It’s interesting to think about all the times we wished we could just stay home, hang out, binge watch Netflix, and order pizza. How is it that in this generation of social isolation, noise-canceling headsets, and Internet games, we freak out when we are told to stay home.
We act like we have been grounded and life as we know it will never be the same. Probably not. So what if it’s better? What if we come out of this social correction with a revelation that what we were missing all along was buried under too much.
Are we so busy accumulating, that we lost out on one of the most important reasons I believe we are here on earth to experience? Human connection. Is it not ironic that what we miss the most, that which we crave, is not time with our toys, but time with each other.
We have all seen and experienced human behavior in wondrous ways. Our creativity has forged new means to stay connected. Teachers driving through neighborhoods honking horns, attaching posters to their cars that express how much they miss their students. Neighbors, socially distancing, greeting a young cancer patient coming home after her last chemo treatment. People posting “I’ll shop for you.” Others making calls, checking on friends and relatives, especially those that are older.
On Easter, our police department conducted a Burbank Police to Celebrate Easter With ‘Stay at Home’ Egg Hunt. Children in the neighborhood were encouraged to color egg-shaped drawings and post in their windows. Many religious services were held online. I attended a Facebook Live Easter celebration.
For many folks, zooming is the new social conduit. I have lunch with colleagues every Thursday via zoom. Now instead of going out, we sit across from each other on the screen, have a sandwich, and chat. I attend social functions, book clubs, webinars, seminars, and of course those obligatory company meetings. Yesterday I took a tour of the Peterson Automotive Vault via YouTube all in the comfort of my home.
The world is responding and coming together. Americans in a time of crisis mobilize. We are resilient and before too long American ingenuity kicks in. Rosie the Riveter is now Maxine the Mask Maker. Private enterprises, small businesses, major corporations, individuals, and families are turning to what we do best. We take matters into our own hands, rise from fear and turn to productivity. What feels like overnight, networks of people all over the country are joining together to answer the need for masks, and face shields for our first responders. We want to help, we want to give.
Meanwhile, Covid-19 has overtaken us and we are forced to alter our behavior. “Sheltering in place” to slow the spread of the virus has made it evident that the pollution of the earth is man-made. Mother Nature is changing for the better — an environmental wake-up call. The canals in Venice are cleaner. Animals that were on the endangered species list are coming back in numbers. The view of China and India from satellites show less air pollution. Some people are seeing the stars for the first time. These are facts. Spring is in the air. Nature is blooming and it’s glorious.
Taking care of your emotional health is just as important as your physical health. Stay informed but listening to repetitively to the news evokes fear and panic. Remember in most cases the news falls under entertainment. And yes, even in these most difficult times, the entertainment news shows, can’t help themselves, it’s in their DNA.
When the virus is gone, one of the greatest takeaways will be how we all came together. We have a new normal and responding to that will be a challenge.
If there is a concern to have, the question to answer will be — will we return to our old ways having learned and experienced nothing. I hope we don’t. Our happiness doesn’t lie in commodities, it’s are our human companionship, our families and friends. Let not the light dim.
No doubt we’ll never know the answer to why scoring a case of toilet paper is only slightly less exciting than winning the Super Bowl.
Stay Safe, Stay Healthy and Stay Proud.
Heidi Hirsch lives in the Los Angeles area with two birds, a bunch of Koi and very demanding squirrels. As a project developer for Reveal Studio, Inc. she oversees the production and development of the themed entertainment division. Heidi has recently achieved the status of “Seasoned Citizen”. In her downtime, she fancies herself as an urban farmer. “Never did I think I would get so excited over tomatoes and cucumbers without salad dressing!”.