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Did Covid blow up anyone else's relationships?


danada1
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Hello everyone.  I'm just seeing who else is with me in this still kinda depressing boat.  The social fallout from Covid was something I did NOT expect in March.  Since the time we went into lockdown, I had one person stop speaking to me, a rather close friendship turn very distant (I'm still confused by this one, but I believe differing covid views played a part), one other friend consider me something close to the Anti-Christ because I was happy to follow the gov guidelines ( I was happy my government was at least trying SOMETHING, even if it wasn't the most proactive or ideal).  Some of the broken or damaged friendships mentioned above also have had sad results for my children, since we tended to socialize as families.  I've also felt very alienated and confused by the behavior of many people I've been friendly with, or been part of homeschool groups with, who would belong in the conservative Christian camp.  I was baffled by the quickness to defy health guidelines and promote whatever newest somewhat conspiratorial theory that came around.  It got to the point where I was refreshed nearly to tears to hear that people in my house church group (which I had only barely been getting to know more before the pandemic hit) were conscientious about trying to reasonably comply with the guidelines and who did not see masks as the mark of the beast or etc. 

I have lost a lot socially during this time.  I had really enjoyed my children's once weekly school program, but when I saw that they were not going to comply with the health guidelines that apply to local private schools and day camps (public schools weren't opening then) I was again at a loss.  I could not see, being pregnant and still in contact with my parents (who are diabetic and older) participating in such an environment, and I further questioned if I wanted people who had that perspective teaching science to my children, as previously planned.  For awhile now, I've been more aligned with an approach to Christianity that differed to the general evangelical circle I was initially part of....but Covid seemed to really strain or break some of the last remaining ties.  

I've not lost anyone close to me to Covid during this time.  But at times the social fallout has made me very depressed to the point where I almost feel like I've been in grief over relationships that have, in a way, died.  Things are beginning to look up.  I've found some new social outlets that I can feel reasonably "responsible to my community" by participating in.  I was thankful for some of the house church members I've gotten to know a bit better during this time.  But, still, there's a part of me that continues to feel a deep loss and sadness when I think about what's happened to my relationships these last six months.  Anyone else had something similar happen? 

 

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2 minutes ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

No. Some of my friends have differing views than I do but it has not affected our relationship. 

That's good to hear.  I've been very grateful for my friends with whom I've been able to have a difference of opinion with, but it's left at that. I'm also grateful for another friend who has been more than happy to meet me where I'm at, by doing a social distanced visit or zoom.  It hasn't all been bad.  Bu, like I said before, the social fallout was just so unexpected...and sad. 

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Yes. Definitely. There are people I saw on an at-least weekly basis up through mid-March that I will probably never have cause to see again. It's a bizarre, out-of-body sort of realization. 
 

Luckily, my kids are old enough that they have their own lives, so the loss of these families' acquaintanceships will have zero affect on their lives - but it's still weird to think that when this started, I was still making an effort every single week to be kind and thoughtful to these people and because of COVID, I will never even see their faces again. 
 

I just take comfort in the fact that this seems to be happening to lots of people everywhere for a whole plethora of Covid-related reasons.

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Yep. Our social network exploded in a pretty dramatic way. If I'm honest, I knew that was likely to happen when the first case of Covid hit our state. I went to an event in March, right before lockdown (I knew lockdown was likely coming within a few days. Instead, it happened within hours of arriving at the event), and thought "We probably won't ever see these people again".  It's a long story, but I've realized that I view the world in a fundamentally different way than they do.  

I'm mostly sad for my kid, because he's lost friendships as a result of this.  I feel like I failed him in a way. 

You aren't alone. ❤️ 

 

Edited by MissLemon
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Yes.  I think I've lost a valued friendship (maybe I'm wrong -time will tell).  I walked into a building to speak to her and put a mask on as per our local mandate at the time (now a state mandate).  She would not speak to me.  I tried to get a conversation going, she would not reply except in one syllable words.  It was noticeable to someone else across a large room who asked about it.  It makes me want to weep to think about it.

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Not exploded, but snuffed out in a quiet fizzle, yes. There was one old friend who I thought was ghosting me before the pandemic; during the pandemic I could see she embraced conspiracies and took a different political view than mine. We didn’t have any sort of blow-out, but in my head, I have reconciled that we are not friends and I don’t plan to make any effort at reconnection. I have no occasion to see her if I don’t do it on purpose so I guess time will just go by. 

I did make a specific intention a couple of months ago to nurture some friendships with quality people I know and starve the friendships will people whose “friendship” is not enriching my life. I was going from that saying about being most like the five people you spend the most time with; I started to think, “Would this be one of the five people I want to be like? Or is this yet another fixer-upper?” 

I do have a soft spot in my heart for fixer-uppers, because I generally tend to believe in what a person could be. Still, though. I know several high-quality, non-fixer-upper people whose friendships I would rather nurture. I think I’m going out of the fixer-upper business and focusing on friends I admire. 

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My homeschooling friends have mostly given up on me as they are all back to getting together, not social distancing, and going out to eat at sit-in restaurants. I'm not comfortable doing those things yet. I'm already in the doghouse with them for not hugging everybody and for masking at an outdoor party where it was impossible to stay 6' apart. 

Honestly, while I appreciate those friendships, I don't miss them yet. Give me another six months to feel their loss. 

I think I'll have one or two friendships survive. Maybe.

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5 hours ago, Jean in Newcastle said:

No. Some of my friends have differing views than I do but it has not affected our relationship. 

This. I am probably the most conservative about the virus in most of the groups I am in. The virus has brought me closer to one person who we had not spoken much and now we make more of an effort to spend time talking. Otherwise -- we are still friends. I realize we have different views but they allow me to have mine and I allow them to have theirs and we are still friends.

 

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I had one FB friend (distant acquaintance) apparently block me on FB due to a question I asked on one of her COVID/anti-masking posts (well, I don't know for sure, because I can't contact her, but that was the only contact we've had in a couple of years anyway). 

I have some friends who we disagree on COVID (and other things!), but we can still remain friends regardless. The same level of friendship? We'll have to see after we get back to some level of normal. 

But there are a couple of people that I will not work to maintain any relationship we do have. And a couple of people that I will work harder to maintain that relationship. 

I have been surprised by some of the reactions/actions. I'm actually glad my kids are in college and making their own friends, because, yes, I do think our friend group here would be changing. I suspect there are people here who have marked me off their list as I'm pro-science, anti-conspiracy, pro-mask, pro-law-abiding. 

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As with the others, I have a wide variety of friend & family with differing views and we're still speaking.

My poor DH though. He had a falling out with his parents in May. They have not spoken since and he used to talk to them at least weekly. He sent a gift and called his dad on Father's Day. No response. Every year since we've been married they have sent us an anniversary card, none this year. For his birthday she sent a card with a check but nothing written in the card. This is the woman who always writes on the entire inside and back of cards. He said it was like a slap in the face! Both sides are so stubborn that I don't know if there will be a reconciliation. I honestly don't care at this point as they have treated me like garbage since we first met.

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24 minutes ago, ashfern said:

As with the others, I have a wide variety of friend & family with differing views and we're still speaking.

My poor DH though. He had a falling out with his parents in May. They have not spoken since and he used to talk to them at least weekly. He sent a gift and called his dad on Father's Day. No response. Every year since we've been married they have sent us an anniversary card, none this year. For his birthday she sent a card with a check but nothing written in the card. This is the woman who always writes on the entire inside and back of cards. He said it was like a slap in the face! Both sides are so stubborn that I don't know if there will be a reconciliation. I honestly don't care at this point as they have treated me like garbage since we first met.

This is so sad, and bizarre really.  I can't imagine.  How can parents think that their views on something are more important than a relationship with their child!

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I haven't experienced that in my relationships, but on the other hand, I've barely seen anyone since the pandemic and am rarely on Facebook!

That said, I do have a few friends and relatives who hold differing views.  I'm quite confident that our relationships with each other are stronger than our differing views on certain things -- which we probably wouldn't even bring up with each other in order to safeguard the relationship.  

 

 

 

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10 minutes ago, Happymomof1 said:

Yes, Covid blew up my world rather spectacularly. My church is now meeting almost as usual. Yes, masks and social distancing. But a socially distanced choir has been singing. For me to watch my friends sing and not get to... really hard.  That said, it is funny. Most of us in it that are 40-55 are NOT singing in it.  It is the 60 and above that are singing. But there are about 20 instead of 60 in the choir that used to be. My church is PRO PRO Trump.  My poor pastor ( he and his wife are my husband and I's best friend) made the mistake of posting on Facebook why he could not morally vote for him....  Yeah, he has now deleted his account.   I made the mistake of posting on a friend who is the president of the HOmeschool group why I thought the governor was looking out for the health of the people, that the flu vaccine was good, etc. I got crucified and deleted my Facebook account. ( That was the same day as my getting upset on here. That was behind my upset. Just so mad that they won't follow common sense guidelines. Everything is a conspiracy. )  

So basically, I'm not conservative enough on this board about the virus. And for my community and friends I am WAY WAY too cautious. Very lonely. I'm going to post a cross over question.

Wow, I just don't get that at all...  I'm sorry that happened to you.  

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Yep.  No blowup, but everyone seems to be too busy with getting back to co-op activities and get togethers to care that we’re falling apart over here.  The pandemic, combined with my oldest coming out as a transgender female, has shown us that we really don’t have many true friends.  And the ones we do have are too busy for us.  It’s sad, exhausting emotionally, and very lonely even for the introverts in the house.  And as we’re helping care for my 90yo and 86yo grandparents and helping out my mom and dad, who has had a liver transplant, pretending life is back to normal isn’t an option for us.  

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Not really any blow ups, but some people I probably won’t push relationships with anymore. I can handle wide varieties of viewpoints, but I can’t handle “everyone who died was going to die anyway” and “I have to do what is right for me, and if it kills someone else it isn’t my problem.” 
 

I have had several homeschooling friends post on Facebook variations of this-they aren’t responsible for public health only their health and their children’s health. 

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Yep.  I don't have any friends other than the parents of kids who were in dance with my kids.  We had a strong great group.   We all spent so much time together before covid.  But it all fizzled out in these months.  Dance is virtual.   Lots of people quit.

I could see how the politics and conspiracy theories could end a friendship right now.  

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For those who have lost friendships — I know it is hard to lose a friend, but try to look at it from the perspective of feeling fortunate that you have seen the other person’s true colors.

If someone is willing to end a friendship with you because you disagree on something as simple as masks and social distancing, was that person ever truly your friend? What kind of person would cut you off like that? I can understand disagreeing about the Covid stuff, and I can see needing to take a break from people who are taking risks that make you uncomfortable, as well as needing to take a break from people who are being far more careful than you choose to be, but the levels of anger and nastiness I am seeing over those issues is just insane. If someone wanted to call me names and be mean to me because my family takes Covid seriously, I might be shocked and hurt at first, but then I would realize that I was better off without a person like that in my life, because if it wasn’t the Covid situation that set them off, it would probably have been something else sooner or later.

And so many friendships are ending because of political views, as well — but again, if someone can’t disagree with you, yet still like and respect you as a person, that says a lot about that friendship.

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It is not just you.  This has really caused a lot of lost friendships and heartache. We are in a place of between the very cautious and the why mask people.  Personally, I have lost friends and my kids have lost friends.  The lack of support during something I could really have used to it, was hard. Between this and the ones who have become die hard political( ones who suddenly think you are horrible that you aren’t voting the way they are), it makes it a lonely time.  

Edited by itsheresomewhere
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Yes, but not the important, real relationships.  The peripheral “fixer upper” friendships have suffered, though.  (Thanks, Quill.  Stealing that!)

Our close, solid relationships are fine.  Going strong.

We don’t do FB or anything like that, so this is all IRL only:

Our neighborhood, which has always been social and fun, isn’t the same.  One next door neighbor and our neighbor across the cul de sac moved in just before and just after SIP.  Watching them have large parties with zero masking during our state mandated SIP, blatantly breaking laws ... Hasn’t made me want to spend time getting to know them as normal.

Other neighbor friends have just faded away and disappeared.  They are part of the partying and no-masking, and while we’ve always been fairly close, there’s a definite chilly vibe coming from them.  No more little text jokes once or twice a week as we chit chat and catch up.  There’s one friend out of them all that I particularly miss, because our friendship was deeper, but her DH has always been on opposite sides of every issue from us, albeit quietly, we all just ignored it.  But Covid must have amped it up to an unbearable level and he no longer waves when we pass him.  

Our theater circle has disbanded.  The theater and dance studio resumed classes, but we don’t attend sweaty, heavy breathing indoor classes at the moment.  Zoom acting is not the same.  And so the teen’s friend group has faded.  Ditto the friendships we had there.  
 

Teen had a newish close friendship developing, and that family came down with Covid.  They were all long haulers, and the teen friend was sick and tired and grumpy and moody for a good four to five months.  Sadly, their friendship didn’t make it through that experience.  I’m bummed, because I had high hopes about a budding friendship the mom and I had. That loss I view as a direct casualty of  Covid itself.

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I had a falling out with evangelicalism years ago, when it was clear many of the people I considered close friends lacked any critical thinking skills whatsoever.  It got worse with the last presidential election. I've had trouble finding a church I loved since, but I appreciate that the friends we made at more liberal churches are mostly more aligned with my current thoughts.

I'm sorry that you're having these problems together with the pandemic.  Either event is so hard on its own.

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I had one friendship blow up because the person kept going on for months about how only stupid (or completely brainless or lawless or duped) people would ever vote for Candidate X, and I finally asked if they really thought I was stupid because I was going to vote for Candidate X, and they didn't even try to use the, "Well, not you per se" approach. All righty then, good to know, movin' on. 

I have a lot of people that I am not sure I will ever be able to look at in the same way due to their conspiracy theory following, law breaking, and COVID denying ways, but I haven't really dealt with that in regards to the friendship yet. The friendships are kind of just fading away since we can't see them in person due to being a higher risk family. None of them has curtailed their activities in any way so they could see me or my children which has been very painful for both me and my teens. I'm still working on letting the hurt go, honestly.

Kids had to drop out of Tae Kwon Do and co-op due to not following guidelines. It's been a hard six months. Our church, which just started back in-person with a limited number this week, has not really reached out to us either. A neighboring church has called about every 6 weeks to "check in on our needs" because they had our contact info from one activity my teens attended last year. DH is thinking that might be our new church home when we return to church. 

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No.

I have had only a couple people irl—my in laws and my former boss— who choose to believe in conspiracies over science. The fact that we have essentially no relationship with them is a direct result of them choosing to not use critical thinking skills and intentionally turning away from reality; their reactions to Covid are just yet another manifestation of their chosen “beliefs”. 
 

My friends are people whom I respect and who respect me and others. Deniers don’t fall into that category.

Edited by MEmama
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It's been very hard socially.  I wouldn't say we have lost friends but I'm not sure the relationships will ever really be the same.   Basically since JR g yune all of my local friends have been back to life like normal.  Regularly breaking the regulations and recommendations sometimes is spectacular ways.  So for months they have been vactioning, partying and hanging out regularly.  While we stay home mostly and do socially distanced outdoor activities.  It makes for really awkward conversation.  I think it will be okay eventually but it's definitely been painful and will continue to be.  Since I'm not willing to do indoor group activities with no precautions.

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Our relationships have all remained strong even though they include people on all sides of the political and pandemic debates. It takes both parties being mature enough to respect differing views while being humble enough to understand that no one side has a monopoly on the truth or virtue. 
 

Personally, I only socialize outside with a mask. That hasn’t been an issue because our friend group usually socializes outside anyway and we have moved indoor activities outside as well. I don’t take offense if a friend chooses not to wear a mask around me and they don’t take offense when I choose to wear one. 
 

I agree with a previous poster who said, “You do you.” 
 

Of course, I got rid of anyone who disrespectful or self-righteous years ago, so there wasn’t much fat to trim off of my friend group, and I’m really thankful for that because I really need good friends during such a stressful time. 
 

P.S. I’m not really a new member. I just couldn’t log back on after a board update a few years ago and have finally had enough free time to make a replacement account. 

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6 minutes ago, Amy Gen said:

Our relationships have all remained strong even though they include people on all sides of the political and pandemic debates. It takes both parties being mature enough to respect differing views while being humble enough to understand that no one side has a monopoly on the truth or virtue. 
 

Personally, I only socialize outside with a mask. That hasn’t been an issue because our friend group usually socializes outside anyway and we have moved indoor activities outside as well. I don’t take offense if a friend chooses not to wear a mask around me and they don’t take offense when I choose to wear one. 
 

I agree with a previous poster who said, “You do you.” 
 

Of course, I got rid of anyone who disrespectful or self-righteous years ago, so there wasn’t much fat to trim off of my friend group, and I’m really thankful for that because I really need good friends during such a stressful time. 
 

P.S. I’m not really a new member. I just couldn’t log back on after a board update a few years ago and have finally had enough free time to make a replacement account. 


I'll use your language.  I did have some fat to trim, relationally speaking. 

For me its been relationships with liberal friends that have been damaged- and I'm not certain I shall try to repair it based on what I've learned.   I'm politically in the middle and people who know me, know that I am considered, sincere, and respectful.  I am also a person of faith- which supersedes political affiliations and positions...but do not put me in a box.   While I lean more conservative on a few more things than liberal, I am 100% in between.  I fit no where.  And on good days, its pretty cool to have a very diverse circle of family and friends.  And I intentionally keep relationships with people who do not think the same as me- its harder, but healthier in some ways to keep perspective.   

What I've observed is that there needs to be mutual respect to make this diverse circle work- not just the "I'll wait till you're done talking so I can talk" but an actual foundation of respect. For me, COVID has highlighted those friendships where people are NOT in that place. Differences of opinion are great- but disrespect for differences and making broad generalizations is not ok with me. 

Relationships have been damaged in 2 ways.   First, those who have been judgmental of choices or opinions or perspectives different than their own- not even thinly veiled or subtle or engaging in thoughtful conversation- just specific, judgmental and harsh.  Just so harsh.  Its so difficult to engage with that kind of closed thought process.  Secondly, those who have become almost toxic with every event/circumstance/issue circling back to political ideology.  For my friends who share Christian faith, this has been particularly hurtful.  It's as if politics are the now the new defining standard- this has somehow sharpened since COVID. I cannot tell you how damaging this has been to our faith community as well as personal relationships.  

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21 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

 

  • Masker might say of no-masker friend:  WOW.  The fact that you won't believe the science, that you won't even have the courtesy to do something as simple as wearing a mask--that tells me a lot about you, and in ways that make me lose all respect / feel like you don't care about me at all.  I don't know how we can be friends.
  • No-masker might say of masker friend:  WOW. The fact that you won't believe the science, that you are so quick to abandon your freedoms, and mine too, that you engaging in dehumanizing actions--that tells me a lot about you, and in ways  that make me lose all respect / feel like you don't care about me at all.  I don't know how we can be friends.

I've seen both of these "backstory" interpretations put in play (not in these exact words, and not limited to these exact reasons...)...and if one enters into those interpretations, then it "makes sense" that..

 

The idea about the "backstory" is helpful. I admit this has been at play in my own mind. 

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Well, my friendships have suffered a little because I'm SO busy being essential and working 50+ hours a week that I don't have time for anything else.  Days off are for dishes and sleeping.  And church, since that's my only day off. 😛  Hopefully when all this is back to normal I will still have friends who want to get together because I'm a big fat buzzkill right now.

Family relationships took an unexpected twist when MIL (who I've long suspected of NPD) sent ME a personal letter detailing all the ways I've disappointed her as a daughter in law.  She said covid and the sudden death of a few of her close friends made her realize that she didn't want to die with unfinished business.  I have not responded because... there just is no point.  Anything I say will be discarded for her warped truth, so why bother.   I am almost relieved to know what she's actually thinking, so I can feel free to stop trying so hard to make visits with them pleasant.  Instead, should the day come when they travel this way again I will 100% contrive to not be home.

ON the plus side of relationship changes, things at work could not be better.  This "all in this together" mindset has really deepened our relationships with each other.  I work with some amazing people, and I've also started mentoring several young adults and it is just going so well.  Spending time with all these young people who are so positive and energetic and full of life gives me such hope for the future.  

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6 hours ago, *Jessica* said:

Yep.  No blowup, but everyone seems to be too busy with getting back to co-op activities and get togethers to care that we’re falling apart over here.  The pandemic, combined with my oldest coming out as a transgender female, has shown us that we really don’t have many true friends.  And the ones we do have are too busy for us.  It’s sad, exhausting emotionally, and very lonely even for the introverts in the house.  And as we’re helping care for my 90yo and 86yo grandparents and helping out my mom and dad, who has had a liver transplant, pretending life is back to normal isn’t an option for us.  

I don't know if it helps, but *I* care that you are falling apart. ❤️ If you want an internet pen pal, I would be so glad to write and check in with you. No pressure if the answer is no! The offer is there if you want it. ❤️

Hang in there!

 

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6 minutes ago, MissLemon said:

I don't know if it helps, but *I* care that you are falling apart. ❤️ If you want an internet pen pal, I would be so glad to write and check in with you. No pressure if the answer is no! The offer is there if you want it. ❤️

Hang in there!

 

That’s very sweet, thank you! ❤️ You can send me a pm any time!

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My relationships have blown up badly.  I was a part of a homeschooling group with three other families, and our kids have been friends for over ten years.  The four moms have always gone out to celebrate each other's birthdays for these 10 years.  We were each other's best friends.  We have always been the rogue, independent, homeschooling, natural living types, but when I became "compliant", things turned for the worse.  They sent me the conspiracy theory videos and links to false news.  When I started sending articles I read in my daily newspaper, they didn't like that one bit.  (The newspaper is full of lies!!)  For one friend's birthday this September, they decided to go out to dinner at an eat-in restaurant.  I had to decide if I was going to join the group or, for the first time in our history, forego the night and stay home...with my mask.  I decided to stay home.  It hurt like heck because there was no compromise for me, no, "Let's go for a picnic, or an outdoor restaurant," nothing.  They believe that mask-wearers are the kool-aide drinkers, and I have clearly drank the kool-aide.  They don't want anything to do with me anymore.

It hurts like hell.  My kids are so hurt, because they lost their life long friends.  We used to have gatherings together all of the time.  Their children's pictures are on our walls.  They don't call anymore, and seem somewhat angry that we are not following suit.  It's almost harder to mourn these friendships than to have these friends die of Covid.  I can't explain it.  It's just really hard to put into words.  It makes me cry.

I'm so angry at a certain political figure for causing such a political divide in our country.  I know I could blame my friends for their lack of critical thinking, but someone in a high position is leading this position.  There is not even room for a decent discussion anymore.  I don't understand this at all.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Edited by rainbird2
I changed worst to worse. I was typing too fast. Other errors, too, but I'll get to those later.
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We left our church over COVID. They went crazy. I knew that the church had anti-vaxxers but I had no idea how bad it was. The priest spent several months giving over the top, angry sermons. He's been known to rant about Bill Gates is working on a COVID vaccine that will have some kind of a tracker. There is downright hostility towards people who are masking and social distancing and staying home from church. It's almost like they are punishing people who are staying home now by making it hard for them to participate. 

We weren't the only family to leave. 

Paranoia has set in. Deleting comments on the parish website and social media. Concerns about how streaming liturgy isn't private. 

Recommending bizarre websites to parishioners where weird out-there monks from Greece complain about the bishops and the government. 

It's bad and we were the enemies for objecting to that. 

How do "you do you" when someone refuses to get the flu shot or vaccinate their children which puts me and my family at risk. People who refuse to social distance put us at risk. 

The conspiracy theories are indicate a world-view that I don't share. For the record, I hate 'left' conspiracy theories too. I've muted some people who go on and on about Russia, etc. 

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Yes and no. No friends. It has made my relationship with my brother difficult again, but it was already. I mean, last night, he sent a video of his kid in class at school singing some song about vowels and I was like cute and my mom was like cute and my mom said a e i o u and sometimes y and I said, oh and I have learned and sometimes w. And he took that to mean that I was criticizing his kid and calling him a terrible father. SOOOOO... the fact that we have had several fights about Covid and Covid precautions may not totally be down to Covid really. Shrug. I have been trying to counsel my mom not to let it get to her. He went after her for the sometimes Y thing after he was done with me. But he won't let her go see the grandkids because she is "germy." This is because she offered to get tested and asked them to also get tested in order to see each other. That made her "germy" and unsafe. Nevermind that she has barely been in a store since this started and is feeling deeply isolated while he has flown cross country, been to weddings, and has his two kids at in person schools.

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My 2020 started with an old friend (40+years) cutting me out of her life. That was the first week of January, so not COVID-related. But it sure was the harbinger of things to come. I still have a broken heart about it.

I live about an hour away from two of my closest friends, so it is not like we got together all the time. But they have resumed all pre-COVID forms of socializing, and I have not. I'm hoping we can ride this out, as they are like sisters to me. I'm sort of walking on eggshells with them, mostly by deflecting invitations and avoiding the topic on the phone. However, I've made up my mind not to sit back and take passive-aggressive comments about me never leaving the house or calling me a scaredy cat. So they are going to have to care about how I feel, too. Or we are not going to make it.

I don't have good friends who live in my town, and when I moved here four years ago I failed to invest much in new friendships. Instead, I relied on my old friends and a steady stream of out-of-state houseguests. That was a mistake.

I do indeed know some like-minded people here, and am grateful for the precious few opportunities I have to socialize with them. Like Patty Joanna said, I can't make new old friends, but I really do have to work on making new friends. Thank goodness I have robust online friendships. That has often stood between me and despair.

Hugs to all of you who are grieving friendships and lack of social contact. I am with you in that. It must really hurt for those of you whose kids have lost their friends in the process. 

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This was an irritant for me early on but then my maternal uncle was hospitalized for a month and an individual married to my paternal step-sister (and promoter of no-mask policies and individuals) recently died from COVID. It was like magic. There's been no more discussion of masks as tyranny or leaders as gods on my feed. Apparently, and tragically, death helps clarify priorities.

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4 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

It is so insane.  I have friends who have left one church for these same reasons...and others who have left another church because of the exact opposite reasons.  It's so crazy.  A school in town closed because half the people said they wouldn't come back if masks were required, and the other half said they wouldn't come back if masks were required.  Kerflump.  Now no one gets a school.  Just insane.  

I'm sorry.  :0(

Yes, I think people are attending this church now because it's the anti-mask church, even though it's not supposed to be because that's not what the bishop instructed. 

All of this is going to lead to more divisions between people. 

I point a lot of fingers at leadership. They could have done more to bring us together but they were just are partisan as everyone else. 

Honestly, IMHO this is a result of the culture-wars, us versus them mentality that is so prevalent in churches today. 

There are people in this church who refuse to allow their kids to wear masks, even if means not attending school, because some online monk in another country wrote it was evil. These same online guys are full of vitriol against the bishops. None of this is good for the future of the Church. When you can't even admit that the bishops have authority, what binds you together? 

You aren't a traditional Orthodox person if you're figuring it out on your own (or with your tiny parish) by reading the Bible and the Fathers by yourself and ignoring your bishop because you think he's been corrupted by secularism. And the bishops have absolutely no clue what's happening 'on the ground,' so to speak. 

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6 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

I'm sorry for your loss.  :0(

I think it makes a big difference when one's personal experience matches the public narrative.  In my life, there is a lot of dissonance--I personally know one person who has had COVID, and yet I have a LOT of experience with people who are depressed, out of work, lonely,  or sick-with-life-threatening-cancer-and-are-all-alone-in-their-struggles because of the lockdown/shutdown and all that has come along with it.  

Another example:  My friend's cousin entered hospice, dying of cancer, and within a week contracted COVID, and a week later her cause of death was recorded as COVID.  This makes me less trustful of the numbers...not just by "a unit of 1" but in general.

I don't mean in any way to minimize the seriousness of COVID or the losses people have experienced.  
I do want to point out that there are reasons people have different reactions to the situation, and different levels of trust in the authorities and media narratives.  

Just wait a little longer and see how much numbers matter. From what I've observed, accurate numbers as a concern fade rapidly when COVID comes knocking on your door. 200K souls in 6 months and counting.

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9 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

I understand this at an intellectual level, and I wasn't meaning to minimize it.  I think what I was trying to say is that there is an emotional/non-rational response when experience differs from intellectual understanding.  I guess I could use another situation to make the distinction.  When a 20-car pileup happens in a state across the country, I read the headline, but it doesn't hit me the same way as when it happens on MY interstate--the one I drive every day.  THEN I read every news story, look for the names of those who were hurt, at fault, etc.  It isn't that the people in my state are more important or valuable than those across the country...it's just that there is a touchpoint of relevances when it happened on my interstate--and when I find out that there is a particular curve that is dangerous, I watch it more carefully.  That is more along the lines of what I was trying to say.  

I understand your point. I'm saying that when that 20 car pileup starts happening in every town you frequent, things change. Rapidly. We haven't hit that point yet. Give it another 400K deaths and we may be there.

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37 minutes ago, Patty Joanna said:

A bit generalized, and to a large degree a very different experience from my own as re: us vs. them, the paying attention to an overseas monk (although there is an overseas authority that people are quoting...and I get that one in spades from one particular person...)  One of my friends told me that their bishop "recommended" wearing masks, but that many of the parishes are going with the "he didn't say we HAD to" side of "recommended."  Our bishop mandated masks.  People who don't bring one are given one.  Some leave instead of putting it on, but that is their issue, not mine.  

One of the problems is that we have so many bishops overseeing the same acreage.  That lets people just wander over to another jurisdiction's parish. I think that, more than anything else, has made me sad about our situation.  I can see that there might be different requirements in Montana vs. L.A., but the same bishop oversees both...  That's one thing.  But the thing that made me saddest is that this was an opportunity for the local parishes to stand together, even among different jurisdictions, and provide at least SOME level of unity that we claim we seek.  That didn't happen and it is really disappointing.  

There has been so much griping and finger pointing at the bishops. Everyone thinks it's so easy to make a decision when thousands of lives are potentially within your control. I'm sure that some of the decisions made were wrong. But people should have tried to extend a bit more grace instead of immediately assuming the bishops were corrupted. And of course the people griping the most never had any responsibility anyway. The clergy could have helped to contain the situation but some of them just made things worse by inflaming people. 

If the bishop recommends something, it's a good idea to listen. The fact that people were so quick to dismiss the recommendations of bishops should trouble everyone. 

 

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Yep. Dh and I have been having issues for quite a while. He is now living with his brother because covering coughs and sneezes was not something he was willing to do. (Yes, there is more to it than that, but that was the proverbial final straw.) On the plus side, I am now 100% free from having to pretend that I like my in-laws (who also, apparently, don’t think Covid is a real thing.)

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12 hours ago, Plum said:

I hear you on the CC weirdness. I am so surprised by what is coming out of the conservative Christian camp. I made the mistake of commenting once that they seem to have fallen into the survival of the fittest camp while the atheists are the ones looking out for their fellow man. I said it in anger after yet another Q type post and I was fed up with the conspiracies and science denial. Really I just wanted to shock them for a second to get them to reflect on their behavior. I should have just stayed silent. Everything is upside down and sideways. Needless to say that didn’t go over well. 😒

Yep. And people around me who believe in absolute truth are all about how we can't know what's really true anymore (largely because of media mistrust)--some are following conspiracies, some have "concerns" about the antichrist and end up being just like the conspiracy people, and some are simply confused with the backtracking by authorities. 

I do think I probably ruffled some feathers of people who are moderate, but they probably don't realize how bad it is in my local area. Moderate around here is "I wear a mask because it's the law, but we should let 'er rip." 

10 hours ago, lovinmyboys said:

Not really any blow ups, but some people I probably won’t push relationships with anymore. I can handle wide varieties of viewpoints, but I can’t handle “everyone who died was going to die anyway” and “I have to do what is right for me, and if it kills someone else it isn’t my problem.” 
 

I have had several homeschooling friends post on Facebook variations of this-they aren’t responsible for public health only their health and their children’s health. 

Yep. I can't see this as anything but selfish no matter how much I try, and I am normally a person who thinks you don't have to tell adults to do the right thing. 

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26 minutes ago, I talk to the trees said:

Yep. Dh and I have been having issues for quite a while. He is now living with his brother because covering coughs and sneezes was not something he was willing to do. (Yes, there is more to it than that, but that was the proverbial final straw.) On the plus side, I am now 100% free from having to pretend that I like my in-laws (who also, apparently, don’t think Covid is a real thing.)

I’m sorry, trees. 

Things are not as fraught as that here, but there have been some bumpy days.

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3 hours ago, Patty Joanna said:

Another example:  My friend's cousin entered hospice, dying of cancer, and within a week contracted COVID, and a week later her cause of death was recorded as COVID.  This makes me less trustful of the numbers...not just by "a unit of 1" but in general.

There are going to be mistakes on both sides of that. Some COVID deaths will be entered in as "not COVID" because they weren't tested. Some non-COVID deaths will be entered as COVID because people were careless. Unless you have evidence of systemic issues, I wouldn't take a single data point as all that meaningful. 

This is why "excess deaths" is always the best statistic. Excess deaths suggest that we're undercounting and not overcounting COVID deaths, which is almost always the case, anyway. It's hard to count everyone. 

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