COVID Blahs?

Feeling blah? Been feeling that way for a while? Me too. In fact, many, if not most, people I know are feeling that way underneath everything else. Sort of like a blah fog has enveloped our society. This saps our energy, like driving with the emergency brake on.

My theory, completely unencumbered by double-blind scientific analysis, is this: Humans are wired to be social animals. To be near each other, to hug, to smile, to see each other up close. That’s ingrained in our psyches and emotional DNA. But then came COVID. And we were told to practice “social distancing.” Staying apart from each other and covering our faces has disconnected us from each other at a deep level. We have lost the intimacy of being close to people, to seeing each other’s reactions. For example, when I crack a bad pun, I can only see the reaction in someone’s eyes, not their entire face. And without that feedback, cracking bad puns no longer brings me any joy, so I have (mostly) stopped. My inner spirit feels numb. THAT’s the true cost of social distancing and COVID.

Unfortunately, as many of us were vaccinated and starting to return to a more normal way of interacting, Omicron arrived and breakthrough cases started ramping up, so we had to re-mask and re-social-distance. And we were all so weary, so worn down, so numb from 18 LONG months of social and emotional deprivation. What’s even more frustrating and demoralizing is that we’re not sure if, and how, this will end.

In the interim, I encourage you to feed your soul and other people’s souls as best you can. Encourage yourself to spend time with friends and acquaintances. They crave contact, just as you do, and need your support, just as you need theirs.

I hope you can have a wonderful holiday season,

Gary Langenwalter

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