I didn’t go to church today and may not for a few weeks.
I don’t plan on going to yoga practice for the next month or two.
I will not get on an airplane or spend an afternoon at the mall.
I may begin working from home this week, if deemed necessary, and only visit the grocery store for absolute necessities.
Social distancing is now a “thing” in the U.S. in order to keep the COVID-19 virus from spreading exponentially and I agree with this thing. It’s important that we not only keep ourselves safe from illness, but that we don’t carry anything home to family, or unwittingly spread the virus to an elderly or health-compromised person.
It means that as humans, we have to put aside our desires to socialize with people and always be busy. We have to consider safety over our normal routines. We have to be okay with finding alternative hobbies and activities, like going for a walk, a bike ride, or practicing yoga in the living room while we’re healthy. Perhaps it’s a good time to read a few good books, catch up on Netflix episodes of your favorite show, spend time with family playing board games, or actually talking with friends and family over the phone.
Schools, churches and other organizations are closing, while grocery stores are cutting back hours to deal with sanitary conditions and restock empty shelves from the
hoarding sensible, planning masses. Employers are allowing employees to telecommute or simply stay home. The U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill to guarantee all employees 14 days of sick leave through their employer, paid family and medical leave, funds to feed children who would normally have free or reduced price meals at school, and more. The President finally declared a state of emergency on Friday, hopefully not too late.
For the U.S. and the world, we will be living very different lives for what could be weeks or many more months, until it’s safe to come out and play again. During that time, we need to remain a community that cares for one another, to find gratitude in a tough situation and in the ability to slow down and find peace in hanging with self.
I urge you to take social distancing seriously, but don’t panic or stress.
A year from now, this will be an unforgettable time in history that we conquered with a vaccine and continued healthful practices. We’ll be back to our favorite restaurants and social gatherings. Children will be in school with their friends and faith communities will be meeting at their regular times. No one will have to run around to three different stores looking for toilet paper and hand sanitizer. The world will be somewhat sane again.
Have patience my friends. We are all strong and resilient and will get through this crisis, which reminds me of a quote I recently came across: “Individually, we are one drop. Together, we are an ocean.” (Runosuke Satoro)
Consider social distancing as the ocean separating into drops for a few months. The drops are not weak, lonely, lost or bored. Rather, we, as those drops, make up an ocean of humanity that will soon be back together – being life and giving life and hugging the other drops we love.
I honestly cannot wait for normalcy, but in the meantime, I’ll keep taking my vitamins, unroll my yoga mat at home and find church in my prayers.
How about you?