Is COVID-19 Affecting Friendliness?

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Written by Frankie Cameron

I have noticed since the mid-March shut down of Canada because of the COVID-19 virus that my neighbours seem friendlier. Are they or have I just gotten the time to get to know them?

Before COVID-19

I know my next-door neighbours, their names, kids’ names, etc. But for the rest of my subdivision, I know more dog names than people. I guess my other neighbours were friendly enough before the COVID-19 shutdown. Some would wave when I walked my dog or as I drove by, but most would just turn away, absorbed with their own lives.

I must admit that I was no better, always in a hurry to get to work or on to the next thing, lost in my thoughts. Sometimes, shyness and the fear of embarrassment held me back.

  • What if I wave and they don’t wave back?
  • What if I say hello and they ignore me?
  • What if they wave and they meant it for someone else and I wave back? (The horror)

During COVID-19

When the weather became warmer, my daughter and I started taking lengthy walks to pass the time. Every single person we passed engaged us by waving or saying hello. Some people even chatted longer. I have had many social distancing conversations with neighbours I had never spoken to before. People have even yelled from their front steps to say ‘Hello’. Everyone seems to smile as they pass by, acting as if they hadn’t seen another human for years.

Final Thoughts

Empathy, kindness and compassion appear to be making a comeback and that is a marvellous thing. I don’t know if people are craving social interaction or if the pandemic slowdown has given us time to get to know one another. Either way, I like it and I hope it continues.

Until next time

Frankie

Feature Image by Federico Tak from Pixabay 

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