There is a huge range of personal responses to this pandemic and all the various lockdown rules.
Variety of Circumstances
I have friends who have barely left the house and not seen their friends for months (and when they occasionally step-out they are always masked) – and others who are hugging, organising parties and attending rebellion marches. I have friends who have been horribly ill with the lurgy for a few months and others who moved through it easily in a few days. I know of families that have lost several members (parents and grandparents) and those so far totally untouched.
I know those who are worried about being ill and want to keep social distance and those who really don’t care. I have friends whose work has dried up and their business closed, others who lost their job and faced 500 competing applicants for a new one, some who have been bored off-work and others safely employed crazily busier than ever. I have friends where both partners are stressed key workers, involved in frontline social work and healthcare, and others whose lives are largely unchanged, investing in new projects and away on great holidays this year.
Some friends were locked-down with partner, children and in-laws, while others were isolated without any touch. I have friends now finally divorcing and others now together with their new beloved.
How respectful and kind can we be to others who have a different perspective to us? What are our blind spots? What are we not seeing?
Can we ever really know what is going on for others, beneath their surface appearance? We are all so very individually different.
What do we see, that is of value for others to know? How can we offer our vision, without making others wrong or forcing them to behave according to our point of view?
How can we listen more, and assert less? Or speak up more, rather than be hesitantly silent?
What is it that you uniquely can do, that best serves us all?
My wish, is that out of a deeply unpalatable situation, we can co-create a resilient collective sweetness, separately and together, for the next year.
Julia Paulette Hollenbery