Asking for a Friend: Help! My friends are so selfish. They won’t practise social distancing despite the Covid-19 pandemic

  • This week, we answer questions about the coronavirus-created cabin fever and FOMO, as well as fatigue
  • If you have difficult, embarrassing or awkward questions to ask about teen life, send them in anonymously, and ‘Friend of a Friend’ will do their best to help
Amalissa Hall |

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If it all feels a little bit much right now, we're here to help

Hi Friend

My friends are getting together and going out in groups, even though the pandemic is still going on and there are still positive cases being detected. I feel like they’re being really irresponsible, and it’s so frustrating to me.

To make things worse, my parents won’t let me go out anyway unless it’s school-related, so I feel left out.

I really want my friends to know that what they’re doing isn’t good, but I don’t want to offend them and ruin our friendship. How can I tell them to stop going out for now?


Hi Frustrated

It’s a good thing that you’re sensitive to the needs of your greater community and staying safe during this pandemic. A lot of people are understandably frustrated by the current situation.

How to beat cabin fever if you’re (sensibly) avoiding going out unnecessarily

I don’t blame your friends for wanting to get out of the house, but it’s not time to relax just yet, because the virus is still present.

Your friends probably feel that the virus isn’t affecting them directly, so they can bypass restrictions. You cannot force them to stop going out, but all you can do is continue to explain that staying home is for the benefit of everyone’s health, not about their personal enjoyment.

Tell them people might be uncomfortable with their actions. You don’t need to be angry, but you can tell them they should know better. Try to encourage them to be empathetic and consider how some people would feel if they had high-risk family members, but still had to leave their home to go to work, then saw your friends out having fun.

My friend is jealous I’m good friends with her boyfriend. What should I do?

Don’t feel like you’re missing out on anything, because there’s not a whole lot to do right now anway, and a lot of people are in the same situation.

If you really need to do something social, ask your parents if they would be okay if you could meet a friend to study together – that’s school-related!

I hope you can change their minds

Friend of a Friend

Hi Friend

I feel so low energy all the time. I can’t explain it – I’m getting lots of sleep and I’m not over exerting myself. I feel exhausted all the time and it’s hard to put my mind to things like school and assignments because I’m too tired to think.

I can’t even motivate myself to do simple chores like cleaning my room or taking a glass of water back to the kitchen. What can I do to energise myself?

Thanks, Low Battery

Hi LoBatt

Sorry to hear that you’re going through this! You’re not alone, though.

5 reasons why you should try yoga this weekend

I once experienced something similar and it turns out I was deficient in vitamin D3, which affected my energy levels.

If you’re experiencing fatigue despite getting enough rest, this may be a health-related issue, so you should see a doctor if you can and get your blood checked.

Next – how much exercise are you doing? Too much or too little can also affect how tired you are. You don’t need to run 10km every day, but adding a decent walk or a short workout to your daily routine should help you feel better.

Is the quest for perfection affecting your mental health?

Healthy foods will also give you a boost of energy. Make sure you’re having a balanced diet, and eat fruit like bananas and apples to get healthy sugars to give you some pep. Avoid excess refined sugar and caffeine and drink more water instead.

You could also be exhausted from mental strain. Are you stressed? That takes up a lot of brain power. Put enough time into your assignments, but also make sure you’re taking a proper break.

Step away from the laptop and phone and push yourself to do something else for a change. The expectation to be online 24/7 is surprisingly draining.

How to get grit: the ability to push through when all you want to do is give up

I totally understand that it can be difficult to get on with simple tasks. Sometimes we feel these things take longer than they actually do. Set a timer for five minutes, and see how long it takes you to take those glasses back to the kitchen.

You’ll surprise yourself, and it may motivate you to get those other chores done because they’re not as time consuming as you imagined.

Best of luck finding a solution

Friend of a Friend

If you have a question you’d like answered (about anything at all), please send an email to [email protected] with “Asking for a Friend” in the subject line. Don’t worry, you will remain anonymous!

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