There is no escaping the fact that the Coronavirus, or to give it its precise name, COVID-19, has invaded all of our lives over the past few months. The minor annoyances that it may have painted on all of us such as the cancellation of football have given way to greater worries and concerns, such as the health and safety of our loved ones and the security of our jobs.

It would be foolish to brush this off and say it’ll be over in a few weeks – but it’s also important that we don’t all get despondent and give up. Digital can help. We live in an age where online communication has never been so readily and easily available, and even better, simple to use and access.

Here are a few digital tips and ideas you can employ to help with your own life as well as those of your loved ones.

1. Set up a digital communication channel. Just about every device made in the last 5-10 years will have a camera and microphone attached to it. Even the most basic of phones have it – it’s a prerequisite to selling a phone that you need a selfie camera these days! WhatsApp is available for free for mobile phones on both Android based and Apple based mobiles and all it needs is for your contact to be in your phone book. You can text message, audio message and video message and as long as you have an Internet connection, it’s all free.

2. Socialise with takeaways. So now we have WhatsApp set up, we can still have those social outings we love so much. Using apps like Just Eat and we can still order food from our local outlets – most restaurants have switched to takeout and delivery to ensure their services still stay open during this time. All you need to do is hop onto the app, find your restaurant, tap the items you want off the menu, pay online with a credit or debit card, and then video call your friends when your food arrives. It’s like a night out in out in… out!

3. Online sport. If you’re missing sport, download one of the major sports games. They can be played online, and most of them are very often free. FIFA Mobile for instance allows you to choose from all of the major clubs and you can go head to head against your friends. It’s a bit of normality that you can share with your friends in such uncertain times.

4. Social support. Social support networks are cropping up all over the place online. If you have social media accounts and search for support groups, you’ll find plenty of them, both long since established ones and ones that have more recently cropped up. If you’re feeling isolated and have questions/worries you can’t share with your friends or family for whatever reason, these groups are the place to go.

Hope that helps! Stay safe everyone and remember, “social distancing” doesn’t have to mean “social isolation”.