Do you miss spending time with your friends?
Is the quarantine testing your mental health while giving you an unbearable sense of loneliness? You are not alone in this!
Social isolation during Coronavirus lockdown can be extremely challenging. When you’re not used to not hanging out with your favorite people, things can get unusually lonely and quiet. But if a videocall instead of heading over your BFF’s house is what will protect you from the virus, then you have to make this sacrifice.
You’re probably tired of counting the walls in your home and watching YouTube videos on how to cope up with the isolation. You just can’t wait for all of this chaos to be over, so you would be able to see the people you love in person. And sometimes, you may even think to yourself, “How much could it hurt if I just see my bestie for an hour or two?”
You’re a social being craving human contact. We all are. But being bored at home isn’t a solid reason to risk your health and the wellbeing of others. If most of the globe is urgently put under lockdown, then you must listen and do whatever it takes to protect yourself and the ones you love. The world’s fate is literally in your hands. So, out of an abundance of caution, please stay home.
Recently, many countries have established a lockdown policy, where people are strongly advised to study and work from home. Unfortunately, this new regime is far from normal, and most of us are still struggling with adapting to it. And it’s not just about wanting to go to bars and vacations. Human contact is what we truly miss.
However, it’s best for us and for everyone around us to have some patience and stay home.
And if you don’t want to listen to the news anymore, then listen to the experts. Jagdish Khubchandani, an associate chair, and professor of health science at Ball State University shares with Huff Post:
“You are playing with fire if you visit friends. At this point, we have to act like everyone is infected. You can be a risk to yourself, your family, your friends, and the entire community.”
Professor Khubchandani points out to a study suggesting that asymptomatic people spread the virus the most. That’s why we must take this isolation seriously. The only people we should be seeing are the ones we cannot avoid, meaning the people we share our homes with. And even in these cases, we need to keep a safe distance and pay close attention to our hygiene.
Meeting up with your friends in such a critical situation would not only be highly irresponsible but also extremely dangerous.
Professor Kirsten Hokeness, chair of the Department of Science and Technology at Bryant University explains it’s similar to playing a game of pool where Coronavirus is the cue ball.
“If the white ball is the virus and you have a table full of balls to target, the ‘virus’ has a lot of options. Your friend, people your friend lives with, including anyone who’s older or has underlying conditions who’s more susceptible. Start taking those balls off of the table until they are gone, and now it has nowhere to go.”
Unfortunately, there is still no vaccine against the deadly virus. Therefore, limiting our social contacts is currently the best way to fight it, as it needs a host to be transmitted.
So hanging out with your friends, even only with your BFF, is off the table until the danger is no more.
Undoubtedly, social distancing is not an easy task. From a physiological point of view, we are social beings who need interaction with one another. That’s why this unusual regime is being extremely hard on most of us. But we need to be strong and act responsibly. This is literally a time when staying home may save lives.
Meanwhile, we are lucky enough to live in an era of advanced technology, allowing us to still see each other, even when we’re not physically together.
There are many kinds of software for video calls, screen-sharing, and watching Netflix series with your friends no matter where they are in the world.
This is the time when we need to explore the full experience of these possibilities. Before, we thought the digital connectivity was the future, but it is actually happening right now. Indeed, being digitally connected is not the same as real physical contact. The family therapist and founder of Millennial Life Counseling in Dallas, Liz Higgins states:
“We are social beings. We’re made to connect. It is a physiological experience for us to want and crave interaction with others. What we are being asked to do during this time, in essence, goes against our entire makeup: Certainly, digital connecting can meet some of this need, but not completely.”
Higgins’ advice for people struggling with social isolation is to focus on the fact that these circumstances are temporary. Therefore, we can take this time as an opportunity to unwind and concentrate on our wellbeing. Sooner or later, we will be back to our normal routines, hanging out with our favorite people, and doing the things we love. Until then, we should try and make the best of this self-isolation we’re all coping with.
Most importantly, have in mind that you’re not alone. We are all in this together, and we’re praying it will all be back to normal in no time.