Friday, April 3, 2020

Practicing sociality

There is quite a bit of isolation and social distancing around here. There are scams and misunderstandings connected to the COVID-19 coronavirus outbreak.  It takes a while for people to modify their beliefs and behavior. It is the same with science or law or any other human activity. It takes time to decide on a new course of action.  

I went to a couple of grocery stores today.  A few days ago, Lynn asked me to wear gloves in the store.  I agreed but I felt I was doing it for her and her worries. If a more expensive placebo has more effect (see "How Your Mind Can Heal Your Body" by David Hamilton), then having your supportive husband wear gloves makes both of us more resistant to viruses that can make us sick.  Right?

Today, I went to a physical checkup and to the grocery store.  At the hospital, most employees were wearing face masks. I wore a bright red mask the other day and felt odd and a little weird.  No one else was wearing one. In the grocery store, I saw one other person with a mask one but the government is changing its advice.  It is a social thing. Faces are important and modifying them with a mask is a new practices. I am getting more able to stand wearing one, including the red one that Lynn made.

A beloved event is happening around there: spring is coming.  Right now it is 56°. Typically, college students on the local campus sunbathe in bathing suits one the temperature reaches 50.  So, the ending of winter, warmer, sunny days coupled with the attempt to avoid crowds and groups that might include someone carrying the coronavirus has created much more walking in our neighborhood.  We have lived here more than 20 years so we know neighbors and they know us. Yet, typically, when someone drives by, we don't greet them.  

Now, however, we are all missing our social events.  A real, live person is a treat for the eyes. So, people driving by us while we walk, wave as they go by.  People need exercise and they know it is good for them in addition. People raking the dead leaves and debris out of the battened-down grass stop working and say "Hello", even if we don't know each other.  

Hearing the voice of a friend, seeing the face of someone you like can be a big lift.  Even if you don't typically call someone, change a bit. Windows computers typically come with Skype loaded on them.  Anyone with a Gmail address can use Google Hangouts or Google Duo to make a video visit and touch base with a friend or relative.  If you bother to do something social, you are fighting the forces of depression and evil.

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