Social distancing during the global coronavirus pandemic

This was not my plan

I am a planner, and this is not what I had planned for this year.

I’m in a newish relationship, and I had planned to have so much fun and excitement with my love. We are very much alike, he and I, and we have been working out the kinks that two intelligent, strong-willed people will predictably have in a relationship.

Being in a newish relationship during coronavirus is scary. There is additional stress, and it can be easy to think that additional stress is from the relationship and not from merely existing during a global pandemic.

People handle global pandemics differently, and their handling of it can vary from day to day. Very sensitive people (like myself) have a hard time compartmentalizing their feelings. Everything gets mushed into one box of gunk. One big, crappy, emotional mess.

We should be dancing. We should be traveling. We should be planning for the future. But instead, things are on hold while the world waits. And not everyone is great at waiting.

Americans have forgotten how to wait. How to be here now. How to be OK not being OK. There is too much instant gratification to be had. Too much self help advice to seek. Too much shadowy positivity luring you like a siren away from anything perceived as negative (even if it’s reality).

On top of all that, people are hurting. They were already hurting. Now more of them are hurting and in different ways. Some just emotionally, others physically and financially. Hurt is a gateway to anger. It is hard to talk a hungry (physically or mentally) person out of their anger.

I don’t have the answers. I just know I don’t like the idea of people dying – of coronavirus, a lonely heart or a hungry stomach. I don’t have the answers, and I feel paralyzed by that. People want answers, and many of them find the answers they want in stories of false hope. People are hungry for the answers they want, the ones that make them feel safe or in control.

I forgive everyone who is cranky right now. I forgive people who are angry – no matter what they’re angry about. I forgive people who think pretending things are OK will make them OK. People who don’t know what to do. People who fear the loss of their normalcy, even if it wasn’t that normal to begin with. I forgive people who fear for their future or their present. I forgive people who don’t want to wear a mask because of what it represents… loss and grief and change. I forgive people who don’t want to stay home, who want to be near other humans. I want that, too.

I want to hug everyone. I want to kiss everyone’s wounds. I want to tell everyone everything will be OK.

And it will be OK but maybe not the OK they are looking for.

This was not my plan, and I am still grappling with how to plan around it because I haven’t found the answers I’m looking for (because, of course, they don’t exist yet).

But I know I want to keep on living, and I will find a way to plan for living and plan for connecting and plan for loving with all my heart.

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