I haven’t touched another human in close to three weeks. Technically, my physical therapist has touched me, but he wears gloves and mostly inflicts pain on my knotted leg muscles and tendons. I have not touched anyone in a way that conveys affection, friendship, or merely shared humanity.

I am, and have been for much of my life, comfortable with being single, solitary, and celibate.  Right now, though, I sure envy couples their intimacy.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m fine.  I’m probably more suited to surviving this weird isolation and physical separation than most.  I’m just saying that I miss the occasional hug, shaking hands when I meet someone or see a friend, huddling together in the cafe over coffee or a laptop, the ordinary, careless contacts which filled our lives until this pesky virus upended the world.

I’ve been reaching out to friends to make sure they are OK.  I now, to my knowledge, have one friend who probably has the virus.  He isn’t sick enough to get tested. Thanks to the travesty of a response from our incompetent leadership, there aren’t enough tests to go around. My fervent hope is that every one of those bastards who have been systematically dismantling our government and health care system will get infected with this virus.  I don’t want them to die, but I want them to be terrified by the prospect that they might.

It is said that one needs 8 hugs a day for maintenance, 12 for growth. Who knows if those numbers are in any way scientific. I wonder, though, how this social distancing and lack of physical contact will work on the psyche of individuals, communities, nations, and the human race. Will it further exacerbate the divides already widening between us. or will it inspire us to find new ways to connect?

I suppose the choice is ours.

11 thoughts on “Isolation

  1. I’m with you, buddy. Haven’t seen you in years, but feel that we monitor each other to some extent.

    In early February I had a bad cold while traveling in Asia, which lasted a month and didn’t disappear until I’d been home a week or two. Figured it was a nuisance and nothing more, and I hope I’m right.
    At best I’m vulnerable and Marilyn is terrified she’ll catch a virus from me if I’m careless. We’re mostly knocking around the house but I venture out once a week to get groceries at dawn with all the other elderly folks. We started sorting stuff from outside the house onto clean and dirty sides of the glass dining room table. We’re going through Clorox and paper towels, but got enough to last quite a while.

    Hang in there. You may be better equipped to survive than most.

    Keep us posted, my friend.

  2. Hi David…I love your words…they always resonate on many levels. Where are you now? We think of you often and send you a cyber hug and handshake!

  3. A virtual greeting from Manchester in these strange times. I also feel well equipped for this situation and hope it prompts some shifts for the better in our lives. But it would be nice to roam about with my camera again which I’m not doing at all now. Keep well!

  4. I enjoyed shooting with both the Nikon and two different iPhones in SE Asia, and especially bits of video using different shooting techniques.

    That was well before the virus became a concern.

    I’m having trouble imagining the changes that occurred just after we flew out Feb. 27.

    The biggest change that happened while I was there was that Chinese tourists vanished. Good news for visiting temples in Thailand, but bad news for our guides whose business shrank 50% overnight.

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