Politics

It’s Not Just You, We’re All Feeling Mega Awkward Around People

“I like your hair!” a woman tells me as we sidestep each other in the street on my way home from the post office – an outing that doubles up as my daily sanctioned local exercise trip. “Oh! Um, yes! Wow! Cool! Okay!” I reply, not knowing how to take the compliment and forgetting I have two strips of pink hair framing my face (dyed when I was bored during lockdown one). The woman gives me a puzzled look and walks off.

That was a few weeks ago now. I haven’t left the house in eight days. Each morning, I log on to Google Hangouts with my colleagues, as I’ve done five days a week for nearly a year. After work, I FaceTime my mum’s ear – she can’t hear me properly and doesn’t realise she’s still on video. At weekends, I have a beer and join a murder-mystery-Zoom-birthday-party with a mix of friends and friends of friends. That’s a social invite I wouldn’t have received pre-pandemic.

Is it any surprise I’m awkward as hell on my few occasions out in the wild?




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