How do I deal with spending so much time by myself, working alone and isolated?

Strive to make your academic work as collaborative as possible. Create study groups, contact friends to serve as accountability partners, be proactive in your classes to reach out to students you don’t already know. And, of course, devote non-academic time to meeting your social needs and just having fun “with” others.

Here's one way to make viewing recorded lectures more socially interactive. Invite a classmate to a Zoom meeting at a regular, scheduled time so you can both focus, and pull up the recorded lecture in another tab. Then share the screen with them. (Use an external screen, if you have one, so you can watch and also see and interact with your friend.) You can stop the video and ask each other questions if you need to and you can also stay together after and debrief the lecture. If the recorded lecture is automatically transcribed and captioned, there are some side-benefits-- there are often funny errors in the transcriptions which also offer a reason to pause and comment. It’s a good excuse to get together and catch up along with extra motivation for watching and truly engaging the lectures! 

Social spacing and reducing interpersonal contact is crucial to stemming the spread of the virus, but can have adverse effects on our mental and emotional health which, in turn, can undermine our resistance and physical health.

Taking into account your academic and other obligations, one way to feel connected and retain a sense of purpose is by serving others. During difficult times like these, research suggest, “teenagers feel better when they turn their attention to supporting others. After a 2006 flood destroyed a small town in southern Poland, one study found that the teenagers who provided the highest levels of social support to fellow flood victims were the ones who went on to express the most confidence about their ability to face challenges in their own lives” (5 Way to Help Teens Manage Anxiety About Coronavirus, NYTimes, Lisa Damour).