Silver Linings and Social Connections

Each week, we’re running a COVID Pulse Survey, where we are taking a look at how COVID is impacting Americans’ stress levels. Unsurprisingly, the data shows us stress is running high, and optimism is often hard to come by. 

But amidst the largely bleak data, there are of course always silver linings. 

Among the silver linings, a national study we conducted of more than 440 Americans, showed that social distancing is actually bringing people closer together. In fact, 79% of respondents say that not being able to see their friends and loved ones due to social distancing measures has encouraged them to get better about connecting with them digitally. What’s more, 2 out of 3 Americans say they actually connect with their friends and family more now than they did before COVID-19. 

Sure, it may be “behind the screens”, but even as Americans across the country find themselves under shelter in place mandates, people are still finding ways to connect with colleagues, friends and family. More than 50% of Americans say they’ve already participated in a virtual happy hour with friends or colleagues. At Kickstand, we’ve shifted our normal monthly team outings to weekly Zoom “happy hours”, where we’re discussing the latest Netflix series we’ve binged, or taking turns sharing our hobbies or little-known skills with the rest of the team, from Tik Tok dances to pizza-making and calligraphy. 

Even life’s biggest moments are being celebrated digitally, with 45% citing they’ve participated in a digital version of a celebration — from birthday parties to weddings to baby showers — that was cancelled due to COVID. One of our personal favorite examples? Alvin Lee and Dorothy Driskill — 90 and 85 years old, respectively — held their wedding via Zoom after having to cancel their Spring nuptials. 

While we might not yet know when exactly it is that we’ll be able to hug our loved ones in person, we’re holding out hope that this situation — one that everyone around the globe is experiencing together, in isolation — will bring a new level of appreciation for each other when that time comes. 

Keep an eye on the Kickstand blog over the coming weeks as we look at other topics and daily habits that have been impacted by COVID. And if you’ve got a question you’d love to see answered in an upcoming survey, send us a note at

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