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Between connectedness and isolation

Mar 16, 2020

The unknown territory of the lockdown.

Wednesday March 11th, I woke up with a sort of feeling of impending doom. I felt like something was really off. A couple of hours later, I learned that my 14 year-old daughter (who was staying with her dad at the time) had a fever, headache and sore throat. I checked in with my doctor who had seen several patients with suspected coronavirus and she encouraged me to get my daughter tested if I could. Spoiler alert, I did and the test was negative.

But by midday, I had decided to limit my physical contact with people to the bare minimum. My lover, my cleaning lady, my therapy clients and my kids when they would return from their dad’s .

I felt a huge sense of responsibility to not contribute to the progression of the virus and an acute awareness of what that meant: avoid catching it, whatever that took. Well, what that takes is isolating myself. Physically at least. Interestingly, I have had more contact with people on the phone, and on various social media than I usually do.

While that has been very nice, today I feel deeply in my body, the difference between a physical presence and a virtual one. I wonder, will we ever know the carefree pleasure of hanging out together for a meal ?

France (where I live) has just entered stage 3 of the COVID-19 epidemic as I was writing this. We are suddenly confined. I just started a couple of days early… But it is still early, this may go on for a while!

Now we must begin to find our new bearings and see what we can discover about our shared humanity from this experience.

Three things seem important to me at this time:

  • Find people to talk to, use video where possible
  • Think of who in your surroundings may need help and see what you can do to provide that help
  • Plan a gathering with people you love, for later, for when this is behind us.

Because yes, one day this will be behind us. Nobody know when or how. I truly believe that this episode will change our outlook forever, but it is up to each and all of us to create a future that is better for the lessons that we will have learned along the way!

Fellow human, remember, we are all connected,
whatever it may look like out there…

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