As our politicians reach another decision point regarding the extension of social isolation, it is natural for us to ponder their decision with mixed feelings. Unexpectedly thrust upon us, we have experienced this major lifestyle change into social isolation through the cycle of storming and into the norming phase. We have by now adjusted our routines and expectations to accept this as the new normal.
We have mourned the loss of our old structure, our daily lives of schedules for work and school. There were the extra-curricular activities we couldn’t miss, or couldn’t live without. We’ve missed attending life events such as birthday parties, weddings and funerals, large congregations to do with religious ceremonies, sporting events and concerts, and gatherings at gyms, shopping malls and parks. Our daily lives have conformed to the social isolation rules.
Some will view their old lives as a series of postponed events, rescheduled to when life goes back to what it was before the virus. Others may envision their pre-virus structure as a post-virus lifestyle based more on needs than wants, a new normal where less is more. They ponder whether the adjustment to living without material luxuries during isolation could be extended into the post-virus era. Still, others might contemplate a future devil may care attitude, accumulating as many creature comforts as possible, living it up while they can because the virus has taught us how vulnerable human life is, and that we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Why save up your whole life to fund a comfortable retirement home that leaves you a sitting duck for communicable illness and a lonely death?
While it is normal to think about these existential questions, we can examine our feelings to determine what exactly is missing from our lives as we work and live while socially distanced.