"I feel quite shamed and like an outsider with them," explains Emma*, 33, of two of her closest friends. She’s describing a seemingly innocuous scene: they’d met late last year, when restrictions allowed, for a social drink outside
and a catch-up. But given the COVID-19
pandemic, situations like these, with the accompanying rules and regulations, aren’t quite as straightforward as they once were. Do you elbow tap in salutation? How far really is two metres? Meetings with friends
, once joyous and light-hearted occasions, now come with an air of tension, and friends are falling out over them.