Lessons in a time of COVID-19

Often when I am talking to a friend, a colleague, a family member, or even a stranger on the street our conversation starts with:

Me: Hi!

Someone else (really anyone at all): Hi!

Me: How are you feeling these days?

Someone else: I have been feeling every emotion! Sad, confused, happy, overwhelmed, hopeful, but mostly I miss seeing people in person just so I can feel their energy… and HUGS! I miss hugs so much. I didn’t realize how much that physical expression meant to me. I will never ever take hugging for granted again!

Me: That’s exactly how I feel too!

Our common experiences have become the topic of the day.

These tender conversations have gotten me thinking about the lived experience of so many people we know whose typical non-COVID lives were always more isolated.

It has given me pause to think about my privilege to have had so many close connections of the heart, hand, and mind. So many friends, partners, lovers, and family members who have shown up for me, held my hand, lovingly cupped my face and landed a big smooch on my cheek.

I know how it feels to be seen. I know how it feels to be thanked for my contribution. I know connection because I experience it as a normal expectation in my life. I know this is a privilege.

It is this privilege which allows me to feel connected through the myriad of daily zoom calls, phone calls, Skype calls and Facebook gatherings I am currently taking part in. It is this privilege that supports my ability to recreate and experience those cell memories as I take part and authentically get my need for connection met. I am able to draw up my memories of the past and experience them in this present moment of distancing, fear and grief. This is my privilege.

Moving forward in the “new normal” I will be asking myself and others:

“How do we leverage this time of deep understanding about every person’s need for real connection and ensure that every person knows the privilege of being more connected in their lives?”

Written by: Shelley Nessman