By Faye Brocklebank
Designer, Tailor, Owner of Molly Brocks Frocks and all round lovely lady.
I’ve never been a wallflower and despite being quite a quiet person, I always seem to end up being the loudest at any social events. I suppose that makes me an extroverted introvert. Don’t get me wrong, I do like to have my quiet times, but I’m never short of something to say when in social settings. However, I am now worried that Covid has changed that for me.
Back in March 2020, Covid changed the social landscape and we as a nation adapted pretty quickly. During the first lockdown, we immersed ourselves in jovial rounds of countless Zoom meets and documented our banana-bread on Instagram, even taking part in a dance routine on Tik Tok and we all seemed to escape pretty unscathed. Summer 2020 felt almost normal, with some minor adjustments. Then from September towards Christmas there seemed to be a gradual decline in everyone’s spirits. Zoom catch-ups were fobbed off in favour of binge-watching whatever hadn’t been watched in the first lockdown, there was zero inclination to make yet another banana-bread or even communicate via social media.
Sadly, Christmas 2020 felt like a massive anti-climax for everyone. What should have been a time of celebration was mainly households sat in their pyjama’s hoping 2021 was going to be a better year. The main take away from a sedate New Year’s Eve was that most of us just felt grateful that 2020 was finally over. However, January and February hasn’t felt much better and we await with bated breath for Boris’s next plan and hope that we can all receive a vaccine and get back to some kind of normal.
I digress. In this age of technology, with so many avenues of communication available, I don’t feel like communicating anymore. The want is there, I miss so many of my friends and family. However, what do I have to say to them? I’m sure they’d love to hear about my umpteenth dog walk of the week…and if I ask one more person “what are you doing for dinner tonight?” they might pop me in box labelled ‘BORING HOUSEWIFE’. Never before have I had so little to say. Whenever I met up with my designated person from another household for a walk; it’s like I have verbal diarrhoea spewing words of zero importance, but with so little human interaction these days, waffle just seems to spill out of me. What has happened to me?!
I have constant feelings of inadequacy and inferiority. Covid has stripped me of my ability to talk to people in a normal way. Zoom, though wonderful, has become awkward and stilted, text messages have lost all intonation and banter and social media now seems limited and repetitive. I worry on a near daily basis how the heck am I going to communicate on a social level when restrictions are lifted? I’m feeling very Covid-inadequate and I’m sure that I’m not alone. So I’m making this public apology now to friends, family and acquaintances. I’m sorry if it takes me a while to get back into the swing of things. Bear with me. I’m still in here and I’ll be back to full working order very soon.