Isolation carries its own risks

Isolation carries its own risks

This COVID-19/coronavirus pandemic forced many of us into a new way of living—fewer people in our lives. Staying home and not getting to visit people except online or over the telephone became a new norm. Learning spiked on different levels as more technology was incorporated into our lives through Zoom meetings and Google classrooms, bringing new types of stresses. However, despite our use of technology, I’ve noticed some are more isolated than ever. Until now, I never considered that isolation carries its own risks, as well.

I’ve become aware of those without technology. Family and friends without internet or television may be lonelier than others. When you get isolated, you tend to get depressed or more anxious as negative thoughts become magnified and fears intensify.

Even with technology, there’s a sense of loss because physical contact is lost.

If you go out, getting close is frowned upon. Fear reigns.

We need to hear voices.

I have a solitary profession. I’m used to my day being quiet with nobody to talk with. I knew my family returned at a certain time. Now, they are here so I trade quiet for companionship. Before, I knew people arrived at a certain time. But what about those who live alone? The loss of conversation may seem huge.

One friend who quarantined herself before the stay-at-home policy was enacted confided that just hearing someone else’s voice on the telephone cheers her up. Something so simple brings such joy. She hungers for conversation.

Of course, she uses this time to study her Bible and pray more, to listen to the birds and admire the transformation of the world as spring bursts in tiny slivers of green on the trees and yellow daffodils and red tulips push through the warming ground. She says she’s learned to appreciate the little things God provides that often go unnoticed when we’re stuck in rushing through our days. Yes, she’s learned. Still, in the quiet, she misses people.

This pandemic caused us all to slow down, that’s for certain. It also surfaced isolation concerns.

How can we show others they matter?

Aside from a wave at a neighbor as we rake up the remnants of autumn and winter or take a walk, what are other ways to let folks know they matter?

Many are checking up with others via social media, but some old fashioned, dependable ways include calling on the telephone and sending a letter or note. I fretted a bit about this at first, but when I stepped out and did so, the joy I generated surprised me. Some people wrote back. Others called to visit. I incorporated calls and notes before this pandemic started, but the current situation alerted me to the fact that not so many people do this anymore. My friend caused me to be aware of those who live alone, especially the elderly.

It does take time, but it is time well invested. Why? Because when we pause to reach out and let someone know we are thinking of him or her, we proclaim loud and clear that “you matter to me,” which for any of us, really makes our day.

So yeah, even if you haven’t talked to someone in years, if this person is on your mind, pick up the phone or pen. You’ll bless them and in turn, you’ll be blessed too. Funny how that works, huh?

Isolation carries own risks, for sure, but we can combat that with intentional reaching out.

Another option if the weather cooperates involves toting a lawn chair—I heard that some friends’ children put a concert on from their porch as their grandparents listened and watched from their chairs on the driveway. How cool is that?

I hope you have a great week. Remember, you matter! What are some other ways to reach out? What are other ways isolation carries risks? Please share.

6 Replies to “Isolation carries its own risks”

  1. Loved this blog! And I loved receiving mail from you last week! I’ve been having Zoom “happy hours” with friends, playing online games (Euchre and Farkle) together, sending lots of Snapchats and texts, and having “walk and talk” time over the phone on my daily walks.

    1. Thanks, Shari. I enjoyed walking and talking on the phone with you when it was warm also. I look forward to when we can all spend time together again in community. I haven’t tried online games yet, but I hear my sons are enjoying that. 🙂 I’m glad you enjoyed the snail mail. 🙂 Stay well!

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