Being with people has been put on hold. Hopefully it’s a temporary thing, because I can’t stand no touching, kissing, handshakes or hugging.
Even before this social distancing and self-quarantining edict, society was pulling back from much of the touching due to the #MeToo movement. I have always been a hugger and cheek kisser. I had already developed a new sense of the wanted or permissible and the unwanted. I can live with that, even though it was limiting.
Today, however, is just the pits. The COVID-19 pandemic has made all touching forbidden. I understand it is for good reason but still it sucks. Six feet of separation is a veritable chasm.
Humans are gregarious people; they live in small groups called families and coexist in larger tribes and communities. They seek out like minded people to form groups around their mutual interests. I am one of them. These interactions create the bonds between family, friends, colleagues and associates.
I always feel much more complete, whole and involved when I’m with others. I am okay by myself, but I do prefer the company of other people. Hell, I even enjoy people watching in public settings. Walkers, runners, shoppers just going about their business are sometimes interesting.
So now what? Staying connected with folks is so very important for our mental health and well-being. Fortunately, this is 2020 and we have a myriad of ways to be with people, if not in person then electronically.
We have the traditional means of calling each other on the phone (it’s a cell phone now and smart besides) to talk. We have FaceTime, WhatsApp and a host of other interactive video utilities, so not only can we talk but see each other. These were all in use before the pandemic and have exploded in terms of usage considering the stay at home mandates. Individuals have helped perfect the platforms to where they are commonplace. Businesses have been gaining on incorporating video meeting over TeamViewer, ZOOM and such services. With the increase in remote workers, holding face to face meetings are more meaningful than mere emails or texts.
My point is that these alternatives are not as good as being in person, in the moment but they do help bridge the gap of not being isolated or involved. Take what you can get.
I surely appreciate every contact by a family member, friend and business colleague. I even enjoyed the caller who had dialed the wrong number.
This will be over soon, and then watch out I will be hugging strangers.