FRIENDSHIP IN PANDEMIC

As catching up for coffee goes off table, virtual mode sustains friendship

Camaraderie goes online: Video chats with old friends help people stay connected to each other

As catching up for coffee goes off table, virtual mode sustains friendship

Staying connected with friends during the pandemic became much easier with the help of several web-based applications. Photo: Vishal Kumar

Neha Saini

Tribune News Service

Amritsar, August 1

The Covid-19 pandemic has changed the dynamics of social interaction, be it professional or personal. Missing out the feeling of togetherness in times of isolation and social distancing has had physical as well as psychological impact.

As late night parties with friends, hanging out for a cup of coffee, chit chats, small social gatherings on weekends and late night movies became a thing of the past, people were found to be catching up on each other on social media.

“The social media has compensated for the loss of inter-personal interactions during this phase,” says Kriti Khanna, a fashion designing student from the city. Kriti says although she doesn’t meet her friends often due to risk of infection, she makes sure to share some quality time with her friends through video calling,” she shares.

Gurleen Arora, a city-based professional, working in construction sector, too shares that the lockdown has paradoxically brought people closer to each other. “After spending four months away from my friends, I am trying to reach out to even my old friends, whom I had lost contact with.”

While it might not be possible to meet friends for coffee or lunch, pandemic still rekindled the friendships. A few people have begun to catch up on each other by visiting each other by taking care of all precautions. “While I never lost contact with my close friends, I missed a few of my casual friends during the lockdown. Now, I call most of them for small intimate gathering at home and even our kitty circle runs this way. Home gatherings are done in small groups, with proper safety measures. It’s nice to re-connect with friends after so long,” shares Poonam Damani, a housewife.

Clinical psychologist Dr Sonia Kapur, who is also a consultant counselor for GNDU, says that the lack of socialising has had more impact on adults. “Early on, the lack of social intimacy did create a a lot of stress among people. But the same cannot be said for children as closure of schools somehow relieved them of the stress of academics. Now that the lockdown has been lifted, gradually friendships, inter-personal communication too will resume, maybe more effectively now.”


We are a bunch of friends who were together during our studies at HMV College in the 1990 batch. During lockdown, we were hit by nostalgia but we started talking and doing video calls on the web. Our web reunion led to more brainstorming and eventually, we shot a video film about our reunion from the comforts of our respective homes. It was welcomed by the batchmates and friends at our college and was widely loved. Dr Sonia Kapur, Clinical Psychologist

A lot of my friends had moved out of the city and were busy during lockdown working in essential services sector. I used to stay connected through video calls and social media. In my case, the concept of 'distance makes hearts grow fonder' worked well . Now, I have been reaching out to even my old friends, who were not in my contact for the past many years. The lockdown has brought me more closer to my pals. —Gurleen Arora, City-based professional

Physical distancing made most of us understand the worth of relationships. Luckily, lockdown was not a deterrent in maintaining relationships. In fact, we are able to get back in touch with our long lost friends through several means. Video calling helped us rekindle our old friendships which had taken a backseat during the pre-Covid period. —Gurpratap Khairah, Associate Professor, Hindu College

I have been in touch with all my friends, who I have known since childhood. Lockdown might have seperated my friends physically but I did manage to catch with them digitally. Though, I really missed meeting and hanging out with most of them, social media came to our rescue amid pandemic and helped all of us stay connected and we did not lose out on anything. Purva Dua, A student

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