This morning, I watched a choir concert on zoom. The concert was from my alma mater as well as other local choirs in my state of North Carolina. It was so beautiful to be able to watch a “virtual concert” – and to see how choirs have managed social distancing. Each individual singer recorded themselves, then the choir directors “stitched” the videos together to make a chorus. Technology is seriously amazing sometimes.
I can’t help but think back to when the lockdowns started – and how many people had to turn to electronic communication and couldn’t rely on face to face interactions.
While I am in NO WAY happy about the fact that we had to isolate ourselves due to the pandemic – it’s been incredibly tough, and for some people even more so but I also understand it’s to protect the more vulnerable and our exhausted health care workers – BUT I was glad that my family and friends in America could see how I’ve had to live over here.
For myself and so many of my friends living in other countries, we are separated from our families and friends back in our home countries. And, if you’ve moved like I have – your friends back in your old prefecture/place. We’ve relied on video chat, voice chat, social media… But it’s not always easy to manage. We miss so many events, and it’s easy for “out of sight, out of mind.” It just happens, it’s not intentional and we understand that. We are making lives here for ourselves too, and it’s not always easy to loop everyone in (especially if you are like me and you worry about the privacy implications about using social media to post everything, but that’s a topic for another day.)
I had thought that of course people would be able to adjust, like we’ve had to. And I was a little excited to be “virtually involved” because now other people had to learn how to use technology to stay connected. And that means we’d get included more too!
But after the initial push – some of the shine has worn off. People are tired. They want to go back to normal. I get it.
Even though we don’t have nearly as many cases as America (although lately the numbers are rising and I don’t like it), I’ve isolated myself a lot this summer and fall. Yoshi and I were able to go out sometimes to eat, but I would make sure it wasn’t crowded, we were separated from other people, kept my mask on til we got food then hurriedly ate it so I could put my mask back on (sanitizing my hands each time I touched my mask.) It was annoying but I got used to it. I hadn’t seen many friends often either. But now with the cases rising I’m back to trying to stay home mostly except for work and shopping and things we can do outdoors. If I get food, it’s takeout. (But trying to cook more at home to be healthy.)
I hope someday we will return to normal – but until then I will do my part to try to keep others safe – not to mention myself and our little friend who’s still growing.
So, it’s back to mostly virtual again I go.
But this time – people are tired. They are done.
And I get it but… it still makes me sad.
And I’m not writing this to make you feel bad or give you a guilt trip (and if you take it that way I’m sorry and I am always trying to make my writing better and I’ll continue to try to improve but please be patient!) – but I was hoping maybe changing the perspective a bit might help if you are one of those people who are just exhausted from virtual communication.
For me – text/instant messaging and voice/video chats feel like in person communication. When I get a text message, it’s like a virtual tap on the shoulder. I feel loved and I feel glad. Of course it can’t ever replace seeing people in person – but until I’m able to do that I’m going to hold on to what I have. And I’ve using this type of communication as a place holder until I can get my hugs again. I’m storing up all that love – and someday I’m going to be able to see people in person. AND I AM GONNA GET ALL THE HUGS.
So, if you are tired, if you are done – try changing your perspective a bit. Maybe what I do won’t work for you. Maybe you have to find something else. But I hope you find some way to manage that will help you hold on for longer.
And if you’ve found other ways to cope – please share them with me! I’d love to hear it.