The social bubble… Like a pandemic cherry on top of the sh*t sundae that is COVID-19 for all Victorians.
Firstly, we're having to decipher and understand what exactly the convoluted social bubble entails and what it means for us, and if that wasn’t enough, we're also having to teeter across the very fine tightrope that is choosing who will be in our family’s social bubble without pissing someone off, or many someones off.
Like a less grim version of Sophie’s Choice or a more serious version of picking your team in P.E, both regional Victorians and Melbournians are having to choose - from all of their family and friends - which other household will be the ‘lucky’ one to be a part of their social bubble and visit them at their home... with limits of course.
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In regional Victoria this household social bubble option began on September 16, while Melbournians still have to wait until at least October 26. Up until then, only those living alone, or single parent households are eligible to form a one-person bubble (to visit one person at their house or vice versa), meaning their choices are even more limited.
So yes, it is confusing at times - but worse than that, it has been described by some as stressful and anxiety-inducing, and it's creating feelings of obligation, frustration and conflict between family members.
Then there are others who are just completely the F over it.
Six Victorians shared their experiences trying to choose their social bubbles, and let's just say - we feel for them.
Ella and her husband, from regional Victoria, say the social bubble decision caused “intense family friction”.
"My parents and my husband’s parents began to argue over who should be in our social bubble and were pitting us against each other to have us choose them.
My parents would be in my ear with a list of reasons why I should choose them, my husband’s parents were doing the same thing to him and even offered to babysit the kids if we chose them, like some sort of bribe.
After they all started arguing in our WhatsApp family group chat we drew the line and ended up choosing my brother and his family instead. Needless to say, none of our parents were impressed with us after this but at least the kids get to play with their cousins, so they’re happy!"
23 year old Abby, from Melbourne, lives alone and is excited to have a household social bubble - yet feels obligated to choose her family.
"I am sooooo excited for this household social bubble because as such a social person, not being able to visit any family or friends has been really challenging and I just miss them all so much.
But choosing who to go into my household bubble has been so difficult. On one hand I have a group of girlfriends who live together and having them as my social bubble would be fun and an instant mood lifter, but on the other hand I have my parents and younger sister who assume that I am choosing them.