It’s been weeks, no, months, since most of us have been close to humans other than our families. This is for a good reason, obviously. But many of us miss connecting with humans in person instead of a screen, and a little closer than 6-10 feet away. This is simply because we are human, and we have been programmed to thrive from human connection.
Unfortunately, during this time, there has been a lot of devastating news. There have been protests, a dismal loss of life, lack of medical supplies and space, layoffs, shutdowns, and even more. While all of this is devastating, fortunately, there has also been an overwhelming sense of community and true human connection, from afar.
Right here in our local community, I have been enthralled with the way people have stepped up to support local small businesses and restaurants. While supporting local is always something we, as a family, like to do; it has been a no brainer during this time. So many stores and restaurants have made it even easier to support them, such as delivering their goods right to your doorstep or making pick up of their items quick, easy, and contactless. Knowing so many people have supported local during this time warms my heart. While we weren’t able to go into these retail stores to browse or eat, they made it easy to still make a human connection to come together in support of one another.
During these stressful and uncertain times, the sheer amount of sad news is enough to bring anyone to tears. I’ve found that personally, under extremely desolate situations, I tend to hold my emotions in, and they come out later, in privacy. However, when I’m faced with the ways people come together, for good, it makes me emotional. With too much negativity in today’s world, it’s easy to become desensitized from it, sadly. But when people come together to help, celebrate, and honor others, it is inspirational. I could not put a finger on why these moments made me outwardly emotional (think about sentimental commercials on TV), but when I looked a little deeper, it came down to one thing – it was humans, connecting. Seeing news footage of patients recovered and leaving the hospital, with fanfare from hospital workers, it’s truly remarkable. Those healthcare workers were coming together to cheer on another human because times were bleak, and this was a bright light – a healthy, recovered patient. Celebrities have quarantined and shared their talents with us live from their homes. If you have not checked out SGN by John Krasinski, I highly recommend you do! He features all the good happening in the world. No bad vibes there! Friends and families may be forced to stay apart, but nothing can stop kids from making signs and standing in grandma & grandpa’s front yard. Thankfully this pandemic occurred in a time when we are entirely surrounded with sometimes too much technology. With the technology we have today, friends can still have game nights. Book clubs can still meet. Classrooms can still do show and tell. All on a screen. It may not be the same, but it’s still a way to make what we all crave, the human connection. Even the most mundane tasks of daily life before the pandemic have changed, but people have come together to make citizens feel comfortable and nourished. You can easily do your grocery pick up or have your groceries delivered so that you still have food on the table for your family during these uncertain times. For the less fortunate, restaurants, individuals, and corporations have come together to make sure people are fed and can have access to medical help should the need arise. This is all truly incredible.
It took a pandemic to make me realize that I used to make many small grocery shopping trips in a week. I took advantage of popping into a coffee shop, ordering a drink, and making casual small talk with the cashier. I loved my book club meetings, date nights, and girl’s night out because of being with others, but I didn’t realize just how much I needed that human connection. Things may be taking the turn to getting back to ‘normal,’ but many things will never be just the way they were before. While that sounds a little scary and drastic, it’s true. But one thing that will remain, forever and ever, it’s that as humans we crave and need human connection. Even if it is wishing your best friend ‘Happy Birthday’ or meeting the new baby in the family through your phone’s camera. Don’t stop connecting after we are ‘allowed’ to be together again. If anything, do it more. Use your tablet, computer, phone MORE to see friends, family, classmates, co-workers – because we are all human, and we all need one another.