Now is a good time to dump old friends
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Now is a good time to dump old friends

Social distancing, wearing masks in public, bars and restaurants shutting down en masse: the coronavirus is a gift to those trying to avoid people.

An old friend who recently moved banks has been trying his best to blank his old colleagues, having decided that he’s had quite enough of their boozy antics. Since the man is exceedingly polite, that would usually prove difficult. But what excuse could be better than a global pandemic?

He is one of the few people enjoying the current situation. He is working out more, reading more and even attempting to learn Ancient Egyptian, although he promises us he has no plans to launch a pyramid scheme.

When he goes out in public, he wears not just a mask but a hat, scarf, gloves and a large coat. If anyone somehow notices him, he has the perfect excuse for walking around like a hazmat inspector. But the real joy is that nobody does notice him!

“I’ve never been good at blanking people,” he told us. “I’ve had friends who I haven’t liked since college. I absolutely hated the best man at my wedding. I go on holiday every year with an old colleague who I have nothing in common with. I’ve finally found a way to abandon all of these horrible people.”

Although this sounds rather misanthropic, I’m sure we can all identify with the urge to move on when old friends no longer become compatible. Is it worth a global pandemic and a lockdown across Hong Kong? My friend thinks so.

There are some problems to this approach, of course.

The most obvious is that the coronavirus is not going to last forever and when things get back to normal, this chap is going to have to deal with hordes of old frenemies who expect to catch up over drinks.

I sent him a WhatsApp message last week asking how he planned to deal with this. He didn’t bother to respond.

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