How to maintain friendships during the coronavirus lockdown

With the news of increased Covid-19 restrictions announced this week, it’s clear that going back to our typical social lives may have to take a backseat. 

After months of isolation, Zoom quizzes and Netflix binges, the end is not yet in sight and our friendships are feeling the burn. 

Research conducted by University College London found that one-fifth of people feel their friendships have suffered because of lockdown. 

During these testing times it’s vital that we hold onto our relationships, and there are multiple ways to ensure that friendships can continue to flourish. 

Why not send letters to your friends? We’ve all grown so used to technology, but a letter adds a more personal touch and shows your friends you’re really thinking of them. 

You could even go the extra mile and assemble a care package for a friend, it’s practically guaranteed to brighten up their day. 

It could also be the perfect time to reach out to an old friend. Why not organise a Zoom call with someone we haven’t seen in a while?

Lastly, remember you’re not alone in this.

For Natalie Reeves Billing, an author and lyricist based in Liverpool, lockdown has made our relationships suffer. 

She said: “I feel so disconnected and detached. I miss the easy flow between us and wonder whether it will all come back to us one day.” 

Lucy Metters, 23, from West Sussex, has found it difficult to maintain friendships as she has been shielding to protect a vulnerable family member. 

“The majority have been very understanding, with frequent messaging and FaceTime calls bridging the gap”, she says of her friends who have been supportive. 

But others have “dropped off the radar.”

“I’m still questioning why: do they feel awkward around me as I’m in such a precarious situation in the pandemic? Have they used the pandemic as an excuse to detach: were there issues in our friendship that I didn’t see that have been building over time? It’s difficult to know if these friendships can ‘pick up where we left off’ before lockdown.”

Lucy concluded: “I’m just hoping that once life resumes to a somewhat normality, we can be close friends again.”

Although the pandemic seems never ending, eventually we will reach a point when our friendships will thrive once again. 

Until then, remember your friends are feeling it too and good friendships are worth it. 

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