How to interpret the Social Bubble for singles living alone

During the pandemic, life has been especially hard for people living alone. With only three weeks between harsh lockdowns, less in some suburbs, many singles did not get the opportunity to reconnect with a real live person. Many people (myself included) have only been in a room with other people a couple of times since mid-March. That may be OK for people who live alone by choice.  But there are others who live alone for various reasons such as death of a partner, family breakdown or they can’t get on with other living people. But for all singles the human touch/social interaction has always been available when the yearning struck. That was until Covid-19 struck. Now after all these months of lockdown, the Government has announced a social bubble for single people. But what does this mean? First here’s a little bit of background information …

Why have singles been singled out?

The data tells us that about a quarter of Australians live alone. So why have singles been singled out for such a long time? Up until now, the messages from the Government have been things like ‘stay at home with your family’, ‘only one person per household can go to the supermarket’ and the special Covid catchphrase with its own little ditty ‘we’re all in this together’. Really?  It’s been more like a big family club that excludes singles.  I’m sure a lot of singles who hadn’t felt lonely before the Prime Minster, Scott Morrison made his Easter speech this year suddenly felt it after that. I would have been quite OK at home alone eating my Easter eggs with my thoughts and my Zoom sessions until I heard that speech. As the PM was stressing the point about staying at home with your nearest and dearest I suddenly felt excluded and extremely lonely.  But singles in some countries were made to feel special and got to play a new game called ‘Social Bubbles’.

How to play the British game of Social Bubbles …

In Britain, the Prime Minister Boris Johnson came up with his version months ago. The rules are written in plain English so there can be no confusion about what you can and can’t do. So here are the rules for playing the British game of Social Bubbles ….

  • Anyone who lives alone can form a social bubble
  • You can choose a whole bunch of people as long as they all live together in one house
  • It’s important to choose wisely because you can’t go off and choose another household when you get sick of your first (only) choice
  • You go backwards and forwards to visit your social bubble as often as you please
  • You can even stay overnight in your social bubble
  • The only curfew (10 pm) applies to pubs which means travelling to and from your social bubble can be undertaken at any time during the day or night

How amazing is that?  It’s like a kids’ game for adults. ‘Choose me, choose me! Choose me after you pass go’.  ‘No way. You stink. I don’t want to be in your bubble’. The main thing to remember is to choose wisely because you can’t swap households if there is a massive falling out with the housemates.

How to play the Aussie game of Social Bubbles …

The rules down under are very different. Some have even suggested complicated. A person living alone can nominate just one other person to be in their social bubble. So for example if you nominate a wife, the husband must go out for a connection to occur.  So here are the rules for the Aussie game of Social Bubbles;

  • Only one social bubble is allowed per single
  • One person only can be nominated
  • The nominee can live in a household with heaps of housemates
  • The housemates must all go out to allow the single person to visit legally  
  • Small children can be present for the visit if there is no one else to look after them
  • If you are having a riotous time and lose track of the time you must stay overnight so that you don’t break the curfew of 8 pm to 5 am
  • If you can’t think of anyone to nominate you are free to try a singles website

These rules also apply for single parents with children under the age of 18 if they (the children) are living under the same roof. 

Enjoy your Social Bubbles!

So singles there you go. Enjoy your Social Bubbles!

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