Alone Together

| Caitlin Kline, LCSW

I wanted to try to be an “out-of-the-box” thinker and dedicate my April blog post to anything that was not COVID-19 related, but how can I ignore the abundance of topics to address regarding the pandemic!?  So, my apologies, but this is yet another post that you’ll read about our planet being turned upside down for foreseeable future. 

The uncertainty and fear that we are all feeling has to be validated before I jump into the Susie Sunshine voice that I’m afraid this post will take! We are all jolted, to varying extents, by this pandemic. Whether it be our daily routine alone, our fear of losing our job, having lost our job, or our spouse having lost income, or just general fear over our lives- we have all been jolted!

At risk of sounding cheesy and cliché, I have noticed some interesting and somewhat positive implications of what has occurred and I want to turn attention to those observations. Have you seen the teddy bears in windows? It’s a scavenger hunt game because…well…we are all walking more! Who forgot the simple joy of taking a walk with a loved one? I certainly did! The creativity that is bursting out of us in an effort to connect has been heart-warming. 

I have talked with people who are making an effort to reach out to a certain amount of people each day just to say “hi” or catch up- even if they haven’t seen one another in a long time! I organized a virtual seder for my extended family. We don’t even normally see the extended family on Passover! It seems that the lack of face-to-face interactions has actually increased the frequency or quality of connections that we are making in innovative ways. One of my favorites has been the drive-by parades for celebrating events, such as birthdays. People could just send a simple text saying “happy birthday,” instead they are eager to make that loved one experience their excitement and re-branding the drive-by as a positive encounter! 

In closing, we all have a lot we can worry about and more hurdles coming in the near future without certainty of when it will end. We can choose to budget our mental energy on those concerns, but I would encourage us to allow some time for reflection on what positives and means of connection this crisis has brought out in ourselves and those around us. 

Today's the day to make a change.