By Iman Sumair Abro

“Social Distancing”, as much as the phrase sounds atrocious, the feeling is even more dire! This pandemic hit us all and changed our life within days, imposing rules on us that we are bound to follow. Even the not very effusive cultures rely on human interaction. We humans are social animals, we are wired to stay together and evolve while depending on one another. Even the healthiest of individuals, if kept in quarantine will have negative impact on their mental and physical well-being.

During an already stressful time, when we lose connections with our friends, colleagues and extended family members, the situation worsens as we don’t have our people to cope up together. It’s our natural instinct to turn towards people closer to us whenever there is a crisis. Yet we are told to stay home during one of the most terrible crises our generation has seen! This has made people dwell into a lonelier, depressive state and aggravated anxiety levels.

How do we cope?

We had started to categorize “screen” times as an epidemic until this pandemic came around. Digital technology has never before proved to be the greatest boons for us until this time.

Physical distancing in our times doesn’t have to deprive us culturally because we have the technology to let us socialize even when miles apart. Platforms like Zoom, Face time, WhatsApp and many others have allowed us to work, connect and live with each other even from the comfort of our homes.

What about keeping celebrations alive?

As we connect on a deeper level and express our love by sending out gifts and celebrate special days with each other, we need to keep this tradition alive too. As social distancing is not going away any time soon unfortunately, we need to accept it and do some things the newer, safe way.

We thrive on emotions and crave gestures and pleasant changes make us happy. What can be better to still send across gifts to your loved ones without having to go out and put yourself at risk? Birthdays, anniversaries, promotions, house warming or even on an ordinary day, a gift can will always make others happy. What we have in store in fact will make them happier! If you remember Rachel from the famous TV show FRIENDS and her gift exchanging habits, we would understand how it’s hard to actually give someone something that fits and interests them equally. Whereas some would smile to you out of formality and be grateful but your gift may end up in their cupboard and later on in the store room, without seeing the day of light. Who wants that to happen? No one!

Well, I am the desi Rachel, as much as I love the gesture, I just can’t seem to like most presents I get. It’s no secret, I have been made feel guilty for exchanging gifts but hello? That is who I am. My friends have made peace with it and we go to the mall together, they pitch in and I buy what I like. In fact, I do the same when I want to gift others. As times have changed and we can’t meetup, I really wanted to find something that makes my life easier!

I came across Giftkarte which lets people choose themselves what they want. I was relieved as firstly it allowed me to be the couch potato I am, I mean I sent my best friend an eGift while snuggled in my blanket without having to go through the torture of choosing something for her. I did not have to step out and she can pick something whenever it’s convenient for her, that really was easy. As I am new to it, I am discovering its cool features every day. Being a working cat mom of two pets, I have a lot on my plate and often forget special days. The reminder feature it has notified me of my khala’s birthday just last night. Guess who’s her favorite niece now? She is raving about how I wished and gifted her right on time. My mother is super happy and treating me with my favorite home cooked meal, wohoo!

So how about you send someone an eGift card today? We hope times get better and we win the race against Covid-19, however till then let’s make sure to stay connected, strengthen our bonds and make life happening by doing little things we can do to cheer up. I believe we now have more time to invest in all the people dear to us and connect. Pick up your phone and call someone who you haven’t spoken to since while, arrange a group video call with your cousins, watch Netflix and most importantly spend time with your family. Let’s stay far in distance but together in spirit.

Sending your way love, resilience, hope and an uproarious belief that this shall pass too!