Social Distancing: A Talk with the EngageWell Pod

With this novel idea of “Safer at Home,” have you struggled with social detachment and distress? While physical distance may imply social distancing, it does not mean effacing the connections you have with others.

Conversation among experts in the EngageWell Pod shine a light on maintaining social engagement during this time of physical distancing. EngageWell Pod Co-leader Ted Robles begins a conversation with Associate Vice Provost Dr. Wendy Slusser about maintaining social engagement and support with a podcast in this special Semel HCI series, “6 feet apart.”

Dr. Robles explains that social well-being primarily focuses on having good quality connections with friends, coworkers, and even dogs — regardless of the number you have — and fostering trust in them. Cancelling graduation, struggling with depression, and ending the school year early are factors affecting the student community. However, these variations from normal life are all the more reason to keep strong personal connections with the people you care about.

Dr. Robles provides the following three tips for maintaining a strong social well-being:

  1. Taking care of yourself and loved ones

  2. Listening to frontline workers’ stories

  3. Giving back to others

Ultimately, although we are experiencing physical distance, it remains necessary to prioritize social well-being to maintain holistic health in the time of COVID-19.

Semel HCI Staff holding a virtual meeting


Jessica Nunez is a third-year undergraduate student studying Cognitive Science and Spanish, Community and Culture. In addition to blogging for the EngageWell Pod, she interns for the Transplant Research and Education Center (TREC) where she communicates with Spanish-speaking kidney patients about their various treatment options. She is strongly passionate about working towards healthcare equity and fostering social change.

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