As I prepare to start Tuesday here at home, there are several things that I want to take care of. First of all, I want to walk this morning for exercise. I’m going to try and get back into shape as safely as possible. I’m going to browse for some new comfortable walking shoes later today. I don’t have a lot to spend, but I do want to take care of my feet.
I am not working today because I’m fighting the system to get approval for short-term disability. If I go back to work now, I’ll look be surrendering my chances to qualify for short-term disability unless I am hospitalized again. I definitely don’t want that. Therefore, I’m not returning to work this week as I go through o all of my follow-up medical appointments. I’ll submit all the paperwork after those visits and hope for the best.
I don’t miss work yet. I’m not sure when I will, honestly. I just know that I do need time to recover from all that I’ve gone through recently. I also know that work stress doesn’t help at all.
I decided against shopping for shoes today because that would violate my deliberate plan to avoid crowds of people. I can always order some shoes online and return them if they don’t work out for me. I just want some comfortable hiking shoes so I can start exercising again.
One last thing that is sort of related involves our new method for getting groceries. Placing an order and then picking things up curbside at the store is working out better than planned because it makes us plan more deliberately for what we need rather than just run into the store without a clue. Definitely a win for us.
After writing my last post about Irresponsible Behavior, I began thinking about other things that have caused me concern recently related to the pandemic. By far, the thing I have seen that upsets and bothers me the most is parents out in public, not wearing a mask while having their kids with them, and the kids also aren’t wearing masks!
I don’t have children, so keep that in mind as you read on. I can’t understand how a parent, or in a few cases, an expectant mother, can willingly expose their children to this pandemic without any concern at all.
The parent, as an adult, has the right to make stupid decisions, but their children depend on them for guidance. I hope that none of the people I’ve seen contracts COVID-19, especially the children.
I found myself thinking about the long-term affects of the Coronavirus pandemic. My mind wandered back to a classic sci-fi film from the 1930s called “Thins To Come”, a British film about how a tragedy causes both pain and progress.
What will the long-term affects of social distancing be? This is a question that we will all have to consider and answer, both for ourselves and society, in the near future. Will we attempt to return to the same environment that existed immediately before the pandemic struck?
I suspect that our behavior will modify itself quite visibly. I can easily see the adoption of wearing fade masks as a widespread result of this pandemic. I remember seeing pictures of people from Japan wearing face masks in years past, and thinking that it must be something in their culture that made wearing masks acceptable. The people seemed so crowded together that common sense would dictate a measure of self-isolation, even as small as wearing a mask.
I remember reading that the Japanese were also averse to body contact with strangers. The story I remember was about the common practice of handing someone a business card. In America, we just pull the card from our wallet and hand it to another person. The story I read stated quite clearly that in Japan, the proper way to give a business card was to remove it from a wallet or more preferably a card case, and then set it on a table in front of the person and then withdraw your hand.
I suppose that theoretically this practice allowed the card to lose some of your “essence” so it would be cleaner when the recipient chose to pick it up. A small act of social distancing that I can see happening here, even though it will seem rude at first to ask the person to place their card on the table so we can then pick it up ourself.
Handshakes will probably become less common in the future because it will produce the impression that the instigator if the handshake attempt isn’t that concerned with my health, or their own. I don’t see the elbow bump being the answer. Personally, I prefer the simple Vulcan hand gestures from Star Trek.
I find it virtually impossible to imagine going to dinner in a crowded restaurant, or sitting in a movie theater full of strangers after this pandemic ends. I don’t mean to sound like an alarmist, but these things will affect my own personal behavior going forward.
The latest concern is for our food supplies. I believe that everyone will demand more stringent inspections and much better working conditions in our food preparation facilities. A food shortage will definitely cause long-lasting social effects on society. Will we consume less meat in the future? I can very easily see a short-term decrease in meat consumption as a result of both shortages and the apparent lack of quality control and concern for the workers in those facilities.
On the “bright” side, I see more people working remotely in the future as well as less crowded commutes for those who must return to traditional workplaces and offices. Technology will continue to allow for more virtual meetings and less business travel. Again, some of these changes will be gradual, but they will happen more quickly due to the pandemic.
What are some of the things I have overlooked?
Be Kind to one another
We have all heard about shortages over the last week. We have a shortage of kits to test for the Coronavirus, and that means we can’t get a truly accurate picture of just how widespread the problem is.
We have a shortage of respirators, and that means we can’t treat everyone properly who might or might not actually have the Coronavirus because we have a shortage of test kits.
We have a shortage of leadership from our allegedly elected officials. The Orange Nazi also has a shortage of personal responsibility because nothing is ever his fault.
There are some things that we don’t have a shortage of. Information and infoporn are all too available to us. This overwhelms our inputs and creates a sense of hopelessness and despair. We also have no shortage of those feelings.
As for feelings, I know that we have no shortage of compassion and kindness. That is something we make for ourselves in such quantities that we can always manage to spare some for those people in need.
The other day I wrote about social distancing and social isolation. I didn’t intend to write about it again so soon, but earlier today I felt the need to reach out to my cousin to see how she and her family were doing with all the coronavirus shit going down. When I pulled up the Messages app on my iPhone and started to compose my message, I noticed that it has been nearly a month since I last texted her. At that time I asked about her and her family, but particularly about her Dad who is suffering from Alzheimer’s.
With that initial gap just between my attempting to reach her without success established, I then looked further back and discovered that she hasn’t contacted me in over 6 months. I realized that I was wasting my time by attempting to contact her. Why bother?
I now see that when it comes to social distancing and social isolation, that I’m already well-equipped to deal with it thanks to my extended family.