Many of us here in Michigan are stepping into week 2 of social distancing. Depending where you live, you may have been living this life for a little longer. Maybe some of you still have kids in school and you’re living a “normal” life right now.
Whatever the case, you don’t have to do this alone
We’ve been living in the tech-oriented age of rising individualism and have already been facing rising isolation and feelings of loneliness for years (1). Some have argued that the social isolation that has been increasing in young adults and the elderly for years are a bigger risk factor in early death than smoking and obesity. Dementia, high blood pressure, alcoholism, anxiety, depression, paranoia and suicide are increased as well. (2)
This has been happening for years as we have turned our attention away from each other and into virtual worlds that are now at our fingertips. Now and we’re facing a global pandemic which requires social distancing to protect our neighbors and communities, this technology could be our savior.
This may be the first time in the modern era where our hearts and hands have been so opened to give and receive support from our fellow humans. Where companies have generously offered opportunities free to the community. Where schools and museums have opened their doors to learning remotely. Where artists, creators, businesses and communities have deliberately come together
The resources at our fingertips can make navigating this uncertain, anxiety-filled time more than tolerable. It can become a beautiful opportunity for us to come together, virtually and accessible to more people than ever before.
We can lean in to the opportunities – to those relationships we want to nurture, to deeper connections with friends and strangers, to the members of our households or to support those in our communities in new ways.
We can lean into finding new rhythms to support us physically, mentally and emotionally. We can offer new ways to connect with our clients and our friends. We can explore what matters most to us and find a new balance in our lives. We are shining a light onto the pain and discomfort of isolation and learning to use technology to bring us together, instead of letting it divide us.
Even in isolation, we are here, together, in this void, in this strange time, in our separate spaces and more than ever, we are not alone.