Share the positive first
Positive emotions are easier for people to share than negative ones. They also open up more possibilities for exploring some of the negative or the vulnerable pieces later on. You can ask people to tell you the highlight of previous days, or what’s gone well for them today, or something good that has happened to them since the COVID-19 pandemic broke out.
You can share a silver lining for the week (or month, or the whole pandemic period) and, if you so wish, share how it has helped you with an issue you were struggling with. The combination of acknowledging the negative and finding the positive helps build camaraderie and connection.