Maintaining Friendships During a Pandemic

Local Ladies Share Their Experiences

The COVID-19 pandemic has presented many challenges to not only our physical and mental well-being, but also our relationships. With in-person gatherings put on hold, women of all ages have experienced a disconnect with even their closest friendships, which can lead to feelings of loneliness. However, it is possible to nurture friendships while staying six feet apart, and these local ladies have cracked the code. Read on for their thoughts and advice on being a friend during a pandemic.

 

Terran Anderson Headshot

Terran Anderson, Chattanooga

“I’m not sure where I would be without my friends over the last year. Having someone to vent, cry, and laugh with has kept me sane.

 Just as important as friends whom I have a lot in common with, the friends who don’t think like me have been vital during the pandemic. I think too often we end up in groups where everyone agrees, and we’re left in an echo chamber. Friends who don’t share my faith, race, background, or political beliefs have kept my eyes open to what’s happening around us but maybe not directly to me.

Friends should definitely support us and be a safe haven – but they should also challenge us to be open, be listening, and be better.”

 

Melissa Harrington White Headshot

Melissa Harrington White, North Chattanooga

“The last year has been challenging having to adjust to a smaller physical circle of family and friends. I have stayed connected to my larger group of friends through many group texts and group chats, outdoor park gatherings and distanced yard parties, and virtual gatherings. We have shared struggles with stress at work and working from home, as well as grief over the loss of our normal pattern of life. We have thought of new ways to celebrate milestones, left care packages on doorsteps, and are happily making plans for being physically present together again once it is safer. Sharing the frustration and knowing others struggle too has been helpful for me; we can support and care about each other through this time in history by being intentional.” 

 

 

Erika Hogans headshot

Erika Hogans, Ooltewah

“We are very blessed to have the modern technology we have today, especially during this pandemic. But taking time to ‘intentionally’ utilize it properly can be challenging. Regular phone calls to family and friends have been very important, especially since our parents are aging. And the video calls with them is something we will cherish forever! During some of those calls, we have been able to complete an online Bible study together. A wise elderly friend told me that she has recently written cards to more than 100 people. She says that every time someone comes to mind, she prays for them and then sends them a card to let them know they are being prayed for and thought about. What an example of intentionality!”

 

 

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