When alphas make the rules

The world would be lost without alpha personalities. An Alpha is a leader; she is self-assured, powerful and confident. She steers the pack in friendships and guides teams in work.

But understanding what life is like for introverts and outsiders isn’t always an alpha’s strong point.

God bless the alphas in the NSW ‘crisis cabinet’ who listened to the pleas of a determined Sydney high schooler and let kids in lockdown form friendship bubbles.

Young people under 18 are now allowed to visit their friends’ houses. Children will have to stick to a a chosen group of three friends and everyone must live within 5 kilometres of each other or in the same local government area.

Deputy Premier John Barilaro told Channel Nine the new rules will provide relief for parents and children.

“The mental strain, the wellbeing of our kids are important,” he said. “So the crisis committee made a decision that we’ll allow those kids to come together, just like we have the adult single bubbles.”

It’s a great idea – the lockdown been really tough on kids’ mental health.

But my first thought when I heard the news was: what about the kids who aren’t chosen to be in a bubble?

Within minutes of the announcement, phone were running hot with teens deciding who their bubble buddies would be.

As someone who was always the last one chosen for teams at school – what a cruel practice that it – I know how not being picked feels. I also know how … complicated … teenaged girls can be.

Even the ones who don’t mean to be mean might accidentally be … mean, if you know what I mean …

How do you decide who forms your trio and who doesn’t make the cut?

I suspect there will be a lot of parents who don’t get “relief” from the announcement, just a crying teen locked in their room.

I wonder how the government comes up with these random numbers. My friend Mel and I were muttering about the five-person picnicking rule the other night. Wouldn’t six have been better? That way three couples could have socialized outside together.

I suppose there’s never a good number. I have no idea what the best number would have been for teen friendship bubbles. I doubt there is one. And I hope there aren’t too many kids who are left out and lonely and feel like losers because they weren’t chosen.

It won’t be an issue in my house because the youngest has become a happy hermit and the eldest doesn’t have friends who live in his LGA, so isolated life continues as normal.

And maybe I overthink things … well, there’s no “maybe” about it.

But the concept of my teenaged self trying to establish a bubble trio – and how fraught the process would have been – makes my stomach clench.

How does someone not get hurt or left out in that process?

Kerri Sackville had the same thought, she tweeted: “Great news for some, but there will be kids all over Sydney who aren’t chosen to be in anyone’s bubble, and oh, my heart.”

Song of the day: The Beatles “Eleanor Rigby”

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