The intense social life under lockdown

Our culture is changing so rapidly now. Some of it is bad: a constant worry, leading to a tendency to be prescriptive in our little lives and dictatorial in powerful circles. But others are wonderful. The Family and I are in much closer contact with our globally dispersed families.

Apart from calling more often, we have family meals together at least twice a week. We find ourselves having dinner as others join us on video with an evening’s tea, or an elaborate afternoon meal, or a mid-morning break for tea, or even brunch. Sometimes these are formal occasions, where everyone dresses up (except an occasional hilarious couple who have just woken up and appear looking disheveled). We chat about our daily lives (I’d never pickled onions before), while the children run around and come up now and then to monopolize the conversation for a bit (they have seldom had such large audiences). Sometimes two or three of us wander off for a private phone chat, and join the conversation later. It is all a bit like a messy family weekend that I remember from my childhood.

Is this the shape of our lives for a while? I will be happy. WHO recommends that we do physical distancing. That’s what it feels like: social togetherness and physical distancing.

By I. J. Khanewala

I travel on work. When that gets too tiring then I relax by travelling for holidays. The holidays are pretty hectic, so I need to unwind by getting back home. But that means work.

31 comments

  1. We haven’t really embraced this. We have tried video linking in the way you describe, but it feels forced and awkward. Without the normal cues, we either talk at the same time or lapse into awkward silence. The phone feels much easier. I’m glad you’ve cracked it!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. We have been in touch with many friends to whom we normally only send a holiday card once a year. As one friend said “the nice thing about calling now is you know the person will be at home.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. With all the busy life and personal preferences, I feel the millennials are more into “Physical distancing”. Video or Audio Call is fine as far it is per the convenience otherwise, after couple of years…this too will stop. Don’t know if that is good or bad!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Beautifully expressed, IJ. “Social togetherness and physical distancing.” I love your description of the couple that looked like they just got out of bed! We’re doing the same thing–virtual “cocktails” and “dinners.” Stay well and stay safe.

    Liked by 1 person

  5. Very uplifting; it is nice to feel the general mood of more concern for each other’s wellbeing, and being more appreciative of what we have here and now, in spite of the crisis.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m OK with this, but I guess sooner or later people are going to have to go back to work. I went out to Human World yesterday for the first time in 3 weeks. It was weird and stressful out there. 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. So delighted to read this post! Something that we’ve been doing too. Not so religiously though but we are having a cousins meet every Friday evening. Then some sporadic unplanned meets with others at different times. And, as I had mentioned in my post, a lot of family and/or friends activities happening over whatsapp. Not like we are doing all these for the first time but its happening more frequently now and everyone is always ready to meet. This wasn’t the case before. Sometimes it would be quite a task to get everyone at a common time.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My sister and I were just discussing over dinner whether this way of life is actually starting to feel normal. We are no longer hyper about catching the latest news stories or becoming over emotional about certain things. Well, I hope this doesn’t become the new normal, and surely it won’t. Rather, let us all emerge as better people on the other side of this situation.

    Liked by 1 person

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