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"Bubble policies"---picking a few friends and sticking to them

(59 Posts)
Kokeshi123 Sat 25-Apr-20 11:39:12

Some countries have been starting to introduce (or mull the introduction of) "bubble" policies---where people are asked to socialize with only a very limited group of people and stick to just that group.

My main thoughts are that (a) 10 people might be too much--difficult to keep track of, but also (b) I suspect that a lot of people are going to start gradually trickling towards this kind of solution anyway. This came up on my feed just after I posted that if school closures were to go on and on, I would personally start mixing with one or two other trusted families, to pool educational duties and also to give the kids a bit of normality. I am really not okay with kids going months on end with no interaction with their peers except on a screen.

Given that most people have been extremely responsible and supportive regarding lockdown, I think this could actually work quite well for a bit?

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TabbyStar Sat 25-Apr-20 11:51:08

I find it difficult to understand how this would work in practice. Would a group of 10 have to socialise within that group only rather than every household having a different 10? I'm guessing this is the intention behind it but I can't really imagine my teen's friends wanting to hang out with mine, nor my friends with my brother and my mum. If you have one other family you want to socialise with, great, but I doubt this will be the situation for most of us.

Kokeshi123 Sat 25-Apr-20 11:55:01

I think 10 is too many, because it creates the same problem as inviting three-quarters of the class to a birthday party; the group is large enough to ensure that anyone left out will feel hurt. Whereas if it was, say, two social contacts, there is less danger of hurt feelings.

I think the solution would work best with parents of young kids. You have a "play date" family or two and stick to them. A lot of people I know did this informally before lockdown anyway.

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MrsHuntGeneNotJeremyObviously Sat 25-Apr-20 11:55:03

I think it could only work if each cluster of 10 only socialised with each other. But what happens about work, where people are mixing with others outside of their group. It only takes one person to infect the whole 10 and their families.

BriefDisaster Sat 25-Apr-20 11:59:27

I think it is a great idea in principle but I don't know how it would actually work in practice.

I kind of hope they do allow it though as I would choose only my parents and that would keep the kids and I happy enough to ride out a longer lockdown.

DH isn't bothered about seeing MIL and FIL or we would choose them however they do live 30 mins away and I would rather not travel. That might cause them offence though...its a tough one.

TabbyStar Sat 25-Apr-20 12:00:27

How are they even going to check who our 10 people are? It just sounds unworkable other than for a very small number of people.

Ihaventgottimeforthis Sat 25-Apr-20 12:03:54

Reminds me of the hoo-haa of trying to find student digs. Who's to say that the people you want in your bubble feel the same way?
This is going to create a lot of drama!
Extended families I think is an easier way to go.

CountFosco Sat 25-Apr-20 12:05:54

10 people is just 2 families of 5. Not that big a group.

AlexaShutUp Sat 25-Apr-20 12:06:36

I can't see how this would work tbh. I have my friends, dh has his friends and dd has hers. We do have some "family friends" but they're certainly not our closest friends and it wouldn't really work to only socialise with them. Also, even my own friends wouldn't want to socialise with each other - lots of them don't even know each other!

I can see that this might work for some people, like extended families living in a particular area, single people in clearly defined friendship groups where they hang out exclusively with each other, parents with very young children who aren't old enough to choose their own friends. As long as none of them worked outside the home and didn't socialise outside the bubble, the risks might be quite small. However, I think it would be much more complex than this for the majority of people, who wouldn't easily be able to identity such a small "bubble" of social connections.

Kokeshi123 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:07:30

Extended families I think is an easier way to go.

For me, socializing children is the most urgent need, so I'd want similar aged group kids. We also have no EF living remotely near us, unfortunately.

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sickofPPEtalk Sat 25-Apr-20 12:09:05

It won't work because people will just take the piss and use it as an excuse to resume all types of meet ups.

RainMinusBow Sat 25-Apr-20 12:09:15

We haven't got ten friends between us so wouldn't be a problem for us! Guess we'd have parents on both sides (expecting a baby end May).

TabbyStar Sat 25-Apr-20 12:17:27

The Times article said it would only be from one or two households.

CaptainMerica Sat 25-Apr-20 12:26:13

I don't really understand how this would work. We are a family of 4, so presumabily get 6 contacts? So it would be great to see 1) MIL and 2) FIL. They would also want to see 3) BIL and 4) SIL. But SIL would also want to see her own DM & DF, and DSis, with a family of 5. So do they count as part of the same bubble due to indirect contact? And that's before I've even thought about my own side of the family. I could just see my DM, but she'll be seeing my DF, my DB, and his family of 4. I could pick one family of friends. Or two. But what about their family's?

If each family has it's own list then you get to a very big list of indirect contacts very quickly.

Or do we have to pick one set of grandparents, do they have to pick one child over the other?

Blueroses99 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:27:22

This would be amazing and suit my particular set up as we would be able to see my parents and my sister who are isolating (separately), as are we. None of us have seen anyone else for weeks, only online shopping/deliveries, those of us who work are WFH so the risk of spreading anything feels very low but we haven’t wanted to break the rules. My parents are bored and would love to help with childcare so these changes would be ideal and we are all willing to restrict our ‘bubble’ to protect vulnerable members.

Blueroses99 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:34:29

CaptainMerica I suppose you would need to choose, which could be difficult in itself. We would have to choose not to see MIL (isolating but not local to us) or SIL (NHS worker) because of risks to our vulnerable DD. I would hope they would understand why we had made that decision but equally they are likely to be upset.

user1493413286 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:35:19

I was quite hoping for this kind of change to come in; it wouldn’t be too hard for us and I think people will start doing it anyway at some point. What I don’t understand is whether it would be 10 people per person or per household as per household is fine for me, DH and our young children but households with a wider range of age groups would struggle and if it was per person that suddenly becomes a lot of people

Patch23042 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:35:28

I’d struggle. I’ve no family really (frail parents reluctant to socialise) but my two children have lots of friends in different social groups, as do I.

But it’s not a bad suggestion at all, assuming people stick to the rules. I think that it would suit most people, and get kids out and about, which is the main thing.

Twothousandzerozero Sat 25-Apr-20 12:41:23

This is an interesting idea. Are over-70s included in the “bubble” policy or do they have to carry on isolating? I’d love to be able to take my toddler to see my parents but I’m not sure if they’d still have to stay away from us, even in this scenario?

TeaAndBiscuits666 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:42:37

I'm excited about the possibility of seeing someone, but this could be hard to organise.

The article I read suggest a maximum of 10 people, from a maximum of 2 households creates an isolated bubble.

So for us (me, DP & DD), we could choose to socialise with either my parents or his parents, but not both (because to socialise with both would be 3 households). Similarly, if we were able to socialise with DP's parents, then they wouldn't be able to socialise with their daughter (DP's sister & her child).

I think that being allowed to socialise with family needs to be on the cards as businesses re-open though. I already find it frustrating that DP is allowed to go to work with FIL, but I'm not allowed to visit MIL, even though we are all exposed to the same contacts through DP & FIL working together. I would really struggle to justify not visiting my (non-vulnerable) parents, but being able to go to the hairdresser, or macdonalds etc.

Perhaps the way to go is to say that people can socialise with family / friends, but need to keep a log of who they have visited over the last month, then there could be tracing used anyone got ill. Personally I would find it much easier to keep track of which family members I have visited, than knowing who I was served by in Tesco, or who was in the same aisle in B&Q etc so it seems like a lower risk than having shops open.

RJnomore1 Sat 25-Apr-20 12:43:06

I’d hate this.

DH is the only person I really don’t mind spending lots of time with; I’d rather see lots of people infrequently but if I was on someones 10 I’d feel obliged to spend time with them. And then I don’t think we could refuse to be on parents /parents in laws lists could we.

Fucking hell

unlimiteddilutingjuice Sat 25-Apr-20 12:43:32

Someone I know was doing this in the week or so when we knew something was up but the lockdown wasn't yet law.

I think there were 5 of them hanging out with just each other and no one else outside the group. It looked like fun.

I think it sounds like a good half way point between full lock down and life as normal.

LockdownLucy Sat 25-Apr-20 12:46:07

I only need to be able to see one. My partner who I've not been with in 43 pigging days. I need a hug! Everyone else can steer clear!

Asuitablecat Sat 25-Apr-20 12:46:34

How would they know who you'd chosen? What if your friends chose people who party and you didn't? You'd get massive fomo. I'm only coping cos no one else I going out and socialising either.

Chloemol Sat 25-Apr-20 12:46:53

It’s talked about these 10 coming from one or two households only, for the odd family meal or childcare. Won’t work for us as my immediate family is four households, so how do I choose

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