I began working from home last Friday because of the coronavirus just like a lot of other people. Since we are in New York (though many miles away from New York City) the Governor said 100% of non-essential workers needed to stay home (hmmm… I never thought of myself as non-essential). Anyway, luckily my office arranged for remote access and we have all been working from home for nearly a week now. How long it will all go on is uncertain at this point but we are all adapting to this hopefully temporary, new normal and we are all washing hands and staying away from each other.
As I stay at home, barely leaving the house, my mind is reeling. There are things – deep things – that are percolating to the forefront of my thoughts in the midst of this “stay at home” patch. Now, I’m not that social a person to begin with but even for me this kind of isolation makes me pause. It makes me realize we really do need each other. We humans are made for relationships. All kinds of relationships enrich our lives. Whether you have a romantic partner or your partner is a cat named Luvy, like me, or perhaps you have some really good friends who understand you and laugh at your jokes (thanks Bethy and Laurie). All of those relationships make our lives richer and give our lives meaning. Heck sometimes when I’m in “hermit mode” (before this coronavirus thing) my only contact on any given Saturday would be with the checkout person at our local grocery or Walmart. Now, don’t get me wrong, I have a great family, some really close friends and a “social” calendar that is lean but it suits me. When I move through my life I like to make people laugh and lift their spirits – I’m a lot like my father in that way – so now when we have been asked to stay in our homes and pause our regular interactions it makes me appreciate my fellow human in a different way.
I wish our country wasn’t so divided. I like people. I like all kinds of people and this invisible enemy … this coronavirus is an enemy to all of us… and perhaps our divide can be bridged through this trial because we need each other. Whether we agree or not about politics or religion or how short to cut your grass we need each other. We need to soften how we interact with each other somehow. We need make each other laugh and lift each others spirits… now and later when this crisis has passed. I pray for that.