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Elwy AR, Maguire EM, McInnes DK, Fix GM. Creating Connections during COVID-19. Health communication. 2023 Feb 1; 38(2):424-431.
Our research group created a public communication strategy of expressive writing, to use within our research center over the Massachusetts COVID-19 stay at home advisories. Our goals were to 1) build community, 2) recognize the unique experiences, needs, concerns and coping strategies of our colleagues, and 3) create a mechanism to creatively share those experiences. We conceptualized a weekly e-newsletter, "Creativity in the Time of COVID-19," a collective effort for expressing and documenting the extraordinary, lived experiences of our colleagues during this unique time of a coronavirus pandemic. Through 23 online issues, we have captured 72 colleagues' perspectives on social isolation, the challenges of working from home, and hope in finding connection through virtual platforms. We have organized the themes of these submissions, in the forms of photos, essays, poetry, original artwork, and more, according to three components of the Social Connection Framework: structural, functional and quality approaches to creating social connectedness.