Shelter in Place

It is weird being told to stay home.

Even though I am an introvert with a work from home job who enjoys time alone, being told to stay home weighs on me heavily. My gym is closed so I cannot go there. Almost all recreation is shut down. They are discouraging people even from going to the park for exercise if "social distancing" cannot be maintained.

I joked that once this is all over, I am going to become an extrovert. I believe I will have achieved all of the isolation I can take for one life and I can consider my introverted side completely fulfilled!

My personal feelings about this aside (and not just including the virus itself but also the implications to our freedoms and to the economy), I have made some interesting observations about people and society in watching this unfold.

First, the number of people - and in some cases so eloquently expressed - about how maybe this can be a really good thing for us. Learning to slow down, appreciate each other, be charitable, spend more time with our families, and so on - all good things for society.

I also find it amazing that people on a global level can come together in such collaboration, when I can go to a work potluck with 25 people and it be absolute chaos. People are arguing, pushing each other, taking more than they need, and touching food with their hands. And yet, people across the world are uniting across cultures and governments to "stay home" and stop the spread of the virus.

While on a walk the other night at the park I noticed how eager people seemed to make eye contact with one another. While we all stayed well apart, people smiled cheerfully at one another, as if they really craved that connection to other people after so much isolation. It was a cheerful revelation about other people.

And similar to how I am just overwhelmed with joy in similar situations, the outpouring of generosity, selflessness and kindness from people has been beautiful to see. People are widely expressing their desire to help others, donating time, food, blood, supplies and money to those in greater need. I think that it is often out of these panics and tragedies that the most beautiful parts of human nature come out to remind us we can always be better.

I have also found that as we are less distracted by the busy-ness of life, I have formed deepening connections with people or have had time to invest in longtime friendships. I pray for the health of the people across the world and for the restoration of our freedoms, but I am grateful too for the way these challenges are only another opportunity to be the best humans we can be!

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