The age of pandemics and lock-down is most difficult for people who lead a “single life”. These people also go to the store, try to talk to saleswomen / other customers or casual passers-by through a mask. The conversations are short and vague. Topics of conversation are mostly general (about weather forecast, local and regional developments and current actions). The singles then return to their single living space.
Many singles had quality fulfilled lives before the pandemic began (work, exercise, going to fitness centers, visiting pubs with friends and relatives, celebrations, outings, business evenings, events, travel). Today they spend most of their time at home with TV, laptop, mobile phones. No more rush, numerous obligations, races and socializing. The number of singles increases over time. Most of them are pensioners and slightly less employed people aged 25 to 65 (who, despite the fact that they live alone, had lives filled with obligations, work, hobbies). In the UK, for example, the number of single households has risen by 16 per cent in ten years.
Through everyday social contacts, people exchange a range of verbal, non-verbal and para-verbal information of which they are unaware. Prolonged abstinence from contact leads to stress that one does not even have to be aware of. Humans are social beings. They have a need for contact with other people. This time is very demanding for everyone. Singles are in a specific situation because they do not have social contacts in the household either. However, there is no reason for pessimism. The current situation has the effect of a vicious circle where the individual / single is eaten away by loneliness and boredom. Over time, people get used to the new situation. The ringing of the phone can then even be exhausting.
Part of the reluctance that people feel stems from the fact that everyone’s rhythm has changed. Now the rhythm of life is slower (or disturbed) than before. Due to the space constraint we are now doomed to – time has spilled over. People have no need to move. That is why the simplest actions can be an effort. In the beginning, working from home and lock-down came as a vacation for some, but now everything has been going on for too long. You feel tired. But there is no reason for pessimism. As soon as the world returns to rhythm then optimism returns. People will go back to the old rhythm and habits. Humans are social beings. This crisis will not turn an extrovert into an introvert.
The social activities and social contacts that formed the backbone of single life in the pandemic were declared “unnecessary.” Therefore, they are strictly limited or abolished (cafes, gyms, events …). Singles have somehow remained on the margins, especially because society often considers singles to be their own will, that it is their choice, which, of course, is not always the case. One should stop blaming oneself for loneliness. People are allowed to allow themselves not to feel good. In this situation, each person feels some kind of discomfort. There is no need to compare your feeling and situation with other people’s feelings and situation. A particularly vulnerable category of singles in this crisis are young people at the beginning of independent living. These people should now look for a partner and make connections. Their whole life is currently on hold. Friendship, sexuality, intimacy are important for a person’s development.
In the last year, ie since the outbreak of the pandemic, the problem of loneliness has been a topic all over the world. Singles in some states have still fared well because many states have, or still have, a very strict lock-down and curfew. Any visit is strictly forbidden. So, for example, in England you were allowed to meet with one person to exercise together, but only if that person lives in your county, which automatically eliminated close friends for many. Special measures have been introduced for singles, with permits to create a so-called balloon of safe people from several single households. After the first few months of the pandemic, psychologist Simon Jones from the Welsh Mind Health Association publicly warned that the corona-virus pandemic would have visible consequences not only for physical health but also for mental health. ”People struggle with isolation, stress, sadness, financial worries and loneliness, which should not be underestimated, “said Jones.
Mantra for the near future: When the world returns to rhythm then people will return to rhythm and established life habits. All extreme situations take time, including pandemics. Every person needs to be more patient. Patience can be slowly learned and mastered.