We’ve already been social distancing for a month. I have left my house a total of three times since it started and have hardly seen anyone outside those living in my house in person. Social distancing is starting to feel a whole lot more like social isolation.
I love people, a lot. My friends are some of my greatest treasures, and I hate losing good relationships.
Initially, I thought keeping in touch with people virtually shouldn’t be too hard. With so much time on our hands, how hard would it really be for me and a friend to find a gap in our now vacant schedules to video chat?
As time goes on though, I find myself making less and less of an effort to reach out to people I used to see daily. At first, I felt like I was failing that because I wasn’t keeping constant contact with certain people, I wasn’t being as good of a friend as I should have been.
Even with the people I am constantly texting, the communication feels half empty, not as full as before. Conversations often feel superficial. Video chatting is by far the best option, but frequent chats are not always practical.
The fact of it is, virtual communication is not the same as face to face. Virtual communication often lacks the level of quality face to face interactions possess. It is also the only option.
Because of virtual communication being the only option at the moment, I feel like some of my relationships are slipping.
However, with all the extra time I’ve had to think about these things, I have realized something. Many of the relationships I feel like I have let slip away over the last month, aren’t doing so because of coronavirus but were already heading that direction to begin with.
I was letting the business of my schedule and the endless to-do lists I’d accumulate get in the way of my relationships with other people. Life was getting in the way of my want to walk through life with other people.
I’d taken those relationships for granted.
COVID-19 is unprecedented. Nothing like this has ever happened in our lifetimes, and the future is now filled with many unknowns.
Being seperated from friends and family, and watching this virus take friends and family from others, has made me realize that the people around me, and being able to talk to them in person and walk through life with them is not something to take for granted.
Over the last month, being able to see someone in person has become a privilege, and even after this is all over, we should continue to think of it as such.
The relationships we have with others, even though at the moment they may be virtual and strained, are valuable. After COVID-19, we need to remember what a privilege it is to be able to see friends and family in person.
We need to value the people in our lives over the business and to-do lists.