As the pandemic continues our new norms seem to be settling in place.
Mask wearing, social distancing, and virtual communication has become commonplace.
I donít get the same eerie feeling when Iím in a store and everywhere I look someone has a mask on.
What I fear from all of this is the possible loss of the human connection.
Iíve wondered about it for years, even before COVID-19 came on the scene.
As a society we had already replaced talking on the phone with texting.
No one writes letters anymore.
We have essentially reverted back to the telegraph.
Then thereís social media and Facebook friends.
I have a close buddy who to this day has no Facebook account.
He asks me on the regular, how lazy does one have to be, that they canít go out and make a friend?
I have to admit he has a bit of a point.
We donít have to to put in the time anymore to learn about one another and form relationships.
If we like a certain movie, book, or group we simply join that Facebook page and instantly acquire a slew of ďfriends.Ē
Social distancing does have some positives.
Social distancing at the dinner table means I donít get stuck sitting directly across from the elderly relative who talks with their mouth full, spewing turkey and dressing all over me.
I also donít have to worry about the friend who pushes me in the chest every time they make a point.
You start the conversation in the living room and end up in the kitchen.
That being said, humans crave connections.
Challenges, problems and painful moments hurt less when youíre in the company of loved ones.
Social distancing creates loneliness, and loneliness destroys sleep, increases depression and even increases mortality rates.
When tornadoes strike, people come out of their homes and help their neighbors.
You donít hear talk of race, and class and social divide following a catastrophe. Weíre there for one another.
There are methods to see and communicate with our friends and families through platforms such as FaceTime, but believe me it isnít the same.
I ache to hug my grandchildren even more after one of those virtual visits.
COVID-19 has taken a lot of casualties.
I hope it doesnít take another one.
The human connection.
I think Iíll go write my buddy a letter.
See you out there.