White Trash Crush My Social Bubble

Melinda Miles-Lindberg
4 min readApr 22, 2022

Have Social Norms Changed Forever With our Pandemic Bubbles?

Three dogs on a beach with the water lapping near them and a white home faintly visible through the trees. One dog, a German wirehaired pointer, sits facing the camera. The other two, a muzzled border collie and a golden retriever mix vie for a stick.
Our three dogs — Ella, Bix, Caliope — were in our “front yard” during the Lockdown.

What was the Lockdown?

The lockdown in Panama was strict and effective. While 1 out of every 500 Americans has lost their life so far to Covid-19, Panama has skirted the worst of it.

The cost was high but so worth it.

At the height of the first wave, we were only allowed to leave our homes for six hours a week, two hours every other day. We had men’s days and women’s days. For some of the time, the men could only leave two days a week, only four hours total. Our two-hour bloc was decided by our passport number. Locals used the number of their cedula or I.D. card. The two-hour dash was meant for shopping, not for exercising or socializing.

Those in Panama City had it the toughest. For a time apartment dog owners were told to have their pups relieve themselves on pee pads inside if they did not have their own private yard. Yikes!

Ingrid and I, on the other hand, had no neighbors. Our house is situated alone on the Pacific Ocean in the middle of a former finca. I surfed and walked the dogs on the beach. Ingrid was a little more cautious, but we still had a front-row seat to view the ocean.

We suffered little.

What we did lose though, was the ability to socialize and connect with others.

Gone was CrossFit,

gone was book club,

gone was Surf Sunday.

It was just our pets, and us. Still, hermitizing came easily to both of us. We exercised more, we read more. And we both took online classes or videos to learn something new. I pursued and attained a certificate in health coaching. Ingrid delved into a lifelong dream of becoming an artist.

After the strict lockdown:

As we came out of that strict lockdown, we began socializing within a small bubble. Of course, none of us were vaccinated because there were no vaccines available.

With all of our friends, though, there was the rule that we were taking the pandemic seriously and understood our role as a cog in the public health response. With some of our friends that rule was…

Melinda Miles-Lindberg

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