For many, self-isolation can be difficult. While some have family members to share it with, other senior citizens are in quarantine alone with little interaction.
A local college student-created "Seniors With Skills, Online Buddy Program"; which is a virtual way to make sure our seniors are getting the love they need.
"This online buddy program is really meant to prevent and reduce any social isolation that they're facing," Jaya Manjunath said, the founder of the online buddy program.
For 30 minutes once a week, more than 200 volunteers are using technology to make connections with seniors around Buffalo. During these virtual chats, everyone shares stories, baking recipes, and more.
Manjunath says having multiple people on one video call gives the seniors an opportunity to make more connections.
"We have at least one other volunteer [and] with that volunteer they also get to know another volunteer, so a lot of our volunteers have made friends and connections through the process," Manjunath said.
After working in a nursing home for almost nine years, Manjunath says she took a mental note of what some of the residents were experiencing and wanted to do everything she could to protect them during the coronavirus isolation period.
"A lot of the seniors would just be sitting in the lobby waiting for someone to talk to them or visit them, and I know they really enjoy seeing young people such as myself so I decided I wanted to get more youth volunteering," Manjunath said.
Manjunath says the plan is to continue the online buddy program even after COVID-19 ends.