On some level, it’s true. We are all supposed to be practicing the same measures to keep ourselves safe. But what I learn when I talk to people in those little video squares on my computer is that there are a lot of ways to feel and be right now, and that, well, I haven’t heard exactly the way I feel expressed out there.
I don’t have kids. That’s the first thing my work colleagues let me know – not me personally, but me and my fellow childless as a group. For parents with kids at home, this whole thing is a crazy, multitasking nightmare. Stipulated! You all have my sympathy and my understanding.
Some people I know, but mostly people in my social media streams, are Zooming and Skyping and FaceTiming with their families in place of visits. My family have never been prolific communicators in the best of times. We’re not suddenly hopping on Zoom right now for holiday meals or impromptu board games. I wonder how I would feel if we were, or how they would feel if I sent them invites to an online game site. Hmm.
Everyone would like to get out more, and for a lot of people, that desire is fulfilled by an occasional trip to a grocery store. Perhaps not what you would choose for yourself, but it’s at least an outing, and a chance to see and be seen among fellow humans in person. But that’s not a thing I’m doing. To get to my nearest store, I’d need to take public transit. And I’m not doing that, for the safety of myself and all I might encounter. So the thing I’m feeling – stuck here with plenty of food and electricity and access to all the entertainment I care to consume – is the loss of independent travel, just the ability to leave my house, go to a place where they sell things, buy those things, and return home. That’s all.