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In pod we trust



Tips for forming your “winter pod” of friends and family

Tips for forming your “winter pod” of friends and family


With coronavirus numbers spiking, and winter upon us, family and friend groups are developing protocols like Camp Quarantine for keeping safe while staying social.

We all know humans are social animals, but with Covid-19, it’s become clearer than ever. While some people do fine with isolation, these folks are atypical. The vast majority of people need to be around other people. We need to socialize, hug, chat, gossip, care for one another, be cared for, etc. If we don’t, we are not well, mentally and, it turns out, physically. Whereas we knew that intellectually prior to Covid-19, many more of us now know it through experience. Have you hugged someone recently? It’s striking how emotional that can be these days.

So how do we maintain our sanity while staying safe? How do we set up our lives so we, and our kids, can have a semblance of physical normalcy, of contact? Behold the rise of the pod. How to do it? What to bear in mind? In “Camp Quarantine: 6 tips for forming your COVID-19 winter pod,” Britta Greene of the Duluth News-Tribune has some helpful tips. 

READ MORE: Helping children understand the pandemic

Unless you are an oceanographer who studies dolphins, you’ve probably heard the word “pod” – as both a noun and a verb – more in the last nine months than in your entire life. (Dolphin groupings are called “pods.”) I know I have. Several friends of mine regularly refer to their pods, meaning friends they can touch, and spend quality time together maskless. They’ve figured out protocols so they can stay safe. And they have.

Put together a well-defined group and identify your comfort level 

Greene says, “The idea is to get together with a set group of friends and mutually agree to limit outside interaction, to a level that everyone is comfortable with. Then: Only hang out inside with each other. That way, everyone can let their guard down together safely as a group.”

Develop a joint schedule

She cites a co-worker’s tactics: “They have a detailed schedule, a miles-long list of activities, matching T-shirts, and a name: Camp Quarantine.”

Smaller is better; but no defined size 

She notes there no perfect pod size, but of course smaller is better. Be honest with your comfort level. Set standards and stick to them. External relationships are ok, but all in the pod should know about them and be kept abreast of contact.

Be generous about sharing especially among kids 

With specific regard to children, Greene notes the paramount need to share. Kids need to be generous about sharing toys and space. Of course the same could, and should, be said of adults. 



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