Wetumwene Shikage

During this time when the world is greatly affected by the global pandemic COVID-19, restrictive measures have been put in place. These measures are not to cage us, they are to keep us safe. It is important to remember the people who keep you going and keep you happy or entertained. Our friends are people we have bonds of mutual affection outside work and home. A global pandemic should not weaken the bonds we have with the different friends we have. All of my friends are different from one another. Recognizing the friends you have is important so that you do not dump them amidst all that that happens.

I put my friends in three different categories. The first being those who love constant attention and constant “catching up”. The second are those who are more laid back with conversations here and there. The last (my favorite) group are the friends who stay a long while (months) without keeping in touch and yet when we do, there are no hard feelings. The conversation still lights up.

The first category of my friends hated the lockdown stage we had in the country. Their form of catching up includes musing about all kinds of activities: going out and seeing things; getting dressed up; taking unlimited pictures and having a colorful cocktail on the rooftop of Avani hotel. And yet, all these exciting activities cannot happen. Restaurants only offer take away and no sit-downs. There is no point to get all dressed up just get a take away right?

Even though we cannot do all these fun activities, I haven’t dropped them totally. We occasionally go to the mall to get the best of Rocomamas burgers and fries. We communicate on WhatsApp video calls and still have a good laugh. Just because we cannot do all the fun things we love to do, does not mean we cut off the good bonds that brought us together in the first place.

The second group of my friends are the laid back and occasional friends. Staying out of physical contact with them is not a problem. Instead of having lunch once in a while, we send each other videos and pictures of a beautiful homemade lunch. We make fun of the overcooked beef on the plate. We compliment how beautiful the plate looks. When we are both available, we have a short call just to see how we are doing.

The last group of friends I have are those who we do not have to catch up all the time. Most of these friends live out of town or are a little older than me. They have more responsibilities and some have children to care for. This is my favorite group because every time we catch up, it’s always a good time. We have the best conversations traced back to the last time we spoke. We speak for nearly an hour and still have more to say right after that. Our friendship has not been affected much by the pandemic. We always have new stories to tell and new topics to discuss.

Knowing the type of friends I have and how we stay in touch has helped me to keep them, not dump them. We need to remember that our safety is important. Fun times with colorful drinks on rooftops can wait. We can communicate and keep in touch while in separate places.