Social Distancing: This Isn’t About Us

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Social Distancing is a pain, but it isn’t about us. 

I lost my mom in December to COPD. I know I would have lost her to COVID-19. There’s no way that she would have been able to survive this pandemic regardless of how much we protected her. I know many families who are still feeling raw from the grief that now have this guilt added on their shoulders as well.

This isn’t about us.

Yes, our worlds have been turned upside down. Schools were closed, and some without any warning whatsoever. Some of us packed up our desks and have turned our kitchens or bedrooms into offices. Concerts and parties and vacations have been postponed or canceled.

March isn’t so mad after all this year, and there aren’t any sports to follow on TV. Families are trying to find a balance between quality time and educational time. We’re all worried about how this will affect the future of our children. We’re worried about how it will affect our future.

This isn’t about us.

If you’re reading this from the comfort of your quarantined home, know that you’re teaching your children the ultimate lesson. If you’re reading this from a job that you have to work, know you’re teaching your children the ultimate lesson.

You’re teaching them how to sacrifice for a greater good. You’re teaching them that this pandemic is so much bigger than each of us individually, but that together (but separately), we can slay the beast. You’re teaching them that community isn’t always about congregating.

I thought this would be difficult to explain to my son, an only child. He wouldn’t be able to see his friends for quite some time. There would be no playdates or practices for the All-City Music Festival that he’d worked so hard to be a part of.

It turns out that I wouldn’t have to explain this to him at all. My 11-year-old proved to me that he has an insight that most need during this time when he looked at me with tears in his eyes.

“This would have killed Nana, right? We’ll be staying home to give people like her a chance.”

A cold often sent my mom to the hospital, but we were always there to comfort her. We wouldn’t have been able to be with her during this time, and I can’t imagine how the families who cannot be with their loved ones feel.

This isn’t about us.

“Sometimes when you sacrifice something precious, you’re not really losing it. You’re just passing it on to someone else.” – Mitch Albom

In our society, time is precious. Schedules are precious. For many of us, being busy is precious. In fact, busyness is often a badge of honor that we wear. Lately, we’ve changed busyness for a slower change of pace. I’ve heard from many people that this time has been refreshing. We’ve been able to go back to basics and reevaluate our priorities.

A little sacrifice now can save the lives of so many. And in the grand scheme of things, many of us are very lucky to be social distancing in a house with running water, electricity, food and WiFi. Spending time with our families, reading books, playing games, catching up on TV…it’s a small “price to pay” to save lives.

It’s not about us.

It’s about the people that are given a chance by our staying home. It’s about the essential workers who are putting themselves in danger to help us all. It’s about showing our children how a community can gather without congregating.

Those aren’t lessons we can teach via a book.

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Mandy
Born, raised and raising in Milwaukee, Mandy runs on faith, Diet Coke and to-do lists. She and her Jersey boy of 13 years, Blake, are parents to the handsomest of handfuls (Cristian, 11). Armed with her Sicilian mother's sarcasm and Mexican father's temper, her Type A(-) personality is always trying to make the pieces of her puzzle fit. She is passionate about body positivity and special needs and hand-stamps jewelry to release her creativity (and aggression). Mandy could always use a margarita and a nap, and is constantly trying to figure out how to make the two happen simultaneously.

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