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World Health Organisation wants “Social Distancing” renamed “Physical Distancing” amid concerns over people’s mental health.

A How to Guide as to how to stay socially connected while Physically Separate.

The World health organisation has called for social distancing to be renamed amid fears that it is causing mental health issues.

Speaking at a live media briefing yesterday Maria D. Van Kerkhove explained that “you can be physically separate but socially connected.” She went on to say there are a lot of ways you can look after your own mental health and the mental health of your family during these difficult times.

The World Health Organisation wanted to make it abundantly clear when stating “There is no lockdown on laughter”. There’s no lockdown on speaking with your family and finding new ways to connect”

In a recent survey of our users Breaking News Today has discovered that over 70% of people are struggling mentally with dealing with this lockdown. Now more than ever it is important that we leverage the Free to Use technology that is available to all of us.

The WHO went on to say “There’s ways you can connect with technology that you may not have used previously.”

So, what is Free and available for you?

There are numerous free to use services and we have provided a list and links below, but in this writer’s humble opinion, there is one standout winner in this category for its ease and simplicity to use. It has allowed me to keep connected with my colleagues as well as friends and family. It uses my Wi-Fi when I’m at home or the office, so I don’t incur any data usage and is super quick and easy to setup and get going.

stay connected with family during lockdown
Staying connected with loved ones is important


WhatsApp is owned by Facebook and provides an amazingly stable platform for group messaging and group video calling. In my opinion it provides the best quality connection, is cross platform meaning you can video call anyone regardless of their phone brand or software. Plus, you can have up to 12 people on a video call.

Simply download the app from google play store or app store sign in using your mobile number and you are up and running in minutes. All your contacts are imported automatically so its super easy.

How to do “Group calling” with WhatsApp?

Once you have installed the app:

  • Simply go to CHATS which is the 4th icon at the bottom of the screen
  • Select NEW GROUP
  • Add whichever friends or family you want into the group.
  • Give your group a name. this will help identify it when you have multiple groups at a later date.
  • Everyone will get a notification they have been added to the group
  • Now the best bit. In the top right-hand corner of the screen you will see a phone with a + beside it, Click it.
  • Now select the people from the group you want to call. This means if someone isn’t available you don’t have to have them on the call.
  • Now hit the camera icon that appears and hey presto you are now having live video call with up to 16 loved ones.

Obviously you can use the service to video call single individuals as well and again WhatsApp stands out as the best in the category as it provides full screen image and a small image of yourself so it doesn’t feel like you are looking in a mirror at yourself.

Other Free and easy to use group messaging and video calling services are:  (provide download links for IOS and Android)

Zoom: requires an email address to login

Facebook messenger: only available if the person is on Facebook but great for large families that can all join together

Facetime: only available for Apple to Apple use

House party: free to use, cross platform and integrates games as well that can be played together.

For your physical and mental well being, Maria D. Van Kerkhove of the World Health Organisation also stressed the importance of exercise, “whether it be walking around your garden, yoga, doing online exercise classes, getting your daily exercise is essential for both our physical and mental health. “

In closing the WHO stated “Anything that helps you stay socially connected with others while remaining physically apart can only benefit everyone. “

As we eluded to earlier in this article over 70% of people surveyed are struggling through this lockdown. Imagine how you would feel if something happened to one of your friends or family and you could, and should, have made that call sooner.  

Why not follow the advice and check in on a friend or loved one today? 

The wonderful thing is that although it will certainly help them, it will undoubtedly leave you feeling better in yourself as well.  

Yes, we should all follow the government advice but with one addition:  Stay home, STAY CONNECTED, protect the NHS and save lives.

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    Oscar Wyatt
    Oscar Wyatt
    I'm the editor at Breaking News Today and have been in the news and editing industry for years! Breaking News Today is a new outlet which we're building up and every single one of our readers means so much to us at this stage, we really appreciate your support!

    Breaking News Today is a small UK business struggling to stay afloat during COVID lockdown. If you enjoyed this article or found it useful please subscribe to all of our social media outlets.

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