Day One

All alone. Image via license from Adobe Stock.

It’s Day One of Colorado’s Stay at Home Order. I’m grateful that my Mom and I are still healthy. I’m grateful that I am still allowed to exercise outdoors. I’m grateful that I have a dog to walk (dogs are the only ones who are winning the current situation.) I’m grateful to be awake earlier than I have been managing, so I can write and watch the sunrise. And I’m grateful that I don’t live alone.

I can’t imagine what it would be like to live alone right now.

My Mom and I are somewhat resigned to the idea that if one of us gets it, we both will. This is a dangerous attitude, considering she falls squarely into the two vulnerable categories. But with both of us healthy so far, the cost of not having no human touch in our lives probably exceeds the risk.

As a super-social species, human wiring dictates a need for physical contact with other humans. We evolved to groom one another to reinforce our strong social bonds, and touch gives us a powerful sense of well-being.

My brothers are floating down the Grand Canyon right now. When they left, there were only a few confirmed cases of COVID19 in the States. When they get off the river, the first week of April, they are in for a rude shock, despite checking in via satphone periodically. Somehow, I suspect that the stay at home order will go beyond the 11th.

One brother will come home to a wife and two kids. But my other brother is the family bachelor to my spinster. I worry about what social isolation will do to him. He is incredibly resilient and has many friends to call upon over the phone and video chat apps. But still, humans aren’t meant to self-isolate. And coming from the gregarious, almost tribal, company of a river trip to an empty house is going to be a challenge. (Even if it will probably be welcome for a while, after about a month of constant company.)

I think it will be a good idea for us to check in regularly, even though I’m confident that he will weather these changes with high adaptability. As an older brother, he has taken care of me one way or another for my whole life. If I can do anything to take care of him, I’m glad of the opportunity.

I hope everyone can make a point right now of reaching out to friends, family, and even acquaintances, but especially those of us who live alone. Touch is better than a video chat, but when it isn’t available, video chat is better than a phone call, and a phone call is better than a text message, and a text message is better than nothing.

Signing off. Stay safe, everyone, and take care of you and yours.

2 thoughts on “Day One

  1. Sara

    I too have been thinking of the river group and what a shock it will be to come back to our current reality. Wondering how your brother will do home alone as well. Thankfully I have a dog and I enjoy living alone, but yes, it can be lonely as well. Sending love to you and your momma. Take care

    1. clmcdermid Post author

      Love to you and yours as well! And yes, dogs help! Maybe we should surprise him with a puppy. Here, brother, enjoy this little poop machine.


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