You would think that the one thing we’d be spared during this pandemic would be awkward social interactions since many of us are having so few social interactions at all. But, we don’t need to be going to bars, parties, and office spaces to have those weird run-ins where we put our foot in our mouth or realize we just don’t see eye-to-eye with somebody.
In fact, with many feeling so strongly about this pandemic – I can’t tell you how many arguments I’ve had just about the simple topic of masks – the situation is ripe for social strife. We’re living in a new normal. It’s only a temporary normal, hopefully, but the rules have shifted and are here to stay long enough such that there are some growing pains happening. I honestly just hope too many friendships aren’t ruined, all over coronavirus-related arguments, seeing as the situation is only fleeting.
But, we can’t forget what’s said and done during this time, and even if, hopefully, it’ll all just…go away one day…the arguments, stress, and drama we experience during this time will stay with us to some extent. And on that note, here are some awkward social moments the COVID-19 pandemic has caused.
Not having a mask = not having an ID
Forgetting to bring your mask is the new forgetting to bring your ID. You could go with a friend or loved one to dine outdoors at a restaurant, but you need to wear a mask to be seated and to be on the property. If you forget your mask, then the entire group has to turn around, and leave, and either wait for you to retrieve a mask, or just cancel the whole evening. You ruin the night for everyone.
Asking friends to wear a mask
There are those times you meet friends in what you believe to be a mask-required situation. Maybe they invite you to have drinks on their small patio, where keeping six feet of distance will be difficult. Or they invite you to go on a hike, where you’ll be huffing and puffing air droplets. Then you find that they…aren’t wearing masks. And you have to ask them to. You feel like the hall monitor.
Canceling over a cough
Their cough or yours. Either way, it’s uncomfortable. Right now, if a friend you’re supposed to meet up with mentions feeling a bit under the weather, sirens go off in your mind. You immediately think “You must have the coronavirus” and want to cancel. But if they don’t feel they need to cancel, you feel like the uptight one for calling it off.
Hopefully you don’t get the virus. Hopefully nobody you know gets the virus. However, the reality is that, the virus is out there, so you or someone you know may get it. And when that happens, the tracing i.e. blaming begins. Friends may call loved ones they’ve spent time with, to notify them they’ve tested positive. It’s the responsible thing to do. But it leads to an immediate interrogation (condemnation) of how the infected was or wasn’t responsible enough.
A disparity in financial situations
Many of us have been financially impacted by COVID-19. Before this, we may have had some grasp on our friends’ financial situations. Now everything has shifted, and we can accidentally offend someone, or just be insensitive. For example, I complained of being lonely working from home, and was told it was insensitive of me to mention that in front of a friend who’d lost her job entirely. I didn’t know…