What would our lives look like today if Covid never happened? Would our relationships be the same as they were before?
With the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, our lives have changed in many aspects. The enforcement of social distancing measures has changed social norms to the point of making cordial handshakes and friendly hugs uncomfortable or even hazardous experiences. The most apparent changes, such as wearing face masks on a daily basis have been accompanied by less obvious ones, happening on a much more intimate level. In fact, the pandemic has affected our freedom and changed the value that we attribute to things.
Before the pandemic, we knew we could go out and see friends whenever we needed their presence and affection, which is something that we used to give for granted. With the start of lockdown, however, we were suddenly forbidden to do so, which led to a sense e of being imprisoned, trapped, and lonely.
Technology has played a crucial role in keeping us connected even from a distance.
While many of us already used to rely heavily on technology for our daily tasks, such as shopping, studying, or working, the introduction of social distancing rules meant that technology went from being helpful to being absolutely crucial to every aspect of our life. In fact, we even started depending on it for our relationships. While most of our interactions were already virtual (happening through instant messaging and social media platforms), social distancing has imposed a complete switch to this interaction style, which some of our relationships didn’t survive.
In fact, if the pandemic has proven anything is that technology does not replace interpersonal interactions, like going for ice cream or shopping for clothes, or when you’re sick and in need of comfort, it was normal to hug, which has now become uncomfortable, if not forbidden, for fears or infection or getting infected.
Humans beings are wired for social interactions and since the beginning of times touch has played an important role in creating and strengthening bonds of business, friendly, romantic nature; the pandemic has changed social norms putting a strain on the very idea of society.
First, unconsciously, I was happy before the realization of the gravity of the situation, thinking how long this is going to last. When they reopened I thought we were free and that we were back to normal and that we were feeling confident from the introduction of the vaccines, but unfortunately, that was not the case. I was rollercoaster is after hope, infections went up and that was sad and frustrating and we felt disillusioned.
We are missing out on our best years while we’re supposed to make the best of our time traveling, making significant connections, discovering the world and ourselves.
Despite everything, the pandemic has taught me not to take anything for granted, starting with a hug, ending with a walk with friends because everything can end without us realizing it for a moment.
What does the future hold for us? Will we go back to normal? Will we go back to enjoying our best years or will we continue to live halfway through?