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Pandemic pause March 8, 2021

Posted by guestposter in Uncategorized.

Anyone had the experience of finding certain friendships changing during the pandemic? The term pandemic pause was unfamiliar to me until recently and it seems to cover a lot of ground – or to put it a different way, mean a lot of different things depending on how it is being applied. In some instances the term seems to mean the gap between events pre-pandemic and their return after a delay during the pandemic. In other cases the term describes relationships that have been put on ice due to the pandemic, for one reason or another. This from last year describes some of that – those initial Zoom meetings, quizzes, drinking sessions, whatever you’re having yourself, which then tended to fade out as the length of the disruption became clear. What I noticed was that group meetings shifted to smaller meetings which makes sense since Zoom and other online platforms are unforgiving in terms of allowing for genuine interactivity with larger numbers. In fact only a few weeks back I was on a social meeting that had ten or more different people attending. It was great to see those there, but after twenty minutes the exercise moved from entertaining to unwieldy.

Here in the Mirror Jason O’Toole outlines another definition of the term, how a couple of friendships have been altered due to disagreement over this. Partly this was online – well, that’s natural, so much is online, or on social media platforms. Not quite had that happen, or not exactly, but I do know how in a case or two I’ve retreated due to the soft denialism of some. So far, thankfully, not had to face outright denialism (though some people I’d meet out and about would come close to that too). But as O’Toole notes, there’s a line or a balance here because this literally is a matter of life and death. So where to draw it?


1. NFB - March 8, 2021

For sure. It’s hard to keep up with some people and weekly events I had with groups of friends not going ahead has been a major detriment to my social life.

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WorldbyStorm - March 8, 2021

Funny the number of people I know who intend to head for the pub as soon as matters normalise sufficiently… for a couple of days in the case of some. I think I’d be taking it easy tbh. Though I do miss the CLR meetings in Buswells. Pints and a bit of food in a unionised hotel. Not the worst way to spend an evening.

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rockroots - March 9, 2021

Not me – the thing I miss desperately is alone time with a coffee, a wedge of cake and a book or laptop. That, and pottering about in an archive or museum. And at this stage, I think my better half is looking forward to me spending more time on my own as well.

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WorldbyStorm - March 9, 2021

Yeah, I know exactly what you mean.


alanmyler - March 9, 2021

It’s quite a thing to get through the intensity of the past year with someone else. Well maybe it’s a bigger thing to have managed it solo, I don’t know, but there’s no doubt that anyone in a close relationship with someone else will have explored quite the range of emotions together during the lockdowns, many negative, many positive. It’s absolutely no sin to long for the chance to escape from that intensity for a bit. I’d actually be worried if a person didn’t feel that way tbh.

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WorldbyStorm - March 9, 2021

Oh yeah definitely, completely agree. The sheer oddness of what has happened is something else. Interesting practice for retirement though, fingers crossed we all get that far, and pitfalls to avoid.


2. alanmyler - March 9, 2021

I’ve heard soft denialism from work colleagues which wouldn’t make me want to make an effort to stay in touch, but then those relationships are pretty functional in that they’ll resume when work circumstances make them necessary. Thankfully I’ve not come across it in closer circles.

The online meetings I find difficult enough. I’m not one for the spotlight in group get togethers in real life, I prefer the fringes, and online doesn’t easily allow for that. But even as a dedicated introvert I’ve found the past year tough enough. I don’t need much outside human contact to keep me going but even at that it’s been a stretch at times. I like the odd pub alright and I’ll admit I’m very much looking forward to my first night back in one, whenever that may be. I booked tickets for Billy Bragg in Vicar st in November last week and if that goes ahead I’d say I’ll be just in paradise with the feeling of comradeship with the crowd and a rake of pints in me. Fingers crossed.

I had to drop up to the dublin office there earlier, first time since before Christmas, and I heard Catherine Martin on the radio avoiding answering whether the likes of EP will be allowed to go ahead this year. I think that would be a step too far, unless all age groups have been vaccinated by then, but at the same time it does feel like the population needs a big communal party just to put the past year behind us, when that becomes possible and sensible to do. Maybe every TD should put their credit card behind the bar in a pub in every parish in the country on the same night and just let us at it, and thank you very much. I’d like that I think.

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WorldbyStorm - March 9, 2021

That’s a great point re something communal to celebrate once a corner is turned.

Like you I’ve a few tickets booked for events that were meant to be in 2020 then were shipped to 2021 and now, well, who knows. That said we’d really want high levels of vaccination to feel entirely comfortable in a gig context. A pub, not as stressy I’d suspect.

Funny, I was talking in a work context to someone today who was adamant they wouldn’t take the vaccine. Maybe not so funny.


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