Perspectives On Social Distancing

As the temps begin warming and the sun comes out fulltime to welcome spring to our central Illinois region, we’re going to see a huge influx of people getting out in the world for some much-needed respite from sheltering in place at home.
While fresh air, sunshine, and exercise/mindful movement is critical for our health, there are still quite a few practical things we definitely need to consider when taking to the great outdoors. This article from WGLT is a great reference about the do’s and don’ts of using local parks and the Constitution Trail that runs throughout our community.
We must remain disciplined to keep our distance from one another physically, despite our longing for hugs and high fives. Yesterday, that meant our family walked and rode scooters on the sidewalk across the street from another family and we chatted as we moved with the entire street between us. Was it weird? Yup. Was it necessary? Absolutely. This helped our young kids (and the grown ups, too) feel connected and a sense of togetherness while ensuring no one accidentally exposed one another to the possibility of sickness.
Social distancing in response to the worldwide COVID-19 pandemic is going to demand we ALL spend time with only those who we cohabitate with and that means some of us are going to be faced with what feels like way too much family time and others of us are going to experience the intensity of isolation.
This article offers a wide variety of thoughts on what it really means to practice social distancing with diligence in a way that will benefit your health and that of your community. It’s so tempting to visit family members – yet it’s crucial we remember that every visit with those you don’t live with is a potential exposure of one or all involved. Every exposure, every sickness not only puts our healthcare system (and medical workers) at risk, but it also extends the period of time we have to live like this. It’s vital we ALL participate in the important work of staying home for now.
Social Distancing is not an inconvenience, it is a necessity!
The shelter-in-place order is going to require us to make many lifestyle changes that feel less than optimal at first. It’s going to ask of us to stay home for all but the necessities. It’s going to require others to put their lives on the line daily to fill our prescriptions and tend to our sick and keep our grocery stores stocked and open. It’s going to last longer than we want it to, much longer than we think we can endure, yet we’re all capable of doing what must be done to make it through.
The other day, I mentioned this shelter-in-place experience feels oddly reminiscent of my last 8 month deployment onboard the USS Samuel B. Roberts (FFG-58) – except we’ve got way more down time and access to personal comforts. We literally couldn’t leave the ship for weeks, sometimes months. There were days in a row where I wouldn’t see sunshine or breathe fresh air. We were often in harm’s way or executing maneuvers that could be life-threatening. And while sometimes our family of 6 feels more like the crew of 300ish humans living on the ship together, we each had our role and the ship could not operate without everyone doing their part. This has really helped me put this shelter-in-place experience in perspective. We’re all home together. We’re all safe. We’re all doing our part to make this work the best way we can.
Most people are describing this period of time as “unprecedented,” but it makes me consider how many other unprecedented times in history we’ve moved through like multiple world wars, multiple epidemics, the great depression just to name a few. And every time the circumstances were terrifying, overwhelming, and living conditions were “less than ideal” (an obvious understatement), yet we all did what we needed to do to make it through. We innovated our industries. We came together in our communities.
We went without. We adapted to find new resources and developed new priorities. We remembered our values. We created and grew. We used our unique gifts and talents to contribute to the greater good. We turned our attention to the basic necessities of life. We held onto hope while doing the excruciating hard work to make it through. It wasn’t pretty; many suffered, many died, many lives were changed drastically forever. And yet, there were ripples of systemic changed.
Here we are again, in a dramatically different context, yet we’re all facing a common threat. And despite the fear, overwhelm and unknowns of the future, once again we’re seeing our communities innovating our new normals. We’re seeing individuals and institutions rise to the occasion and shift the ways we do business and meet the needs of each other.
It is my deepest hope that this worldwide experience will be a moment in time that despite the horrific death tolls, fear, and financial impact, we’ll find our families and communities more deeply connected for the long haul. It’s not a matter of whether we want to social distance or whether we enjoy social distancing, but a matter of fact that we must all do our part to make this effort at minimizing the reach and impact of COVID-19. And sometimes, in the face of great threat, we find that we can do and endure the doing of really hard things.
Keep it up.
Keep staying home.
Keep minimizing your exposure to others and public places.
Keep keeping it real, keeping it simple, and keeping it “good enough.”
Keep doing your part to save lives and minimize the risk.
Keep choosing only the essentials for trips into the world.
Keep planning ahead to minimize time spent in stores.
Keep not hugging, not shaking hands, not sharing space, despite our human instincts to come together.
Keep planning virtual happy hours.
Keep chatting from across the street and on the phone.
Keep taking care of your most basic needs with the resources you’ve got.
Keep your standards realistic.
Keep your radar attuned to moments of gratitude.
Keep asking for help and receiving support in safe ways.
Keep it up.
We’ll continue to show up here with you virtually offering new yoga practices and guided meditations to help you take care of you from your home. We’ll keep innovating to find ways to pay our overhead and to pay our teachers who rely on us and coming up with new ways to stay connected and of service to you during this time.
You’ve got this!
We’ve got you.
Sending love and peace,
Sarah + Brad
Owners, Renkon Yoga Studio
Yoga for every body.
(Yes, even you!)
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