Staying connected during the coronavirus outbreak

Due to the global coronavirus pandemic, people are being told to stay indoors and avoid contact with others. Meaning whether you’re at home or still living at your student accommodation, you will have friends and family members who you won’t be able to see over the coming weeks.

But just because you can’t see them in person, it doesn’t mean you can’t see them at all. Thanks to technology, you’re able to keep in touch with, and check in on your loved ones, in a variety of ways.

1. Video calls


Video calls are probably the closest you’ll get to having a face-to-face conversation with someone, without being with them in person during this coronavirus outbreak. And as long as you’ve got an internet connection, you can dial into a video call for free.

If you’ve got an Apple device, Facetime is a favourite. For those using Android, Google Duo is a great option. But if all else fails, you can’t beat a classic Skype call. Skype can be used on any smart device as well as a desktop or web browser, and you can have up to 50 people dial into a call at once!

So, what are you waiting for? Find a convenient time to connect with your pals and get chatting in real-time.

2. Group chats


Ok, so you can’t expect everyone to be connected in real-time, on video calls, all of the time. That’s why sometimes, having conversations over messages can be easier.

Apps such as Facebook Messenger and WhatsApp make it quick and easy to chat with your friends and family in one place. You can send photos, videos, audio clips and GIFs – allowing you to share things with one another, have a laugh and enjoy some banter between your group.

So, if you haven’t done so already, set-up different group chats with those closest to you -including your flatmates. After all, that cute snap you send to the group of your pet could really make someone else’s day!

3. Social media


Being able to connect with others during these uncertain times is important and social media channels can all have their benefits.

Being able to share updates and see your connection’s updates of photos and videos via apps such as Facebook and Instagram are a great way to continue seeing the people and things you’re not currently able to.

Channels such as Facebook and Twitter allow for the sharing of articles, videos and other information that could prove very useful, especially for health and wellbeing, during the coronavirus pandemic.

If you’re looking for a laugh, give Snapchat and TikTok a go. You can compose videos and images with the addition of music, filters and much more. So, have some fun, unleash your creativity and share with your network to make them smile!

4. Netflix Party


Just because you can’t have your mates around, doesn’t mean you can’t all hang out and watch the latest Netflix series or movie together. But how is this possible? Enter Netflix Party; a Google Chrome browser extension which lets multiple Netflix users sync and watch movies on the platform together, all combined with a group chat function as well. So, it’s time to grab your popcorn and schedule a movie night with your friends.

5. Gaming


Being in isolation doesn’t mean it’s game over for fun with your friends. Enjoy a distraction from the coronavirus-dominated conversations with a little friendly competition. Dust off your old games consoles and get your friends to do the same, then let the battles begin. Whether you’re playing on a PlayStation, an Xbox or even the family classic Nintendo Wii, join your friends and other players online in a race to top the leader boards!

So, don’t let coronavirus get in the way of your communication. With a little help from the above apps and tools – as well as many others, you can stay connected. Keep an eye out on our news page for more information, advice and top tips for the coming weeks.

If you’re self-isolating we’d love to know what fun and creative things you’re doing to stay in touch with your loved ones. Share with us via the Host social media channels (@hoststudentsuk).

Getting serious about the environment we live in.

To become more ‘environmentally friendly’, Host is launching the #HostEnvironmentalPledge campaign to encourage responsible behaviour and drive sustainability across our sites throughout the UK and Ireland.

It’s a simple campaign! If we can reduce our overall utilities (electric, water and gas) consumption by 1% then we will donate £10,000, 2% reduction means £20,000, 3% is £30,000 and so on, to 3 charities; BulliesOut, Planet Patrol and World Land Trust.

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