• Gareth Ellis

Pandemic Positives: Staying Social

So, the news hit recently that people will be able to meet up in groups of six in gardens or outside spaces as of tomorrow.

This is huge news for a lot of people who have been dying to meet up with friends and family and enjoy the sunshine together, while still obeying the government rules surrounding coronavirus.

For me, I’ve been meeting up with friends, family, and work colleagues on a regular basis – through the magic of both Zoom, Microsoft Teams, and video calling.

Teams is great because you get to see your colleagues/friends at the drop of a hat and feed off their reactions. Being the creative type, I love things being visual and so meeting face to face (or as close to it as possible) will always help me either understand what is required of me or help me read the tone of the room. Plus, being a social person, I just love seeing people. I’ve been in big departmental meetings, one on ones and smaller Teams meetings and I have to say it’s such a useful tool.

Another great thing about this pandemic (you have to find the positives, right?) is that I’ve found out so much more about my colleagues and seen aspects of their lives that I previously knew very little about. We have people who are joined by their children, cats, dogs, and partners and it’s nice to see that through all this working from home business that we are all human – we all have lives outside of work and that can be easily forgotten.

Speaking of which, Zoom has helped me stay in touch with friends and family. Jess and I have joined our family now on numerous occasions for a regular quiz and it’s so much fun. We get to see people, virtually at least, so much more than we would without the lockdown restrictions.

On top of this, I’ve seen my mates more in the last two months than I probably did in the year prior to that. The reason? My school friends and I are notoriously rubbish at meeting up. Don’t get me wrong we always have a hilarious time when we do meet up, but we always want to meet up as a group of six, rather than meeting with who’s available.

On Zoom though, we can chat as a three or four and then because it’s so regular people can jump in and out as it suits them.

As well as this I’ve found that I’ve used video calls on my phone so much more too. I call my Dad and in-laws, so they can see Rupert and Emilia but inevitably it ends up being Jess and I that talks to them the most, but again, I love it. I really do love seeing people.

One day the world will return to normal, I’m just hoping that some aspects of our ‘new normal, remain

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