Mar 16 - 2min readCombating Loneliness with Tech During Self-IsolationBy Jennifer Green

A new app has surfaced to combat loneliness amongst individuals that are self-isolating or are quarantining amid the coronavirus outbreak. The new app is called QuarentineChat. QuarentineChat is a voice-app that allows users to chat to one another across the world that are confined to their homes without disclosing your phone number. According to its creators, Max Hawkins and Danielle Baskin, they came up with the idea of random phone-calls with strangers last year, but have since introduced the QuarentineChat as a feature.

Simply download Dialup to use the app, a “voice-chat app that connects you serendipitously to the people you want to stay in touch with” before you relate to others globally who are also dealing with the effects of coronavirus. Once your phone rings, users are paired randomly with another individual who they can have a conversation with.

Baskin and Hawkins told Business Insider, “It’s to bring magic and serendipity to a new reality where thousands of people are stuck inside alone for the next month all over the world.” They are referring to those specifically in quarantine. Additionally, to combatting loneliness, Baskin and Hawkins believe the app can be beneficial to those that are dealing with mental health issues where they cannot leave their homes and may experience stress as a result.

Baskin told Artnet, “It benefits people’s mental health to have random spontaneous connections – and it’s also fun,” adding that they added subtle humorous details such as elevator music to the feature which they hope will bring people small “moments of joy.” According to the co-creators, there are currently about 70 people using the service, but it can handle up to 20,000 people.

The voice-call service comes with new guidelines that have been imposed by the World Health Organisation (WHO), which aim to help people that are suffering from mental health issues because of the coronavirus outbreak. According to WHO, those in self-isolation should “stay connected and maintain your social networks.”

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