My Experience: Social Distancing From Those You Love Most

Contributor Isabella Finn writes about her experience of social distancing while living with her sister


We are living in a weird time. Societal growth towards being kinder and loving thy neighbour was thrashed beneath shopping trolley wheels. Mountains of toilet roll and pasta being hoarded as treasure in a dragon’s lair. It’s almost as if Marty McFly didn’t make it back to the future and this is the dimension we are stuck in. 

At a time like this we want to grab our loved ones, hold them close to our chests and never let go. Yet the very thing we’ve been told to do is promote social distancing and avoid leaving the house unless completely necessary.  

For some, spending hours indoors and watching Netflix is a dream come true. For others, we feel as though we need an IV line full of tea hooked up to our arms just to keep us grounded. Depending on your persuasion, social distancing either suits you or it doesn’t. I’m lucky that I live with my best friend, my sister Andrea.  

Most of our evenings consist of us sitting on the couch, laughing in unison and singing Disney anthems. Self-isolation with my bestie sounded amazing – until she coughed. Never have I attempted to shut someone out my life so quick. Food, which is usually a safe zone of sharing, became territorial. A short row ensued when I told her to wash her hands before she dove into my bowl of popcorn. Short lived emotions of betrayal on her part burned fast.  

However, myself and Andrea were never going to be able live separately in the same house. Soon enough, meaning two hours later, those emotions died down and she began ignoring my requests of isolation. I’m glad she did. We pair have been described as a slinky dog, meaning wherever the head goes, the butt isn’t too far behind. 

I am aware of my good fortune; having a sibling that I get along with. But I know the same can’t be said for others. Sometimes the ones we love the most don’t live in the same house as us. Grandparents, partners and friends. People who we often run to when we are excited, scared or frustrated. 

Visiting them is no longer an option for some. But just remember that by practising social distancing you are doing them a favour; you are keeping them safe. That is the most important job that you have right now. Keeping others and yourself safe.  

Video group calls have been the most enlightening asset to this unusual experience. Everyone is trying their best to improve the mood. This is a hard task, but it is resulting in some quality comedy. Hearing your family and friends debate over whose internet is causing a delay is the kind of frustrating normalcy that I didn’t know I needed, and that I didn’t know I missed.  

The uncertainty of this situation is overwhelming at the best of times, but we have to remember – in the words of High School Musical – we're all in this together.