Remember when you were asked the hypothetical question: If you were stranded on a deserted island, who would you want to be stranded with? — who did you say? Does the answer still stand today? You all know why I am asking. Perhaps a self-imposed isolation sounds like a vacation right now. Maybe you’re imagining it now, as you read. However, does the appeal remain when you realize your spouse, children, parents, pets, are also isolated with you? #togetherathome
This word has been at the forefront of conversation over the last few months. Many turned it into a lifestyle, never wanting to leave the house again, ever. While this sounds humorous, it isn’t meant to. This virus is SCARY for a lot of people. Even daily routines change frequently, for a lot of people. That alone is difficult for people who do not do well with change.
It seems things are even more uncertain than they were four months ago. I would be the first person to say: “Keep hope. We cannot bear worry for what we don’t know. Let’s focus on what we do know.” But, I am right there with you, my friends. I am not sure I know what I know. The word around COVID-19 seems to circulate and change. The appearance of lack of consistency in planning, executing and preventing seems to change, but in all honesty, it hasn’t. These are unprecedented times. None of us have had to live with these exact circumstances, ever. Knowing how to help by being vigilant in hand washing, disinfecting, and also mask wearing and only going out when it is a necessity, for many, if not most. It’s difficult, but needed in order to push ahead of this virus, I believe. Yet, not everyone can adhere to every part of the aforementioned plan to help, for their own personal reasons, of which no one is obligated to divulge. Howevet, bearing transparency, as I type this, I am faced with difficult decisions as a business owner about what is best for my clients and myself. Our safety, security and health are paramount.
Some say they feel my state (Ohio) may be headed for another shutdown. If so, stay at home orders may be inevitable. Stay at home is not the same as quarantining, though many labeled it so. If a SAH order happens, I will do my part to ensure safety, security and health, first and foremost. Fortunately, for me and my clients, my business is operational online, as well as in person. That is not the case for so many. Many people are still unemployed and have been since March. Basic needs are being assessed on a daily basis, and well no money means staying home more. So for many, quarantine has become a lifestyle without option, already. Every person has dealt with or is still dealing with COVID-19 related stress. Think about that for a moment. Not one person is unaffected by the stress of COVID-19. Not. One. Remember that when people are making decisions about their daily living.
Deciding to wear a mask or not wear a mask is one source of stress for so many people. Do not assume you know why someone is or is not wearing a mask. If you see a person with a mask, refrain from judgment. Likewise, if you see someone without one. Imagine being alone in life. Having no one, not one person, who can shop for you, run errands, etc. Now, imagine you are exempt from wearing a mask because you have severe asthma. Imagine also, being at a higher risk for getting COVID-19 because you have asthma. Imagine how heavy that feels having to decide and calculate how long you feel it MIGHT be safe to be out and understanding there are no guarantees you will be safe, even if you shop during senior hours. Then, imagine going to the store to shop, being told you cannot because it is for seniors and those with health ailments, and because you do not have to disclose your having asthma and you are only 28 and look healthy, you can’t shop right now. THIS is what people are dealing with. Imagine how much more alone that person feels, on top of the stress and loneliness they already have.
Judgment is a kin to quarantine. When we place judgment on someone with or without knowing facts, we impose isolation and separation. There is far too much of that going on. The virus just made it appear more acceptable to shun people. It’s not ok. It’s NEVER ok.
When the powers that be made decisions for us and ordered stay at home orders, many people mistakenly called it quarantine. I can understand the mistake because they feel quite similar. With a stay at home order you can still have guests and practice social distancing. With quarantine no visitor policies are required. In all of it, we do have choices. With choices come consequences. If all you can do today is to not make a big decision, then that IS a decision. If all you can do today is decide to limit travel and focus on self-care, then that IS a decision.
Quarantine is not a place where most of you reading this are. Quarantine is something we do to reset and accept healing. Taking time for respite is a necessity. It should be among our basic needs. These are trying times for any of us. Let’s do our part to not make it any harder for anyone else than it already is.
Be well. <3