7 min read | Written by Caroline Bradley

Social life in the time of Covid-19 – the new ‘normal’

As someone who’s always busy with lots of activities and socialising, it’s definitely been an adjustment now that we all have to stay home and socially distance.

I already feel that life has changed and been replaced by ‘a new normal.’ Hopefully it’s only temporary. But, my social life has definitely changed…

The new ‘normal’…

  • Deleting all ‘out in the world’ events in my diary and replacing them with things I’ve never done virtually before
  • Feeling anxious that I already can’t keep up with my new online diary
  • Worrying that I don’t have time to learn macrame/Japanese/sew face-masks/read the compete works of Shakespeare backwards/watch all the box sets ever made whilst also home-schooling my kids , doing the housework and working from home.  Super Mum multi-tasking has already gone to whole new level!
  • Forgetting to wash my hair, then remembering I’m doing virtual meetings with 30 work colleagues/50 choir members

The virtual world…

  • Using virtual conferencing more than ever before – Zoom/Houseparty/Skype/Microsoft Teams – everyone has a different favourite
  • Discovering that virtual pubs are as fun as real pubs…for about 20 mins, once
  • Learning how to do virtual group pub quizzes with my friends and other pub-goers, each in our own homes. We watch the quizmaster on Facebook Live, confer with each other via Houseparty and chatting with  the other quizzers via WhatsApp
    Luckily I have 3 devices but I needed a lie-down afterwards!  NB. as there’s no way to tell if other people are googling every answer in their own homes scoring is a bit pointless so it has to be ‘just for fun’ and a good excuse to drink wine/beer/spirits at home on a weeknight
  • Being irritated when I click on a post on Facebook and then realise it’s a 3 page essay…yawn
  • Joining loads of ‘good news’ only groups and then feeling guilty if I forget and post bad news. Virtual enemy making!

Family life…

  • Trying to entertain my kids/dog while doing virtual meetings/socialising or at least stop them interrupting in an embarrassing way
  • Trying to find somewhere in my house (with everyone at home and our dog) where I can do my online yoga/dancing/Pilates without injuring myself, the dog and having to go to A&E (worst place right now..)
  • Wondering whether I should attempt to cut my hair, and that of my family
  • Telling my 84 year old Mum with health problems to stop going out and having fun with her friends. I mean, honestly!
  • Transitioning from hardly seeing my neighbours until summer to getting WhatsApp messages from all of them all day long…enough already.

The pressure…

  • Thinking that I’ll be able to do home and garden improvements while in lockdown and then realising all the DIY/garden/homeware shops are shut & I’m going to look pretty silly carrying a trellis and an array of plant pots/matching cushions out of Tesco during the “essential shopping only” lockdown
  • Laughing at things I don’t usually find funny on social media because it’s better than the bad news (on my 1000th cat video already, aww soo cuuute)
  • Watching pre-recorded TV shows and feeling outraged that the characters aren’t keeping a safe distance between them (really think I’ve lost the plot when I do that…)
  • Noticing everyone is now doing daily exercise with PE Joe – who is this guy…?! Designed for kids, now mostly being done by middle-aged people destroying their living rooms doing star jumps and bunny hops (some things you just don’t want to see…)
  • Realising too late that I should have bought a ring light like all the Insta stars, for video-conferencing
  • Hoping the crisis is over soon so don’t have to watch emergency announcements on TV every day. I want to avoid too much reality, but I can’t in case I miss something important about cats…

Raise a glass

Getting used to our Manchester Show Choir rehearsals being online when there’s actually no online platform (yet) that works with people singing together at the same time in different places. This is definitely something that needs to be invented by someone. Maybe after the ventilators have been sorted eh?

In the meantime we will sing on our own in our own homes, chat about nonsense and laugh raucously in between the singing. We’ll raise a glass to each other and everyone else doing their best to cope, stay safe, be together somehow, someway in these crazy times 🥂🍻🥤

See you on the other side, and until then keep it virtual…😁

KEEP IN CONTACT

We are all going through a trying time right now as we face the COVID-19 virus and to reflect these changing times and embrace the Contact philosophy of providing comfort, support and a safe space to be heard – it is important for us to share wisdom, stories and general daily boosts of positivity to get us and our followers through these challenging times.

We are aiming to release a collection of blogs from various Contact staff and advocates over the next few weeks, so please keep an eye on here and our social media channels.

Thank you for reading and keep on keeping on.

Enjoying our pandemic blog series? Read more blogs from our staff here.