At the weekend my nephew Oskar sent me a video of him dancing in the sun... “Got to keep up the quarantine spirit” he wrote underneath, alongside laughing emojis. It was one of those sweet auntie-nephew moments, and was pure emotional gold.

As the world is slowly opening up once again, I am in desperate need of reconnecting with my family and friends. As someone who is single and lives on her own, I’m about as isolated as it gets.

According to the American Psychological Association, being socially ignored can bring out our most fundamental fears of rejection – even a flicker of feeling as though I’m not one of the gang transports me back to the playground, aged nine, being pelted with sand balls.

So, if you are given a chance to choose say, 10 friends you can be with, who would they be?

Before you send off the “be in my group” request, it pays to think carefully: in these times of crisis, certain friends fare better than others. Here are the six kinds of people we need in our respective bubbles:

The friend who makes you laugh

She is a comic ray of light in our dark Corona World. She will wear her face mask the wrong way round, and be the one to send you funny loo-roll jokes. Even though she is just as scared as everyone else, she can make things brighter.

The friendly neighbour

Just round the corner to do a food drop when you’re mid-virtual yoga and have run out of eggs. Besides, you have been waving at each other from across the street for the last five weeks, so it makes sense that she is the one you invite round for a catch-up. The good news is, she will have all the local gossip and you don’t have to worry if it got late. Returning home is easy when it’s only a few doors away.

The old friend

In these uncertain times it’s useful to have someone you don’t have to explain yourself to. They won’t judge your Covid meltdown, or roll their eyes when they pop round and your flat is a mess. The OF knows just how you will be feeling and will always send you a “don’t worry, stay safe” text.

The clean-freak friend

Ferociously stockpiled surgical masks and gloves back in January. “Must be prepared,” she says as she squirts sanitiser on your hands. Faintly irritating in normal times, but when the going gets tough, she is priceless. Just make sure she doesn’t spray sanitiser on the contents of the fruit bowl, or the kids.

The friend who calms you down

When the world around us is in chaos, she is a sea of calm, with all the facts and figures at her fingertips. “Hang on, only 5 per cent of the country are infected,” she will point out as you feel a panic attack coming on. She will tell you to “get a grip” in that non-judgmental way that somehow provides a vague sense of peace.

The friend with the house in the country

If you play your cards right, you may find yourself in that lovely five-bedroom villa far removed from the city lights. The dodgy Wi-Fi means you are cut off from the outside world (and Zoom parties): time listening to terrifying corona statistics are swapped for fireside chats. Bliss.

The Daily Telegraph

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