Unpopular opinion: I’ll miss social isolation
Coronavirus taught me more than I expected about my social circle
Writer’s note: This post was originally published on Medium’s “We Need to Talk” on May 18, 2021.
If you’ve ever been asked the “what if?” question about islands, there’s no point in brainstorming on this anymore. You know the query: “What if you were stranded on a deserted island? Name ______ you would want to be stranded with you.” In more than a year in social isolation, I already know my answer and so do you. From March 2020 and onward, I prioritized the people who I absolutely knew I needed to be in communication with versus those I could take or leave. My guess is you did the same.
In-person communication fell off considerably. There were some Christmas pop-up visits, and a Father’s Day and Mother’s Day visit that didn’t happen in person. I treated the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention with as much loyalty as Christians treat the Bible. If CDC didn’t say it was OK, I simply didn’t do it.
However, pre-COVID-19, I’m not sure I would’ve answered my “island” question the same way. I would’ve expected a specific group to be part of my Gilligan circle — and it turned out to be an almost-entirely different group. The folks who I would’ve expected to reach out and say “Hey, how are you?” look much different than my island question response — and I’m not mad at that. Part of that is my doing; part of it is theirs.