March 25, 2020
Like most of the country my community is observing a voluntary request to stay home except for essential trips to obtain needed goods and supplies. It is hoped that our self-isolation will curb the rising number of cases and allow medical facilities to keep pace with the demands. I stocked up on the necessities seven days ago (including the last loaf of bread on the shelf) and haven’t been out of the house since. While my isolation is good for the country and probably my personal safety, it’s hard on my need to be connected. I have compensated by restarting my blog and learning new ways to connect over social media. It is not the same as a big hug, but it does help. I admit, even in isolation I’m not alone. Melissa is here with me and we have been able to purposefully take time to talk and share.
I am constantly surprised how social we are as the human species. We seem driven to find ways to connect. As I listened to a news interview with Joe Biden yesterday he spoke of how his grandchildren lived only a few blocks away. They were coming through the woods and stopping at his back tree line to engage in conversation from a distance. I watched last night as an extended family in my neighborhood went for a walk together, keeping the required six feet between them. I watched serendipitously through the window as they brought out chairs and sat on the front lawn in conversation. My own extended family lives on both coasts and in between so we aren’t able to join in walks or distanced conversation. Still, I’ve noticed an increase in our on-line chat threads, Facetime visits and phone calls.
This morning I read an on-line interview with Michelle Obama commenting on their family’s self-isolation. This has “forced us to … have real conversations” and “figure out how to keep ourselves occupied without just TV or computers,” the former first lady said, per People. “It’s an ‘important lesson’ to ‘be grateful for what you have and be ready to share it when the time comes.” “Michelle Obama: Isolation Offers ‘Important’ Lesson” By Arden Dier, Newser Staff Posted Mar 24, 2020 7:11 AM CDT
THOUGHTS: Staying connected is one of the new “essential services” we have always taken for granted. For many, there was a connection void even prior to our virus response. Just as we find innovative ways to connect with family and friends we need to use those same innovations to connect with others. We are a social people. Consider reaching out to another with a call, a card or an email. Let them know even in isolation they are not alone.