Social Distancing is not the End of the World
As I negotiate a “shelter in place” order issued by my county just a few hours ago, I have to be honest, the introvert in me rejoices. I am a freelance writer who already works from home, and I work best in my own space without distraction. I love to read and write, so it’s really easy for me to stay at home and do that. My problem has always been making sure I left the house and interacted with people. Now that I don’t have an option, I already miss it. Zoom and WhatsApp may become my best friends. Still, social distancing is not a stretch for me.
For some out there, quarantine life may not be a natural fit. What if you’re an extrovert who needs to be around people? Consider making Zoom and WhatsApp your best friends, too. On a more serious note, let’s look at the bigger picture. Instead of looking at this time as a form of incarceration, let’s take this time to rejuvenate and reconnect. To the planet. To those closest to us. To ourselves.
A reset for the planet and for ourselves
The earth is taking this time to heal. Without so many people driving and taking flights, pollution around the world is down. In China and Italy, the nitrogen dioxide levels are down as much as 30–40% in some areas. Cleaner air means a healthier planet and, in turn, healthier people. Not being able to go to the gym makes now a good time to take walks and appreciate nature, to remember we are a part of it and not separate from it.
While the physical world around us is taking this time to renew, we can use this time to take inventory of our lifestyles. Do we really need to be hurrying around to be productive and get things done? Think of all the things you couldn’t get to because there wasn’t enough time. Now, there’s a lot more since a lot of us aren’t concerned about a commute or the errands that take us out of our homes. We can take this time to reconnect to the people closest to us. Even if it’s just a video call, we can slow down and just talk.
As a Gen Xer, I’m a genius at slowing down. We weren’t called slackers for nothing. Since my mind already works like a pinball machine, I have to take a minute to sift, sort, and make sense of all the input that comes my way on any given day. Sometimes, I just take a moment to enjoy where I am and what I’m doing, to even be grateful. Take this time to just be present. There’s something really inspiring about of all us as a collective slowing down and remembering or maybe, even, rediscovering our place in the world.