Eating Chinese food alone in front of the tv is acceptable. It’s okay. It’s when isolation is thrust upon you and it becomes a day in and day out occurrence, that the effects become very real.
After almost five months of social distancing, quarantining, and separation from loved ones far away (or worse in nursing homes or assisted living facilities), we are at the end of our proverbial ropes! Life is not normal. Who knows when it will be? For me, I am fortunate to have my EPS (Ever Present Spouse)! But others are not so lucky and isolation has become their new normal.
We, as humans, are social by nature. Sure, it’s good to have space, to have “me” time, but many of us crave some type of social interaction. Studies show that most people would rather experience electric shock treatment than be in isolation! (I kid you not! Heard it on the radio the other day.) “Human beings are an ultra-social species and our nervous systems expect to have others around us,” says Emiliana Simon-Thomas of The Greater Good Science Center at the University of California, Berkeley.
No other time has this been more painfully clear than now. I have a daughter who is living in Europe, whom I can’t see. I miss her terribly. Absence does not make this heart grow fonder. It makes it ache!
So during this time of aching, let’s not forget about those who are truly alone and may even now be sitting in front of the TV with their take-out egg roll. How are they dealing with this forced social isolation? This is a time for us to reach out to one another. To make a call. Send a text. Let someone know we care.
Barbra Streisand said it best in the 1964’s classic film, Funny Girl, “People, people who need people are the luckiest people in the world.”
Barclay and Joy