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Loss and Transformation: Connecting with Others Amid COVID-19

Anxiety and loss are dominant themes in our lives as the path of COVID-19 careens through our communities. Underneath this, I keep hearing about bright spots and possibilities. That we might discover that we can improve medical care, climate care, work practice, education, provide necessities for people who are struggling…We might even discover and embrace the realization that we are all in this together. We might commit to a world where human dignity underpins all our actions. Everything has shifted. Might this be the moment that we begin to envision, and then make real, the future we dream of?

Living Room Conversations are a simple, structured conversation practice designed to be massively reproducible and welcoming to all. They are designed for intentional connecting, listening and reflecting. Due to physical distancing needs, we have had to adjust course, to adapt – to help our in-person communities of conversation transition to video. Living Room Conversations offers what so many people are now asking for: an opportunity connect in a meaningful way while physically apart.

We’ve been doing video conversations for years, in addition to our in-person conversations. Now, all we are doing is video conversations. We have over 100 conversation guides that help people listen deeply to each other. We are finding this resource is in demand in a new way at this time. Our leaders are working to step into this moment with the conversations people are yearning to have.

This is a time to look to our neighbor, friend, relative, and reach out. What do they need? Are they feeling isolated? Perhaps there is a way that we can help. Living Room Conversations has put up a conversation that is particularly appropriate for this time: Alone: Solitude or Isolation?

What is the conversation you are drawn to? Who in your life would welcome your invitation to join a conversation? Is there a friend you would like to know better or reconnect with? What do we want to keep when this time of physical distancing is over?

Joan Blades is co-founder of and co-founder of AllSides for Schools. She is also a co-founder of and the progressive activist group She has a Left bias.

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