Connecting during Coronavirus

I am an extrovert. I enjoy speaking with people, and I’m generally a friendly person. Most of the time when I’m walking past someone, unless they’re looking down or seem unapproachable, I will smile and say hello.

Walking in the park today was weird. It’s a bizarre time; this COVID19 virus has everyone behaving strangely. I’m not even myself. I want to be out in the community getting exercise and smiling at people in solidarity while I pass them or compliment their beautiful dogs. I tried to do that today but it felt awkward. Even if someone did look at me, they immediately looked down or away.

No one wants to smile, let alone communicate to strangers in such a scary time. We’re told to “social distance” due to the deadly virus, however that’s a misnomer if you’re connecting on social media. What we’re all really doing is physical distancing. We’re trying to stay at least six feet away from each other since that’s what we’ve been instructed to do in order to stay safe.

On Friday we were told that we should all be wearing protective face covers when we go out. Before then, only the sick were instructed to wear masks, and personal protective equipment (PPEs) was reserved for frontline personnel. The governor came on TV to say that all of us should be covering our faces when we go out now, but that N95 masks need to be reserved for those who are essential workers and taking care of the sick. The problem is, there are not enough. There isn’t enough N95 masks and there are not enough gowns. There isn’t enough personal protective equipment, and there are not enough ventilators to help the sick stay alive. Anxieties are high.

I am fortunate to be in Breathe for Change wellness champion and yoga teacher training right now which is doubling as my self-care. But I’m worried about the caregivers; those who are helping the physically and mentally ill. I spoke to a school counselor friend who said she feels like a hypocrite for counseling when her own anxieties are sky high. I feel for all of the essential workers right now because the people that are helping to take care of everyone are becoming marginalized themselves.

This virus sucks. I’m trying, we’re all trying to stay sane and rise above it to stay safe and healthy. I have my family close and I draw on our togetherness for strength. And I do yoga, take walks, cuddle with my dogs, and meditate. We need to breathe in peace and breathe out love for the world to heal. And we need to stay connected. Social media is huge right now; I am so thankful for my online communities.

Since the Coronavirus made us start sheltering in place on 3/17/2020 in California, I’ve become a champion at attending on-line meetings. I’m an extrovert who thrives on connection. I’m grateful to have my Facebook and Instagram page with family, friends and community groups that I was previously connected with, and now so thankful to be able to connect via zoom with my church family, yoga families, PTSA board, and writing communities. Physical distancing, yes. Social distancing, no.

About Lynne

I am a wife, mother of two and a memoirist. I recently received an M.F.A. in Creative Writing from Albertus Magnus College. I am a suicide prevention crisis counselor and volunteer coordinator for a non-profit with a mission to ending domestic violence. Pleasantly Settled was created to blog musings and observations from Pleasanton, California after I moved here with my family from Connecticut in 2012.
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