Social Effects of Quarantine
I have always identified as an introvert. Growing up I could often be found with my nose buried in a book and although I have friends, it’s a pretty small circle. I am so happy to spend time alone. I am definitely not one of those people who needs to have others around them. In fact, when I started living alone, quite a few people asked me what it was like and said that they couldn’t imagine living alone.
In March, when I would see some of my neighbours they would tell me about how challenging they found it to be distanced from their friends – to not be able to go out and
socialize. For me, it was heaven. I got back 2-3 hours of my day from not commuting (and even though I worked many more hours than usual in the beginning, that eventually evened out). I found I was more productive during the workday – there were no interruptions from people popping by to say “hi” on their way to get a coffee refill. My only interruptions were occasions prods of my pup’s nose because she wanted to play. I settled into a new routine that included getting out for a short walk at lunchtime and after work. I felt great! To me, this “social distancing” was freeing - I didn’t have to feel bad if a friend asked to meet up and I really didn’t want to leave the cocoon called home.
Now we have been working from home for almost 7 months and I’ve noticed a slight shift. There are times now when I seek out other people – especially when out for a walk – if I see a neighbour it’s not just my dog that wants to go say “hi” but I do too. Even if it is just for a minute or two to ask how everyone’s doing or remarking about the weather. This has made me realize that we are all social creatures to some degree. Sure, we don’t all need to be surrounded by others daily or even weekly – but there is some company that comes from seeing other people at work or when out and about that has drastically reduced. So those of us that used to fill our need for company through those little interactions are now starting to miss it a little bit.
How have you felt during this time? Have you enjoyed it or found it hard to be physically distant? Have you found that your feelings have changed over time? I would love to hear how this time has felt to you – please leave a comment!