From inside the ‘Cocoon’ – Talking Heads

A big downside for those of us ‘cocooned’ in virtual solitary confinement and not living at street level, is the absence of real life faces. COVID-19 has stripped us bare, pulled us apart at the seams. Yes, there is television, but the faces on the screen are one dimensional, and they are not looking at me, they are strangers and they are not talking to me personally.

RTE weather bulletin. (Image RTE )

In my family, we are texters, WhatsApp-ers, Tweeters and e-mailers. Good friends will, and indeed do, make voice calls, and many long happy telephone conversations do take place.

But faces….. Where are the faces?

           Face to Face (Image

One of the most challenging aspects of this new life, this life inside a ‘cocoon’ is the absence of a few words with others – the post office clerk, the shop assistant, the pharmacist, or complete strangers simply passing the time of day, saying a casual ‘hello’ or ‘isn’t it a lovely day?’

While I have been lamenting the loss of my freedom, the loss of my daily walk, the loss of observing nature, of watching busy lives, the biggest loss of all has been the loss of the ‘Talking Heads’ that each of us encounter during a normal day.

On Tuesday last, my Toastmasters Club, Talking Heads in East Cork, hosted a ‘Zoom’ meeting. With some 26 to 28 participants, we assembled in our own homes for some fun and interaction using the wonders of modern technology. Afterwards, I thought about how appropriate the name of my Club is – ‘Talking Heads’.

Looking at and seeing faces, exchanging words, smiling and being smiled at is good brain food. It keeps us grounded, It keeps us connected. It keeps us ‘together’ in every sense of the word, and it is essential in our lives for health and well being.

Those of us inside the ‘cocoon’ absolutely need many ‘Talking Heads’ to keep us well balanced. Physical distance yes, but we do need visuals too!

*Talking Heads Toastmasters Club is a member club of Toastmasters International located in East Cork and meets every two weeks *


Here in Ireland, everyone who is compromised by health issues and those aged over 70 must stay at home, with food and medication being delivered by family members or teams of volunteers.This is called ‘Cocooning’ and this is a series of short posts from inside the cocoon.


Filed under Ageing in Ireland, Covid-19, Ireland

8 responses to “From inside the ‘Cocoon’ – Talking Heads

  1. Love your Talking Heads. I worry about my very sociable mother who is on her own. I know that she has deliveries of food, etc, but is missing human contact. Her eyesight isn’t great and I can’t imagine trying to get her using video technology, but we both enjoy our phone chats.

    Something I’ve noticed in the last week that as numbers of new cases has declined in NZ, is that people are more likely to share a few words (at the required distance) while out shopping. I even had a long and very welcome chat with the checkout operator the other day — probably because I’m shopping for two households and I had a very full trolley so lots of time to chat.

  2. My aunt is living alone in County Monaghan but her neighbors have been very good. I called her on Easter Sunday to ask when she was going to have a whisky as she had given it up for Lent. She had an Irish coffee (with whisky) before noon – that’s how to live as a 90 year old!! Sending best wishes to you and I am smiling at you in the little avatar!

  3. I’m finding, if I actually meet a rea person, that I’m suddenly blabbing away rather than being my somewhat reserved self. Not sure if that’s a good or bad thing.

  4. Well I am missing real people for sure – although I can see them from my window it’s not the same!

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