Read on the street 2 May 2020
The coronavirus pandemic is overturning life as we know it. Our daily lives have evolved into a blurred series of conference calls and quizzes on Zoom, and queues for the supermarket, to return home yet again with no flour.
It is looking like the pandemic will permanently change the ways in which we live, work, shop and socialise in the future.
But it is not all doom and gloom. Despite being banned from unnecessary journeys and all but one hour a day outside, communities across the country are more united now than ever. From shopping trips for neighbours to teachers offering home-schooling advice, people who never knew each other are forming new friendships. We’re all finding new ways to cope with the situation ourselves, and to support others in need.
Our selection of articles this week gives a few examples of things we would never have known before the coronavirus. From Zoom fatigue to skin hunger, this enormous, unintended social experiment has taught us many things about ourselves and about the world around us that we might find useful going forwards. Because, let’s face it, we’re not going to be going backwards.
Wondering why you feel so exhausted after a day of Zooming? You’re not alone. As a result of this unplanned social experiment featuring zillions of people video-conferencing every day, research has revealed that virtual interactions can be enormously hard on the brain. Having to look at 20 faces on one screen without non-verbal signals is simply something that the human brain isn’t designed to cope with. Give that brain a break and revert back to a good old phone call if you can.
Read in National Geographic
TV gets creative
If you’ve watched The One Show recently, you’ll know what social distancing on telly looks like. Technical difficulties and logistical mishaps certainly aren’t keeping their distance, but live TV continues to find new ways to operate in these odd times. At a time when many more people are turning to the telly as a source of news, comfort, comedy and escapism, the TV industry is having to do some belt-tightening.
Read in Wired
Three ways people are reacting to coronavirus: suffering, accepting and resisting
There is no one ‘way’ to experience this crisis. In fact, in the face of extraordinary circumstances, researchers at King’s College London have found that there are three main reactions. The first, suffering, is self-explanatory. Sufferers are feeling anxious and depressed, they’re thinking a lot about coronavirus and its long-term impacts, and they believe that the government acted too slowly.
Then there are the acceptors. These are the people who are on board with the government, they’re following the rules and they face little anxiety. The final group are the resistors. We haven’t heard much from them, but they are not complying with advice and they believe the government is making “too much fuss”.
This group is fascinating because they are not well represented in the media. It turns out resistance is a coping mechanism too.
Read in The Conversation
Lockdown is proving a tough time for “huggy people” who live alone. Human touch is biologically good for you, making you feel calmer, happier, and more sane: all feelings that might be useful at a time when we socialise through a screen and never know what day it is. And it seems that human touch has some immunity benefits too. These might also be helpful. So, get hugging, people, and don’t take it for granted.
Read in Wired
Notes on isolation, from those who know it well
I would imagine that a 6-week period of isolation has been a first for most of you. For others, isolation is a fact of life, and they have some wisdom to share. Read isolation stories from a journalist held hostage in Lebanon, a writer with chronic fatigue syndrome, and an astronaut. From poem recommendations to awakening your human empathy, there are some great tips on embracing life under lockdown.
Read in 1843 Magazine
Do you speak corona?
There’s no doubt that coronavirus has changed our day-to-day lives. We’re constantly at home, we’re Zooming around, and we’re watching TV weather presenters report “sunny spells” from home. But has it also changed the way we speak? From “quatorzaine” to “coronaspeck”, this piece is the ultimate guide to corona slang. Whatever you do, don’t be a “covidot”.
Also in 1843 Magazine
Written by Laura Hamilton, Managing Partner