How COVID-19 Is Causing Friend Breakups

June 24, 2020  |  
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breakup of a friendship

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I never thought that a pandemic could somehow become politicized, and be so polarizing. But it has been. If you think about policies and laws, they can change peoples’ lives forever. They can cause poverty. They can even, in the long run, lead to more deaths. They can impact people in a way that’s traumatizing. Sounds quite a bit like a pandemic, right? The suffering caused by COVID-19 has been severe. And those who have suffered have very strong feelings about how the world at large interacts with the pandemic. Even those who haven’t suffered, but are deeply compassionate, also have strong feelings about how others handle this virus and its aftermath. Last year, around this time, all of the posts were about the impending election. One post could prompt 80 comments that contained 13 mini arguments. Blocking, unfriending, and unfollowing happened. Declarations of, “If you think this, go ahead and unfriend me” were made. Now, it all feels eerily similar, but it’s about the pandemic. COVID-19 is leading to friend breakups. Even I feel nervous sometimes admitting some of my pandemic behaviors to friends, as I fear they’ll condemn me, or judge me. I mentioned going to a bar (with a mask on, and sitting outdoors, distanced) to a friend, and she gave me a tongue lashing. This pandemic is causing social rifts, big time, and it feels political.

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The unemployed vs the working-from-home

If you work from home right now, you can’t dare complain about what that’s like to somebody who isn’t working at all. You can be called insensitive, tone-deaf, ignorant, selfish – you get the idea. There is a lot of comparing of suffering going on. A lot of, “How can you complain about that when others have it so much worse than you?” There is a competition to be the biggest victim.

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