Back in 2016 I wrote a blog entitled, “Lonely vs Being Alone”. I’ve been thinking about that lately while staying “safe-at-home”. My point was that being lonely wasn’t the same as being alone. As a writer and an introvert, I’m often alone. When it was first announced in March that our Governor was going to be mandating a stay-at-home policy for Wisconsin, which has since been extended through Memorial Day weekend, my thought was … no problem. I can do this. In fact, I was actually looking forward to it. You see, if both the Governor and the President said I had to stay at home, then who could insist I had to take time out of my day to do all sorts of other things they thought more important?
I have since come to realize staying at home because I want to is a lot more fun than staying home because I have to. Now I can come up with all sorts of places I’d rather be, people I want desperately to see and spend time with in person. Phone calls are great, Zoom has been fun, but they’re not the same as pouring a couple glasses of wine and visiting with someone who’s actually sitting right next to you.
I remind myself I’m not technically alone. My husband’s here with me. Oh, we do our own thing at our own computer in our own workspace, but he’s still here. And as annoying as this can be at times, I’m lucky to not be totally alone. I have a number of friends who are going through that right now. I can always go off in a different room for space, but I also know he’s always just feet away if I don’t want to be alone anymore.
So, even if you’re like me and occasionally wish your significant other would go away during this difficult time, remember those who don’t have that luxury. Make a phone call. Wave to him or her from their front yard. Also, don’t forget about all those lonely people out there you don’t know. Say a prayer for their health and safety.
If you are one of those people who are truly alone right now, or maybe you’ve never felt so alone, call someone. Reach out. Loneliness is a very real and growing problem right now.
Remember, this will end. We’re going to be all right. Not overnight, but we are a strong country and we will come back.