Popping Bubbles

It is decreed. We’re allowed to hug again! At least a few people we know and love. I wrote in March about how big a challenge it would be for people like me to stop short of giving people we greet a quick squeeze. I vowed to hold back, and imagine a bubble around me. 

Little did I know bubbles would become a thing!

Now I’m wondering what the future might hold, beyond a hesitant hugs and handshakes. 

I’m still trying to catch up with everything we’ve been experiencing in the past few weeks:


Slow Start: our brains have struggled since the start to keep up with reality. We heard the news out of China, and watched it as if it were a movie. We still travelled, attended conferences, hung out in crowds. Then it finally started to sink in. A little late, but we got it just as it became clear that COVID19 was here.

Pandemic Perfectionism: not long after we started to wrap our brains around what being in a bubble would look and feel like, we were bombarded with challenges to get fit, clean our closets, learn new instruments, and upskill willy nilly. With free training and free time, there was unexpected pressure to be perfect. Yes, during a pandemic. Taika Waititi called it out, in a tongue in cheek tweet about getting shredded. He knew we’d fall far short. But still. The stress!

 Home Hamster Wheels: as we tried to figure out how to structure our days, many of us found ourselves scrambling. Filling more hours than a regular workday. Trying to stay focused and productive. Coming up with clever ways to get our kids doing something other than just watching screens all day. (Even though we had to ask them to show us how to connect to our online meetings.)

Zoom Zapped: almost overnight, everyone wanted to Zoom all the time. Not just during the workday, but also for virtual drinks and candlelight dinners at night. It was fun...at first. But who knew being “on camera” 24/7 could be so exhausting?  

Lockdown Lessons: some started to take a step back and ponder the best way to spend this enforced downtime. Instead of staying hyper-connected, why not use this opportunity, in a country where the threat to our health has so far been minimised, to reconnect with our families. Paint rocks, do puzzles. Or just be. 

Lockdown Limbo: then came the waiting game to find out what lockdown level we’d be allowed to enter next. And wondering how long we’d get to stay there. And we may be in this phase for a wee while yet. This will require flexibility.


So back to the future. (Sorry, couldn’t resist). Right now there’s lots of talk about our “new normal” and a lot of eye-rolling over the phrase. I like it because, of course, alliteration. But I get the eye-rolling. Normal is going to change day-by-day and depend on your unique perspective. 

I have never been so aware of my many layers of privilege. From having an income to being lucky enough to live in this country. Right now, I feel like I can “virtually” hug others by finding ways to contribute to my community. To support charities. To support my local…anything! Because for quite a while a lot of us are going to need support. Not just financial support, but mental health help too.

It starts with understanding all that we've been through and will continue to. 

So, give yourself a break. Give someone you love. Oh and make sure you continue to social distance from others outside your circle and not yet pop that bubble around you.


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