a set of party games and party packs that you can play remotely. They can be bought on Steam or on their website. There are a variety of party packs that have different remote games. 

In order to participate, one person needs to host the game and everyone else goes to jackbox.tv to enter a code that will allow them to join the game on a device that can access the internet.  The instructions to the game and the main events happen on the screen that everyone is watching from, but your phone or other internet device is where each player can input their choices and answers.

Cards Against Humanity

For those who share a good sense of humor, this is for you. This game is similar to Apples to Apples but with a twist, the prompts and responses are filled with crude humor.

A maximum of six people can play the game, but it is best played with a minimum of four players. Players take turns playing cards according to the prompt. Each turn one player sits out, serving as the judge and choosing the best card that fits the prompt. 

An online version to play with friends is available at https://allbad.cards

Shop for each other

With many brick and mortar stores closed, a lot of businesses have to rely on online orders. This especially includes small businesses that are hurting the most during the pandemic. 

Why not support local businesses while also connecting with your friends? Buy a gift to brighten someone’s day while also helping stores within your community. Not only are you stimulating the economy, you are also taking some retail therapy. 

Taking a virtual tour

Art and history can spark interesting discussion. While it’s not the same as visiting the Detroit Institute of Arts in person, their complete collection is available on their website. Share your favorite pieces with friends and also take a deeper dive to understand more about the art and the artist.


Gledis Bitraj is a contributing writer for The South End. She can be reached at go9601@wayne.edu.