Hello from inside the self-isolation cup

“No problem, we can meet online and drink coffee instead”, people say here under the COVID-19 pandemic… But is it the same, or might it do something else, like keeping an unreal world real?

The new virtual coffee meeting

Text and drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt

Coffee is an art, an experience so many-sided that when I stopped drinking coffee for a while, I would have a challenge when meeting with people: “great to finally get together” we would both say — and then I hear “ let’s get a cup of coffee” and my “no thanks, I don’t drink coffee” sounded like I was turning down the whole relation, the place, the time and the rest of the universe… From there it was a bit uphill

How can drinking coffee online be real?

So when I hear about virtual coffee meetings I wonder, can they connect us in anyway near the long celebrated fine art of real coffee? How can we take something so nonverbal and cultural as meeting over coffee, and turn it into a digital, virtual thing, and still feel it is anywhere near being real?

Because it is

The only answer I can find right now is: because it is… Coffee is real, and so much more so, than online, virtual spaces that can disappear in a second, if our wi-fi connection fails… The coffee will still be there.

Sitting with a cup, knowing that somewhere out there in a universe of self-isolation, there is someone drinking a cup of real coffee with you feels real.

Doing things together this way might do a lot to keep us sane. And that justify taking the coffee online, to experience at least one thing there, that is real.

The sharing of an experience, a bit like watching the Moon from two different mountains, but at the same time. It is an experience that can binds us together, even though apart…

Illustration of two people, each sitting in a cup with a computer, saying "hello" Drawn journalism drawing by Frits Ahlefeldt
Virtual coffee meeting

Drawn journalism post by Frits Ahlefeldt – experimenting telling stories both drawing up thoughts and words, doing both in the same story.

Keywords: technology, virtual space, coffee, ritual, culture, self-isolation, isololation, reality, drawnjournalism, journalism, illustration, drawing, news, journalistik, tegnetjournalistik, visuel journalistik, visualjournalism

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