I used to worry that we were losing our need for personal contact and real FaceTime. I’d watch couples looking at their cellphones more than each other at restaurants, and notice that even my children would text their spouses rather than call. I was an old fuddy duddy.
Now I find that absolute strangers want to talk as I take my daily walks. Friends want to have social distanced cocktail hours and people drop by our front porch to say hello and check up on us. I’m not sure this new interaction is conscious, but instead it is a human need that we didn’t know we had until it was taken away.
I have some experience in my life with forced solitude and it is not all it’s cut out to be. Within a matter of days it becomes torture. We need to keep this in mind if we know of people who are enduring staying-in-place alone.
I really hope one of the many lessons we will learn after all this is over will be that face to face contact is more important than an iChat and that paying a visit from time to time is one of the most valuable gifts we can give or receive.