How to mingle with humanity again?

Where do we go now? As we slowly leave our confined quarters and venture out into the world of rubbing shoulders, eating in restaurants, sitting in salons, flying on planes, riding on trains and mingling with humanity … how do we slowly reintegrate?Now What?

I have had the privilege of ‘sheltering-in-place’ or self-isolating for the past 6 weeks. It’s  been a privilege because I have a roof over my head, food in my pantry and a place to call my own. If I got sick, I had a separate room where I could quarantine. I know I am blessed to be ‘able’ to self-isolate. I have people checking on me, and internet connection, books to read, TV to watch and a yard to sit in. So many people have so much less.

But the doors are slowly opening and it’s time to breathe in, breathe deep and exhale comfortably. It’s time to venture out but always with an eye out for others around me. Are they coughing? Are they keeping their distance?

The media tells me day and night what to do. Keep my distance. Wash my hands. Wear a mask. Stay away from groups. Remember that the silent virus is does not discriminate.

My time inside has dulled my need to shop, travel and eat out. I’ve learned to appreciate homemade meals, phone calls with friends and yardwork. I’m more involved with the lives of family members and friends than ever before.

I’ve learned to listen to and trust my governor and to ignore my president. I’ve realized that actions make all the difference and the front line heroes are janitors, truckers, meat packers, medical personnel, and child care workers. They don’t point fingers, pass blame, try to glorify what they do – they just continue to show up and get the job done. For them I am grateful.

The neighbor kids are learning from home and are getting all the knowledge they need to pass to the next grade. I wonder how many of them will decide to sign up with an online school program and bypass attending a school building in the future. Perhaps the kids who are falling through the cracks, those who are bullied and dealing with social anxiety will find a way to continue with their studies virtually and become successful without the misery.

And what about all the college kids who were sent home in March? Let’s face it, they are going to all PASS the grade. Since they are being taught by instructors who have no knowledge or instruction in online teaching. And guess what? Some people go to college and get a degree in the art of online teaching. They are called ‘Instructional Designers.’ They create amazing curriculum which include best practices and universal design techniques that benefit all students. Let’s face it – the elementary school teachers, high school instructors and college professors do not have that knowledge. They are just all trying to stay above water.

I’ve learned to appreciate my alone time. Audio books. Daily walks. Homemade food. Books off my bookshelf. And yard work, too.

This crisis is not over, I know that. We all know that … but I am ready to rejoin humanity. Slowly – ever so slowly. What about you? Are you moving in that direction? Are you staying put? Will you venture out and do some of the things you miss? Sure would like to know.

Take care and stay safe my friends!

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