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A Wholly Unscientific (and Unsparing) Look at the 10 Pandemic Personalities in Your Friend Group

Listen up, Myers-Briggs and horoscope devotees. After two years in an ever-evolving world of the ever-mutating coronavirus, there’s a new way to understand your friend group, which has likely undergone some changes. While there have always been bad manners friends and friends in a unique life transition (such as having a baby), we’re a little whiplashed with how everyone we know can be classified in particular mindsets about this global health crisis. While we’re all about you do you, sometimes we find ourselves waking up 15 minutes into a conversation with a pal, noticing how they’re a bit over-excited, and we can just make out words like suspicious virus, extinction event and corporate profit motive, to which we weakly reply, “And how is your mom doing?

In the interest of building bridges, not blowing them up, we have a few guidelines for not only identifying the 10 pandemic personalities in your friend group, but also a few rehearsed lines for communicating with them. (But remember…there’s always slowly backing toward the door…)

1. The News Article Sharer

They can rattle off transmission stats, vaccine intel and other details way faster than they can remember your kid's name. And while you, too, believe that health is of utmost importance, you’re not really vibing on your conversations being focused on this topic, since you two met at the playground with your kids, not burning the midnight oil as lab partners at Johns-Hopkins.

What to Say:

“I love that you’re so up on the news, but I’m pretty much putting Covid on my no-fly-list of conversation topics.”

2. Chicken Little

Something terrible must have happened to this friend, back before you met them. We say this because the pandemic really set off a PTSD reaction that’s—not to sound superficial—what mental health professionals term “a real drag.” Hallmarks of this personality type include pessimism, depression and absolutely zero interest in Bennifer 2.0.

What to Say:

“Think globally, act locally. By which I mean, have you considered Zoloft?”

3. The Conspiracy Theorist

An especially creative-minded sub-set of the Chicken Little type, this friend can while away afternoons, car journeys and Facebook feeds by filling dead air with a point-counterpoint on the Wuhan lab leak theory, vaccines containing microchips and how Big Pharma masterminded “the Oscars Slap™” to draw attention to an alopecia drug about to hit the market.

What to Say:

“Can we just have sex and not talk?”

4. The Amnesiac

"Why would we be wearing masks?" your friend asks, even though you’re boarding a plane, sitting in a crowded restaurant or visiting a hospital. When you explain it’s due to Covid precautions, she looks back at you with dead shark eyes and continues her annoyed complaints.
What to Say:

Say nothing, but stare back with equally dead shark eyes.

5. The Retiree

When you met, this go-getter had a corporate job and two side hustles. Now, you try to remain sympathetic while they outline plans to transition out of the work force after investing in crypto. They are 33 years old.

What to Say:

“What are NFTs?”

6. The Great Resigner

A less grounded, more mercurial version of the Retiree, this personality just up and quits their job, citing work-life balance and how “that show Severance just says it all.” When you explain that you have not splurged on Apple+ TV and don’t have a lot of time for binge-watching, owing to pressures of family, work and just keeping the lights on, they nod agreeably and reply “That’s exactly what I mean, yes exactly.”

What to Say:

“So you’re micro-dosing how often, now?”

7. The Hypocrite

She has shamed you for having a small maskless backyard cocktail party but then posted a drunken Hawaiian luau situation that was sanitation-light and appropriation-heavy.

What to Say:

Nothing. Let karma run its course.

8. The Martha Stewart Reincarnate

Martha herself isn't actually deceased, but this friend seems to have turned into her, with a breakneck pace of home care, crafts and collecting that inspire the thought bubble "You really ought to get out more."

What to Say:

“Have you heard, the government opened up quarantine restrictions? And yes, I love the gingham you chose for the prepper shed curtains.”

9. The Opt Outers

When you last spoke to this couple, it was February 2019, and all was well. But since then, you haven't heard a peep except for holiday gifs texted to you, while you’ve left them a few phone messages. You're one step away from calling for a welfare check but then think, maybe it's me?

What to Say:

Leave a bottle of wine on their doorstep with a note: “It’s your lucky day….You’ve been selected to have me over for drinks. I look forward to catching up!”

10. The Tiktoker

In two years since you've hung out, they've amassed 45K followers cycling through dance challenge/unboxing/Euphoria fan posts. You find yourself going on TT to see them.

What to Say:

Nothing. If you establish contact, you might have to talk about dance challenges/unboxing/Euphoria fan posts.