Being Content With Who We Live With

During this pandemic there are two groups of people. Those who live alone, and those who do not. Those who live alone have been without hugs, kisses or even shared meals for months. They have become hermits. On the other side we have couples, people with flatmates, families and other groups of people living within groups of two or more people.
During the pandemic those who live alone have theoretically been unable to be less than one and a half meters from any adult human being since March. Even when there was a lull in late June to July these people had to stay in solitude, due to the one and a half meter rule.
The people who lived alone had every reason to break self-isolation, whether to have a meal, to have people to do something with, or even just to have an ordinary conversation.
On the other side we have families, we have couples and we have people with room mates. These people were not in solitude, had people to share meals with, people to hug, people to converse with, people to walk with and more. These people were not in solitude so there isolation was not absolute.
For those who were not in absolute solitude, therefore, it seems paradoxical that they would go on holiday, go to restaurants, to cafés, on holiday, on walks where they were two or more abreast.
If everyone had been content with the company of the people they live with, for just four months the pandemic could have been stopped, could have been eliminated, could have been eradicated.
The fact that people, not living in solitude, felt the need to socialise, to go to restaurants, to go on holiday and more condemned the whole of society to live in the paralysis of a pandemic for many more months than were necessary.
For parents, for couples, and for people with flatmates the pandemic, is real, in that they can’t socialise as they would under normal circumstances but they still converse, they still share meals, they still play, they still hug, and they still collaborate.
For others, who had the misfortune of living alone there are no person to person conversations, there are few, if any meals. There is no flirting, there is less laughter, there is no intimacy. The world is masked, and the world is one and a half meters away, in the best of circumstances.
And people say that this could last for another two years. People were content to risk enabling the virus to keep spreading. The effect is solitude for months, seasons, or even years.
For those living alone the pandemic does not end when we get home to the people we live with. We spend months on end in physical solitude. When the pandemic ends will we ever go back to being addicted to the company of others like we were, or will we remain distant?
The honest answer is that, for as long as the pandemic lasts, people who live in solitude, must believe that they are content in solitude, because to believe anything else would be unbearable. To compromise could result in being infected by the virus.
I think that’s why I am so passionate about walking along quiet routes, where few if any people cross paths with me. It’s a coping mechanism.
I call it Pandemic Solitude.

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