This COVID-19 quarantining and social distancing thing is hard.
Hard on people who want to hug, have meals together and hold family celebrations like weddings, milestone birthdays and funerals.
Hard on people who want to go to concerts, festivals, restaurants or vacation spots.
Hard on people who work the concerts and festivals (artists and backstage pros), restaurant employees and vacation industry workers.
Hard on people who work in any businesses that are closed or at limited capacity.
Hard on people on the front line in the medical profession: doctors, nurses, aides, janitors, COVID-testers, admitting personnel, hospital food service workers, coroners and medical examiners, ambulance drivers and EMTs.
Hard on researchers working around the clock to find a vaccine.
Hard on essential workers in grocery stores and gas stations and public transit and delivery drivers.
Hard on parents with small children who have to work and teach at the same time.
Hard on small children who don’t understand why they can’t see their friends on the playground or at preschool. Or their grandparents.
Hard on grandparents who can’t see their grandchildren.
Hard on elderly people living in nursing homes who can’t see anyone.
Hard on single people whose lives have become their four walls and their work, with no respite from the Solitary confinement.
Hard on people who are already living in a scary situation: with mental health challenges, physical health challenges or unstable economic conditions.
Hard on new grads anxious to jumpstart the next part of their journey (whether that next step is college or the workforce), while having to put it all on hold.
Hard on teachers who can’t teach in their normal way, students who can’t learn in their normal way and schools at every level that don’t know how balance safety with the need to learn.
Hard on business leaders who have no prior experience with a situation like this who have to make decisions that can have lasting and devastating impacts on others.
It’s pretty much hard for everyone, albeit in different ways and with vastly different impacts and severity: some of us are experiencing cabin fever and loneliness while others are facing mental health crises, hunger and homelessness, and still others are suffering the tragic loss of family and friends to the virus.
It’s clear that these hardships aren’t going away any time soon.
We are all, in a way, staying in, but looking out the window toward that future where things aren’t quite so hard.
My pictures of the North Sea just south of Stonehaven in Scotland taken from inside the ruins of Dunnottar Castle a couple of years ago capture that feeling, at least for me. The brighter future is out there. We just need to be able to go out, safely, and grab it.
But “safely” is a big condition, and it will be a while.
So for now, we’re just trapped inside our individual realities, looking out that window, dreaming of a brighter future, and hopefully, able to acknowledge that it is hard, hard, hard for just about everyone.
© 2020, Glover Gardens