Who Makes Friends During a Quarantine?


When my kids were small, our family had a joke that if we had plans to go anywhere, Darling Eldest needed two weeks advance notice and Darling Youngest should only be told once they were buckled in the car seat. Darling Youngest has always been super social, wanting to be in the thick of every gathering and wanting to be there NOW. We used to call them “The Mayor” based on how easily they made friends and end up knowing pretty much everyone wherever we went.

Darling Youngest at the prom, just a couple of weeks ago.

As you may have guessed, the last couple of weeks have been tough on them. It wasn’t too bad when school got cancelled one day, but when it turned into a week (and now at least two weeks) they weren’t amused. Then the plans for a big birthday sleepover had to be scrapped. The local malls closed. The clubs that meant so much to them canceled events. No more all-day Dungeons & Dragons sessions at friends’ homes. No more wandering around town.

There were tears. And a bit of screaming.

Although my introverted self could not relate, I still felt bad for them. I spent a little time trying to find fun things to do. I tracked down some neat concerts, virtual museum visits, and performances from theater kids after they retreated to their bedroom in a huff. But when they came out again, they were quite excited.

One of their favorite influencers on Instagram, Jessi Paege, started encouraging her followers to start group chats to support each other. Darling Youngest made several new friends right away and has been happily texting them back and forth since then.

At first I thought, “Leave it to the Mayor to come out of this with a bunch of new friends.” And while that’s true, I thought of all the cool things I found researching and how wonderfully adaptive people are in finding creative ways to connect. I don’t know how long this will last, or how bad it will end up being. But I know that ways exist to keep connecting, keep living, in spite of it all, and that is a comfort.

Who makes friends during a quarantine? Anyone who'd like to.




This post was created for Poets and Storytellers United’s Weekly Scribblings: Hypophora and All That. Come and connect with us there. Also, you may want to keep an eye on my Facebook page and Instagram. I might try my hand at video readings to do my part at making this period of time feel a little bit less isolating. How are you keeping yourself occupied? Tell me all about it in the comments.


45 comments:

  1. This is such a timely and heartening write, Rommy!💝 I smiled at the idea and thought behind; "'The Mayor' based on how easily they made friends and end up knowing pretty much everyone wherever we went."

    The situation is the same everywhere, quarantine with people staying at home, schools closed etc. I for one am using this time to brush up upon my cooking and baking skills. Also, I whole heartedly agree with; "ways exist to keep connecting, keep living, in spite of it all, and that is a comfort." Thank you so much for adding your voice to the prompt!💝

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    1. The Mayor is brushing up on their baking skills too! Next up is homemade bagels.

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  2. Great post! As an introvert, I am naturally suited to social distancing, so this is no problemo for me.

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    1. LOL, same here. If anything, it's weird have so many people home with me! :D

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  3. So many discouraging things - my son may lose his first actors equity show in San Francisco, my daughter is graduating from college and so many opportunities seem out of reach now, my high schooler won't be in her musical ... she had a lead. My son was cast as Colin in Secret Garden ... any my husband is daily in the ER... a dangerous place. Sigh. Yes, but we are taking all this seriously and keeping our spirits up - just like you. I have my oldest kids living here as they lost their jobs - and I don't want them in San Fran or Brooklyn right now if they can be here in the mountains... And we are enjoying it so far. I do think it will be more than two weeks - far more. But hey ... we have our poetic community and I am intrigued how we can support and reach out to one another. Your daughters seem really cool!

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    1. Yeah I think two weeks is way too optimistic too. All we can do is be as kind and gentle with each other as possible, and adapt where we can.

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  4. Sadly this disease may take many months to control and already other countries are discouraging visitors. People are being foolish in supermarkets emptying the shelves of items that were not in short supply until now. I tried to buy some pasta today but the shelves were bare just as toilet rolls and tissues have been for over a week! These are items we produce ourselves so are we all crazy? What will be the next item to send people into a frenzy?

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    1. The local markets are imposing a measure of sanity and limiting the number of the same items people try to buy. Trader Joe's has a 2 of the same item limit. Wegmans has a 4 item limit. I'm glad they did. This is going to be crazy enough to get through without having to deal with runs on the supermarket.

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  5. I’m not one for socialising and have problems in crowds, but after five days of self-isolation, I’m already getting stir crazy, although I do have the luxury of a garden, secluded walks and plenty of wildlife. It must be really hard for the young to cope with a quarantine, and you’ve captured that feeling well in your piece, Rommy. I’m so glad they’re adapting – but then, that’s what we do. I like the idea of virtual museum visits. I'm keeping up with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram too.

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    1. Today Darling Youngest is trying to play Dungeons and Dragons on line with their gaming group. They say it's kind of chaotic but they're still playing and having fun.

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  6. Yes, there are advantages to being an introvert at present. Apart from that, I am thinking – er, intending ... I say INTENDING! – that my house will finally get tidied, dusted and decluttered.

    Your Darling Youngest sounds like a real live wire; glad they found something to relieve the isolation.

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    1. Darling Youngest was excited about Marie Kondo-ing their room as part of their homework, but kind of forgot about it in the joy of discovering they could game on line.

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  7. Good socialising within the quarantine days. The video i was privy to before. Just goes to show what a passion for life and happiness can do

    Happy Wednesday

    Much❤love

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    1. Life finds a way. So do gregarious teens. :D

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  8. This was such a comforting read! It's good to hear that your family is adapting to the shifting circumstances. My spouse is a serious introvert, so this should be fine...but he's decided that now is the time to give the house a deep clean and minor makeover and I'm sort of stress-napping. :)

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    1. We're doing fairly well, which is not to say there isn't a bit of nervousness and fear going on. But I'm grateful for what we do have and any bits of peace we can grab hold of.

      I hope your husband schedules his deep cleaning frenzy around your nap times. Naps are important!

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  9. Thank you for the positivity your poem brought. Reading a progression of poems expounding on dire truths leaves me nearly breathless with a feeling of doom. We need to dwell on how our lives may be affected positively by this forced change in our lifestyles. Thanks for reminding us!

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    1. It's not always easy to find the positive in this mess. But holding on to the bits of good we find might be the best way to keep from losing our minds.

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  10. We are living in a new world, learning new, creative ways to connect. Thankfully we are a creative bunch here.

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    1. Sometimes we humans are inventive in ways that aren't terrible.

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  11. Leave it to the kids, our future leaders, to take hold of this crisis and leap forward.

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  12. You're right: Friends can be made anywhere, anytime, even during a plague.

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  13. I am about to investigate Zoom for running my workshops and things. Maybe Darling Youngest would like it too, for communicating with her friends? (Or are you way ahead of me?)
    And no, house is not a lot tidier nor much less dusty – but I'm thrilled with my recent revamp to my website lol.

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    1. We've been using things like Zoom and Google Hangouts. Today the kiddo is trying out Discord for their gaming group.

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  14. Like a lot of others, social distancing is something I do in any case, so haven't been bothered by it. Life seems the same for those who have jobs that can be done remotely. It's the others - the poor, the daily wage earners, the homeless that seem most affected - as in all crises. Just hope this is done with soon. It's heartbreaking.

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    1. It's always the poor and the marginalized who suffer the most. The well off can afford to quarantine, get quality health care, and even get tested before everyone else.

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  15. I identify with this very much. We have 7 kids, all grown up now and living all over the place. We've had group chat for years, and so far we've all been very chatty.

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    1. We've been pros with group chat too, especially since my son went off to college. We're a pretty close family. And thank goodness too, or we'd all go nuts shut in together!

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  16. Pretty much the same is happening all over the worls, but I guess we all need to find ways to let this time pass beautifully.

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    1. Any little bits of good are worth cherishing :)

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  17. To say that things are less than awesome, right now, might inspire storms of eye rolls. So many people are struggling--and sometimes collapsing--under the weight of our current circumstances. The one thing that will keep us going is if we figure out how to shape our behaviors (and, if we are lucky, our needs) in ways that will allow us to smile (or, at least, not scream). Your Darling Youngest (and you, too) show a magnificent example of how this is done. Also, Jessi Paege seems to give excellent advice.

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    1. I know that I am among the lucky ones with all the good things going in my favor. I know too many that aren't so lucky and I just hope they come out of this OK.

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  18. Happy Sunday Rommy

    My posts today are
    HERE
    AND
    HERE

    much love...

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  19. Great post, Rommy. I am taking long walks with my sister, to offset the loss of gym time. Libraries are closed, so I splurged on some books from Barnes & Noble. Still taking the dogs out every morning. Stay well.

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    1. I am trying to be good and do e-books, but I admit to having my eye on some books I really want to add to my physical collection.

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  20. Times like these are when we truly find out who our friends are. Keep being of good cheer!

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    1. I'm quite grateful for dear friends too.

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  21. Love, empathy, childlike innocence will be the winner

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  22. I love your post!!! It reminded me that one of the restaurant owners in Bend where we live refers to my special needs son Carl who has worked at the front of our local Safeway for fifteen years as "The Mayor." Stay healthy.

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  23. Great post!! Your youngest is adorable!!! Big Hugs!

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