Due to the spread of COVID-19, our friendships have become long-distance friendships. We’re actively avoiding physical contact and trying not to meet up. That’s hard, especially when you have something to celebrate!
This week EBYR is celebrating the release of Letters from Bear, the story of two long-distance friends. (We didn’t realize how timely the story would be!) Bird flies south for the winter, and Bear hates being apart. So Bear starts on a journey to join Bird, sending letters along the way.
While now isn’t the time for a road trip, we can still be like Bear and Bird, caring for our friends even while far apart. Here are a few lessons for socially distanced friends from Letters from Bear.
Send a letter! Reach out to friends who are far(ther) away.
Maybe, like Bear, you’d like to start writing letters. (At this time, the CDC states that the coronavirus is unlikely to spread through mail. Please check the CDC’s website for updated recommendations.) Write notes to your neighbors, especially elderly people or people who might live alone. You can also type up long emails or drop off “letters” outside your family members’ doors.
Talk about your day, draw a picture, or write a poem. Scribble down a quote from your favorite book or the recipe for your favorite treat. If you can go outside, use your five senses to describe what’s around you: the smell of the flowers, the songs of the birds, the way your hair lifts in the breeze. For people who are homebound, this might be their only way to experience spring!
Help out the people you meet along the way.
In Letters from Bear, Bear meets some of Bird’s friends, and they help Bear figure out how to reach Bird at last. While staying at home, you might long for your closest friends—like Bear longs for Bird. But close friendships aren’t a reason to ignore other people. Learn something new about your parents, your grandparents, your siblings, or the other people in your household. What friends are they missing right now? What do they share with those friends—inside jokes, favorite hobbies, or old memories?
When you finally reunite, celebrate!
Bear doesn’t know how long the journey will last, and we don’t know how long we’ll need to physically distance ourselves from each other. But when Bear and Bird finally reunite, they know it’s time to celebrate! While you’re waiting for normal life to resume, what fun can you plan?