Going the Social Distance
Today is my friend's birthday. I haven't seen her in person since this time last year. We used to meet up every two weeks for game. Now, we play online, but it's not the same. I doubt my personal interactions with friends will ever be the same.
I know people are struggling with COVID-19 restrictions, quarantine, etc. Most people love being around other people. Some people need to be around other people.
I'm not one of those people. I love quarantine life, and I wish it would never end. I keep preparing myself for the day when it will end and I'll have to see people again, most likely in June when we're scheduled to go back to the office.
I'm not alone in my quarantine bubble, either, which makes this easier. Lemur still goes out into the world each day so I don't have to. My doggos are here to keep me company while he's gone. When I'm not working, I'm reading, writing, or learning about writing, publishing, or some other fringe aspect of my two jobs. I have enough to entertain me for thousands more years than I'll have.
For those of you waiting for quarantine to end, that day will come once enough people are vaccinated and we have herd immunity - it will probably be later than expected, but it will happen. Life won't return to the normal we remember, and it probably shouldn't. We've gained new habits to carry with us, and we've learned we are stronger than we ever imagined.
For me, when this is over, I'm going to hug my friends more. After going through this mess with us, they're more than friends - they are my found family. I can't wait to go out for Indian food with them again. I miss sitting around the dining room table with the D&D dice and books, having a real conversation. Now, my laughter is mostly muted and my interaction is held to my turn. That's probably best for the game, honestly, but it also feels like a loss to someone who has so little interaction outside my bubble anyway.
Within my bubble, I am blessed, privileged,sheltered, whatever you want to call it. I am, and I get that. However, you are not in this alone. If you are struggling with loneliness, I see you. If you are coming to grips with service industry experience in a world where the service industry can't operate the way it did, I see you. If you are an essential worker struggling with eating vs. safety, I see you. If you can work from home but you hate it, I see you.
We are in this together for the long haul. We're going the social distance together. Hang in there, friends.