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How are you doing? Just checking in. Hope you’re doing OK.


Have you heard these words recently? Perhaps you’ve said or written them?


It’s perfectly fine to be grieving the things we’ve lost in this time of social distancing. For many of us, this time apart has reaffirmed how important friendship is.


The landscape COVID-19 created has separated us physically, but that doesn’t mean we can’t and shouldn’t socialize. We just need to do it responsibly.


If you’re missing a friend, family member, co-worker, neighbor down the street, reach out. There’s no time like the present to ask them how they’re getting along. No matter how much we may want to be present physically, it’s not an option at the moment.


It’s a harsh reality, but nevertheless one we must face for the foreseeable future. It might seem as though you’re missing out on life moments with your loved ones and we know it’s hard. But when this is all over — and it will be over — there will be hugs, dinners and parties.


We hope that gives you some reassurance.


In the meantime, be sure to check on those in your circle. Let them know you’re thinking about them. In times like these everyone needs a friend, a pick-me-up and listening ear.


You don’t have to do it daily, but we suggest you don’t treat it like a one and done. Make a habit to check in on someone every day.


There are so many ways to reach out. Send a text. Write a letter. Place a call. Facetime, Snapchat, email — take your pick. Whatever works best for you will be just fine. Your message doesn’t have to be anything spectacular, just make that connection. Your friends might need it more than you realize. Keeping that in mind, be sure to reach out to your friends who maybe you don’t talk to regularly. Take it as an opportunity to catch up, get reacquainted or get to know them better.


Also, call your parents and grandparents to see how they’re doing. They worry, you know.


Use this time to ask questions and get to know each other differently.


If you’re not sure how to start, talk about your day, tell a joke, send a picture of old times, share your wishes for after this has passed, vent about your frustrations or maybe just listen to what they might have to say.


It’ll get easier to strike up a conversation out the blue the more you do it.


This era of social distancing has disrupted so many things, don’t let this situation disrupt the relationships you hold dear. After all, those we hold dear are what really matter most in life.


So go on and reach out.