Coronavirus - Life in the Time of Corona
In the past few months, our experience of the coronavirus has shifted from “What’s that?” to “What is this going to mean for my life?” The rapidly-spreading virus is touching all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to share our experiences and to consider the potential outcomes from our shared national challenge.
Let's Get Started!
Living Room Conversations offers a simple, sociable and structured way to practice communicating across differences while building understanding and relationships. Typically, 4-6 people meet in person or by video call for about 90 minutes to listen to and be heard by others on one of our nearly 100 topics. Rather than debating or convincing others, we take turns talking to share, learn, and be curious. No preparation is required, though background links with balanced views are available on some topic pages online. Anyone can host using these italicized instructions. Hosts also participate.
Why We're Here (~10 min)
Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.
How We'll Engage (~5 min)
These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud. (Click here for the full conversation agreements.)
- Be curious and listen to understand.
- Show respect and suspend judgment.
- Note any common ground as well as any differences.
- Be authentic and welcome that from others.
- Be purposeful and to the point.
- Own and guide the conversation.
What We’ll Talk About
Optional: a participant can keep track of time and gently let people know when their time has elapsed.
Getting to Know Each Other (~10 min)
Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:
- What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
- What would your best friend say about who you are?
- What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Life in the Time of Corona (~40 min)
One participant can volunteer to read the paragraph at the top of the web page.
Take ~2 minutes each to answer a question below without interruption or crosstalk.
- How has your understanding about the virus shifted over the past weeks?
- Where are you getting news about the virus? How are you identifying trust-worthy information?
- How has your life changed due to the virus? What has been the biggest shift in your everyday routine? What has that been like for you?
- What is happening with your connection to others in your family? In your community? What has surprised you during this time?
- What are the coping strengths you bring to this situation? How are you sharing your strengths with your community? What are the struggles you are dealing with? If you’ve needed to ask for help, how has that been for you?
- What is your dearest hope at this moment? What is your most powerful concern?
Reflecting on the Conversation (~15 min)
Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:
- What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
- What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
- How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
- Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?