Comments about existing relationships that were maintained / strengthened.
“I think the coronavirus has strengthened my relationship with my kids, my husband, family, and friends. It really got us all to slow down and prioritize relationships and focus on what’s important to us. Professionally it’s helped with my business relationships because people have more time to devote to meaningful conversations and calls on a regular basis.
As far as politics. I feel more in touch and aligned with the people in my life who share similar political values. For those people who don’t, I just have stopped interacting with them.”
“As with so many harmful experiences from 2020, it was an important time to lean on community. We did that by forming an ‘Elder Group,’ consisting of five grandparents who share several grandchildren. Each week, we schedule a grandparent Zoom, during which time we share feelings, concerns, and ideas.
For example, what were the latest developments of the virus? How could we get vaccinated? We cheered for each other as each of us got our first vaccinations! We discuss political developments, favorite books, and articles of interest that we send out to each other in advance. We also share the latest developments in the lives of our grandchildren.
This weekly meeting is very helpful for each of us. What started as a way for we grandparents to stay connected during the coronavirus pandemic has reached a point where each of us has said we would like to continue of our weekly Zoom exchanges even when this virus ends.
One of the grandmothers in our group said that based on the success of our weekly grandparent Zoom meetings, she is setting up a similar Zoom for her and her siblings. She also said that her relationships haven’t changed, but she does spend more time texting or phoning, whether it’s just to catch up, or to comment on what’s happening in a sports game, or the latest political development. She points out that we are very fortunate that this pandemic has occurred when staying connected has been relatively easy.”
“The relationship mostly impacted by Covid-19 is between me and my husband of many decades. We’re both working from home and have seen each other much more than previously, including for daily exercise walks together, which has been great. Observing and hearing about the suffering and loneliness of so many people around us has made us even more appreciative of each other and has made us both very grateful that we weren’t cooped up together like this in our 20s and early 30s, when we didn’t know how to get along and probably would have torn each other to pieces!”
“When my husband and I were totally self-quarantined in the beginning, I realized that my daughter was calling me to check in almost every day. I really appreciated that. My husband and I were very busy at home during the summer with our son and daughter and our grandchildren being outside using our pool, but then when we had to hunker down again, my daughter would (and still does) often call to see if we want to go visit on the weekend and sit in the sun or under the heat lamps for a short visit. The two of us have started walking together about once a week, which is nice.”
“I feel that being isolated with my wife has deepened and strengthened our relationship and our commitment to each other. I have the sense that a mutually supportive harmony has developed without us ever having to discuss it. The underpinning of that is my wife’s warmheartedness, even temperament, and sense of humor.”
“I enjoy one Zoom in particular in a group with five of us, but I found it interesting that a couple of other Zooms my husband and I tried didn’t really work. One was with my cousins (who all live far apart) and one was with a group of friends we normally see every few months. Both groups had about 10 people and I think that’s too large for real conversation.
It was nice to just see everyone for the first few minutes, but then I felt it was a little off. (In both groups a few people said, “Let’s do it again,” but I didn’t organize it again and no one else did either.) I miss that friends’ group and look forward to when we can safely gather again. I Zoomed with my sisters a few times and that was nice, but we don’t seem to get it together too often. I think I’ve spoken to each of them more, however.”
“The bond of friendship, inclusive of both family and friends, has never been more evident to me as it has been during the past several months of the pandemic. I’ve heard of and read about too many relationships falling apart for various reasons, mostly because people are simply frustrated and overwhelmed by the numerous significant challenges by children and families.
I come from a very large family, and not gathering for our usual festivities for months on end has been difficult, to say the least. But we’ve stayed connected through Zoom — not quite the same, of course, but it’s knowing that the family support is there!
I think, too, of a particular group of my longtime friends, five of us in total, who have not been able to get together for months, something we did almost monthly. We’ve made use of texting and phoning on a regular basis to offer our support to each other. Knowing that we each are available to help meet each other’s needs is very comforting.
Family/friends relationships have always enriched my life before these stressful times, and they will continue to do so. There is no doubt Covid-19 will eventually dissipate, but my treasured relationships will not!”
“Covid-19 has indeed produced some positive benefits from both a personal and familial perspective.
My adult daughter has been living at home with my wife and me. She realizes now that she can work from home (and tolerate her parents!) while not paying rent and saving a ton. No need to run to New York City and rent on a shoestring budget. So, this little financial acumen will hopefully go a long way.
With my wife, my daughter, and me all working from home brings back the old days of eating at home, conversing with each other in person, preparing dinners and cleaning up together, eating some ice cream and watching TV and laughing together – it used to be All in The Family or The Jeffersons with tin foil and rabbit ears. Now, for my wife and daughter it’s Impractical Jokers and Bachelor on Netflix. They’re having lots of fun together.
Also, we have been skiing a bit out West as a family: renting places in Utah and Colorado and working from there and social distancing on the ski slopes. We never would have been able to do that with my two grown kids were it not for this coronavirus.
So yes, some positive and good things have shown some green shoots during this pandemic!”
“This coronavirus sweeping the world has provided me with an unusual silver lining. This past March my sophomore- and senior- level college kids moved home again. I never expected to have the pleasure of living with my children ever again. But instead, we ended up holed up in our home, cooking together, hiking together, and playing games together. These months have been some of the best in my life!”