Relationships in the pandemic
Danni Darrah discusses how relationships have changed over the past 6 months
Seven months spent in solitary isolation with nothing but household members, TikTok and your pet cat for entertainment would be enough for anyone to appreciate the thing we all took for granted before the Coronavirus stole our freedom – our relationships. The global pandemic has not only helped us learn to cherish the nearest and dearest friends and partners that assume big roles in our lives, it has also been a time to inevitably nurture some new and old friendships that perhaps haven’t been a priority before.
Along with many others, I’ve very much fallen victim to texting a half-hearted ‘can’t wait to meet up with you soon!!’ knowing full well that it won’t happen, but has Coronavirus rendered a change in these patterns? I’m sure I’m not alone when I say my time in lockdown heightened my perspective on my relationships with others, as they became almost fragile being held under the magnification of the pandemic. I reignited a friendship in particular that had dwindled out over a decade ago, as we bonded over a mutual love for working out and exercise. We began holding each other accountable for home workouts and sharing training details. This, especially in a time when people struggled to motivate themselves and stay positive, was a godsend. And of course, we cannot forget the random few weeks of Thursday night claps for the NHS, which for some neighbourhoods turned into a world tour concert – a prime opportunity to entertain and laugh alongside others from a distance.
Although it has been a difficult time for socialisation, social media and the controversy of 2020 that is our favourite Zoom, has allowed for new opportunities to bond and form new friendships from the comfort of the sofa. As an avid reader and, pre-Corona, a member of a book club, I decided to join a virtual one. This was a great way to still express passion for the hobbies that interest me and share that experience with new people. I only stayed in touch with one of the members, but it was still an eye opening experience and one I would recommend highly to anyone considering joining a virtual club (if in doubt, just pull a classic “sorry you- brea-king up” and get out of there!).
However, I do feel obliged to remind you that this, unfortunately, is the bare minimum. Predictably enough, Resources to Recover stated that “receiving and giving physical signs of affection can actually boost your mental health no matter the form in which you engage”, therefore our lack of physical interaction with one another in everyday life; from campus to office to stadiums and salons inevitably has taken a toll on everyone’s mental health in some form. The importance of closeness and physical body language has been severely underrated until now, when all you want to do is give your nan a hug instead of seeing her nostrils on the FaceTime, whilst watching her tedious methods of working out how to use it. Although this is a new ‘normal’ of society currently, something we all are doing our best to adapt to, I’m sure that everyone can’t wait to see the back of masks, wave bye-bye to Zoom and embrace… well, someone again!