With COVID-19[Coronavirus] sweeping across the globe, we are now called to question all of our relationship-building skills. We almost have to rethink what it means to befriend someone.If you are the type of communicator as myself-a touchy feel-y type of person, this new pandemic may be the catalyst for literally, a hands-off form of socialization in this climate/culture.
The philosophical part of myself is questioning whether this new Coronavirus pandemic is the new plague of our time. Is this a form of population control? Who knows. Also, is this new way of relating to the world and interacting with the world outside of ourselves?
I can’t help but think back to the space-age cartoon, The Jetsons, or sci-fi movie scenes where humans walk around in their own personal bubble. Are we protecting ourselves from one another or the environment around us? The new way to survive is to avoid people. Imagine. We have been fed conventional wisdom that says no man is an island, but we are being told to self-isolate.
Communication happens online. We are already a society steeped in our smart devices, texting more than talking into a telephone. So, our new ways of being social is by text, Skype, FaceTime and Google Duo to remain connected with others. We have already grown accustomed to this way of communicating, but we had choices before. They have just been limited.
What about this thing they call quarantine? We aren’t really asking people to stay put, we are telling people to do so. For some of us, being confined to one set of four walls is claustrophobic. Now, fourteen mandatory days of confinement! What?
If you consider yourself fortunate to have a family and don’t live alone when entire cities, schools and so many public spaces are closing down, my best advice is that you get to know, love and unconditionally accept your family members NOW. Start learning to love and accept yourselves. Get comfortable in your own skin, pimples and all. The times to come will be your real test of health and endurance, more than the medical tests.
Be creative in spending your time-days and nights, because it is the unlimited power of the imagination that will be most useful now. You’ll either play solitaire or Go Fish, Uno and a slew of video games with your children. Start building your list of proposed activities, indoor ones, to help keep you from killing your kids, who are known to cry boredom at the worst of times.
Keep children busy, and do bear with their teachers. Many are on a learning curve of delivering instruction online and are working to develop their proficiency. It is on the job training.
We are learning something new on a daily basis on how to remain healthy. What we aren’t learning is how to spend our time during shut-in. This is where our creativity must kick in, especially for keeping children, who need activity, to be content.
Pull out the old Monopoly game, Twister, or a plain deck of playing cards. Tell stories. Read, read and read some more. If the internet is your friend at home, do some google searches for topics never before explored. Allow your children to ask silly questions, and search for answers. Read your bible. Search your TV guide, or channel surf for interesting topics.
Keep your wits about you, and use this time to strengthen the family ties, find out who your children really are, and open up to them, telling them who you are too. We are all in this thing together. God willing, this too shall pass!