"It's noon somewhere in the world," has taken on a whole new meaning since we have sealed ourselves into our houses in the darkest time of our lives. Questions of etiquette are flying thick and fast (albeit around our own heads). Like: "When is it too early to drink," and "Is it drinking alone if I phone a friend?" In both cases I refer you to the surgeon general's recommendations, but on the latter count of calling a mate, I say go for it. That is the great new tradition we call "quarantini hour."
Whether you've dressed up your coat rack to deal with isolation or are suddenly faced with having your kids as co-workers, we all need to vent right now. Thankfully, the internet has come rushing to our rescue, armed with apps like Zoom and House Party, pinging our smartphones and purring that we are not alone in this, and since we're not alone, yes, it's totally OK to drink.
Wily humans took exactly one day to find the loophole to meeting up for coffee or going to the pub in person. Video conferencing catch-ups are the new normal, and not as problematic as they sound.
Solo isolating is the stuff of top-tier prison punishment. So call your friends. Pour a drink (make it kombucha, if you want) and scream into the void that is your new reality, together.
It's fun. Truthfully it is. I've cooked dinner with a Sydney friend for three hours over a bottle of wine. I've played Heads Up and Draw This with mates in Tassie using the House Party app. I've taken tours of people's houses that I've never managed to visit in person, and spoken to more friends "Facetime-to-Facetime" in the past week than I have in the previous month.
How have we overlooked this potential for so long? Have we all been too scarred by long-distance relationships and calls from our parents who can't work the iPad?
It's a risky business, mind you. The transition from the real world to chatrooms has flummoxed some people enough that I've seen clips of a woman taking her whole office to the bathroom and another guy entering Zoom in his full working-from-home nude glory.
Maybe we'll all be on his level next week. Stay tuned. But I'm hoping for the opposite. Tomorrow is the Great Australian Take Away, where everyone is being encouraged to order a lavish restaurant meal for home. Let's dress up. It may seem a little Miss Havisham to frock up for dinner for one in your lounge, but it could actually keep our claws sunk into sanity just that bit longer. Cheers to that.