Cocktails over Skype? Can virtual-socialising ever be normal?

People are now turning to the like of Zoom and Skype for face-to-face contact

We have the tools to stay connected at a time when it is vital. Photograph: Getty Images

We have the tools to stay connected at a time when it is vital. Photograph: Getty Images

‘Surreal” has been the word du jour as Europe grapples with measures to curb the spread of Covid-19. When just last week Cheltenham racecourse was teeming to the brim with 60,000 revellers, most people are now staying at home, coming to terms with the prospect of weeks or months of social isolation.

But as Leo Varadkar reminded us on Tuesday night, in an age of social distancing our need for social contact will not dissipate. “Technology can help – check in with your loved ones on Skype or Facetime, and promise them you’ll see them again soon,” he said, before imploring (perhaps in vain) teens and children to call their grandparents.

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