Coronavirus - Life in the Time of Corona

Overview
In the past few weeks, our experience of the coronavirus has shifted from “What’s that?” to “What is this going to mean for my life?” The rapidly-spreading virus is touching all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to share our experiences and to consider the potential outcomes from our shared national challenge.

Related Resources
  • Learn all about Living Room Conversations here.
  • Visit our Coronavirus Resource Page here
  • View our tip sheet for hosting your own conversation here
  • Sign up to get involved with Living Room Conversations here
Round 1 (~5 minutes)

Introductions: Why We're Here

Each participant has 1 minute to introduce themselves.

Share your name, where you live, what drew you here, and if this is your first conversation.

Round 2 (~5 minutes)

Conversation Agreements: How We'll Engage

These will set the tone of our conversation; participants may volunteer to take turns reading them aloud.

Be curious and listen to understand.
Conversation is as much about listening as it is about talking. You might enjoy exploring how others’ experiences have shaped their values and perspectives.

Show respect and suspend judgment.
People tend to judge one another. Setting judgement aside opens you up to learning from others and makes them feel respected and appreciated. Try to truly listen, without interruption or crosstalk.

Note any common ground as well as any differences.
Look for areas of agreement or shared values that may arise and take an interest in the differing beliefs and opinions of others.

Be authentic and welcome that from others.
Share what’s important to you. Speak from your experience. Be considerate of others who are doing the same.

Be purposeful and to the point.
Do your best to keep your comments concise and relevant to the question you are answering. Be conscious of sharing airtime with other participants.

Own and guide the conversation.
Take responsibility for the quality of your participation and the conversation as a whole. Be proactive in getting yourself and others back on track if needed. Use an agreed upon signal like the “time out” sign if you feel the agreements are not being honored.

Round 3 (~8 minutes)

Question Set #1: Get to Know Each Other

Each participant can take 1-2 minutes to answer one of these questions:

  • What are your hopes and concerns for your family, community and/or the country?
  • What would your best friend say about who you are?
  • What sense of purpose / mission / duty guides you in your life?
Round 4 (~2 minutes)

Read the Topic Overview

One participant can volunteer to read this description:

In the past few weeks, our experience of the coronavirus has shifted from “What’s that?” to “What is this going  to  mean for my  life?”  The rapidly-spreading virus is  touching all aspects of our personal and community life. Our health, civic, social, work, academic, faith and financial systems are struggling to cope with uncertainty and the need for rapid readjustment. We are physically distancing ourselves from each other to prevent being infected or spreading the infection. As we move forward in this changing environment, it can be helpful to share our experiences and to consider the potential outcomes from our shared national challenge.
Round 5 (~25 minutes)

Question Set #2: Listen and Share to Understand

Take ~ 2 minutes each to answer one of the following questions:

  • How has your understanding about the virus shifted over the past weeks?
  • Where are you getting news about the virus? How are you identifying trust-worthy information?
  • How has your life changed due to the virus? What has been the biggest shift in your everyday routine? What has that been like for you?
  • What is happening with your connection to others in your family? In your community? What has surprised you during this time?
  • What are the coping strengths you bring to this situation? How are you sharing your strengths with your community? What are the struggles you are dealing with? If you’ve needed to ask for help, how has that been for you?
  • What is your dearest hope at this moment? What is your most powerful concern?

Round 6 (~10 minutes)

Question Set #3: Reflect on the Conversation

Take 2 minutes to answer one of the following questions:

  • What was most meaningful / valuable to you in this Living Room Conversation?
  • What learning, new understanding or common ground was found on the topic?
  • How has this conversation changed your perception of anyone in this group?
  • Is there a next step you would like to take based upon the conversation?
Round 7 (~5 minutes)

Say Goodbye and Take the Survey

Each participant should say goodbye, then complete one or more of the following (we especially appreciate your feedback!):

  • Give us feedback! Find our feedback form here.
  • Donate! Make more of these possible; give here.
  • Join or host more conversations! With a) this group by exchanging your emails; b) others in person and/or by video call online. Get more involved or learn how to host here.