Group Texts Have Kept Friendships — and Spirits — Afloat in Covid Era
“Everything is impossible,” texted my friend Rachel. She’s usually the upbeat one. The one with a solution. You know, the kind of person who went to camp for fifteen years and still wears the sweatshirts to annual reunions.
“That’s inspiring,” I responded. “You should make that your new mantra and have t-shirts made: Everything is impossible!”
“No, but seriously,” chimed our friend Meg. “Everything is impossible.”
We all agreed. Rachel, Megan and I are best friends from college. We live in three different cities — Oakland, LA and New York. We all have small children, ranging in ages from 3 to 10. We all have full-time jobs and working spouses. And, for the last eleven months, like everyone else, we’ve all been struggling in different areas. But, along the way, we’ve been there — via texts throughout the day — to support each other. And we are not alone.
When the world is normal, Rachel, Megan and I take a yearly trip together to catch up and reconnect without the distraction of husbands and families. We lie by pools, order room service, laugh until we cry. But, like so many others, Covid has stripped us of that possibility. It’s been nearly two years since we’ve seen each other in person. We’re burnt out on zooms; and the time difference, work demands and constant family obligations make scheduling them virtually impossible, anyway.
So we text.
All day. Every day.
I know when Meg runs an errand alone and revels in what feels like a “break” because she sends a picture from her car. I know when Rachel responds to one of my laments while on a hike because she sends images of her kids on top of mountains. I show them when snow collects beneath the twinkle lights of my Brooklyn backyard, when I’ve actually bothered to shower and do my hair, when I try on new sweatpants (in a color which they, of course, helped me pick out). We share wins and losses — book releases, promotions, arguments with loved ones, children growing up or acting out. We text when we’re sad, amused, anxious, angry, lonely. We text when we miss each other — which is always.
Sometimes it’s just a quick note. At other times, it becomes a longer conversation…