People naturally want to stay in touch during an extended emergency. Friends who haven’t been in touch for months or years are texting, emailing, and calling one another to make sure loved ones are safe, being cautious, and not “stressing out.”
Yesterday I spent five hours on the computer and the phone answering texts and emails, reading links to articles about the COVID-19 outbreak sent to me by friends, and then forwarding a few of them on to others. I love the people who are reaching out to me. I want to know how they are and to reassure them that my household is well – carefully watched over and shepherded through this situation by our capable and caring retirement community managers.
The Coronavirus disaster is such a novel experience for me. Never before have I experienced life in a physical or psychological war zone. Being told to distance myself from others is so foreign to my way of thinking that I am intent on using all the technological means at my disposal to calm fears and bridge the physical gap between myself and those I love. Communication is paramount when we feel endangered. But equally important are solitude, silence, deep interior listening, and responding from the authentic center of one’s being.
Our current charged and all-consuming circumstances seem at the moment to demand all my physical and psychic energy. But perhaps I might turn my attention to the long haul because all the experts tell me that is what is ahead. I will have to conserve and possibly even ration my emotional resources as well as my food, hand sanitizer, and toilet paper. And perhaps I should consider conserving my words as well. If I don’t, I might spend all my “socially distant days” adding to a multiplicity of predictions, a cacophony of warnings, and a whirlpool of interpretations. If I get sucked into the center of this informational tornado, I will miss the essence of what is happening to me, to those I love, and to all living beings.
I have decided to offer a “Diary from a Social Distance” out of a sense that there are clues in this present critical situation to how to live peacefully, joyfully, and compassionately in every circumstance. If only I can be awake enough to find them!
I resolve to ration my words – to make my reflections concise and to the point. Thank you for generously giving your time to read my thoughts and to offer your perspectives.